I was recently on holiday and I ended up preaching at the church that my family and I were visiting. The two main things people said to me after the service were ‘that was really good/helpful/challenging’ and ‘I’m sorry that you had to preach while you were on holiday’. (Several people even expressed both thoughts to me).
My family and I were staying with my parents in law and when we arrived on the Saturday afternoon I was asked, very nicely and in such a way that I could have said no, if there was any chance that I could preach the next day as the booked speaker was ill.
I had a talk that I had given twice in the previous week about the prodigal son and so it was fairly easy for me to fill in. The added bonus was that the talk covers a series of images and so is script/notes free making it especially easy to deliver.
Rather than feeling worn out by preaching, I actually found it energizing. The content of the talk definitely did me as much good as anyone who was listening and it was a wonderful encouragement to see the way that God worked that morning.
Although I was on holiday, I preached and I actually really, really enjoyed it. As I reflected on this later that day (you are allowed to think on holiday aren’t you?) I had a light bulb moment.
I don’t preach because that is my job! I try to explain the Bible to people and to help them apply it to life because that is who God made me to be.
I’m beginning to realize that God doesn’t call us to do jobs for him. He actually calls us to become the people who he made us to be and the ways we serve him should then flow out of that.
We need to understand who God made us to be and then to make the choice to live in such a way that we become that person. This is so much more important than trying to simply do jobs for God!
When God called Moses to rescue the Israelites (Exodus 3-4), he was only asking him to recognize who he was made to be. As a prince of Egypt Moses had tried to help an Israelite slave and to rescue him and then when he escaped from Egypt he met a group of women who were being harassed and so he rescued them.
Moses was created by God to rescue people and at the burning bush God was trying to remind Moses of who he made him to be.
We think that Moses’ story is about him rescuing the Israelites when in fact it is primarily about God restoring Moses and helping him to discover who he really is.
So, who are you?
Will we spend time trying to see who we were made to be and then will we choose to overcome the lies and other obstacles that are stopping us so that we can live as God intended?