Read: Exodus 4:1-17, 27-31, Psalm 77:10-20, Acts 15:30-33
It was three a.m., and I was wide awake.
Next to me lay a mess of blond hair in Frozen pajamas. She had wedged herself between her dad and me in the middle of the night; a habit that we couldn't quite break. While I loved her sweet innocence, her constant cartwheels were not helping my sleep situation. Lying in bed, my mind couldn't settle down to go back to sleep. It was also doing flips, thinking about the big day that was about to break.
Because I knew that when it was finally time to get out of bed, today would be the day I'd been anticipating for over two years. While I'd have bags to pack and kids to get to school and a long list of e-mails to respond to at work, all I could think about was what was about to go down tonight.
Tonight women would gather to pray.
I didn't know who exactly was showing up.
I didn't know exactly what I was going to say.
But I knew that this was something that had significance.
Two years ago, God laid the word community on my heart. Through a series of conversations, He began to connect me with women who also had a heart for ministry. Together we prayed, asking God how He wanted to use us and what could we offer to unite other women to be the body of Christ in our community. These conversations led us to this evening; an evening where we would share the vision God has created in our hearts with a room full of women who had enough courage to say yes to our invitation. Tonight we would pray as a body of believers, believing that God wanted to use us as His disciples in our city.
Scripture tells us that when Moses was being called by God, he was reluctant to obey. Five times he voiced reasons why someone else should lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He asks God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? What if they do not believe me or listen to me? I have never been eloquent; I am slow of speech and tongue. Please send someone else to do it."
Do you remember what God's responses were?
The first time he tells Moses, "I will be with you." (Exodus 3:12)
The second time he says, "Tell them I AM has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14 NIV)
The third time God performs a miracle with Moses' staff and says, "This is so that they may believe that The Lord, the God of their fathers - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob - has appeared to you." (Exodus 4:5 NIV)
The fourth time, he responds to Moses' fear of speaking with "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." (Exodus 4:11-12 NIV).
God is clearly on Moses' side. He has picked Moses to do His will, to lead His people out of slavery and into freedom. But, even after God speaking to him four times, Moses still has fear in his heart. These fear led to his fifth apprehensive response, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."
Have you ever found yourself in a place of fear? Even when you know God is asking you to do something, you are still afraid to do it? That was exactly how I felt when I woke up at 3 a.m. Like Moses', I didn't have the eloquent words, and my heart was full of fear. What if this was all a big mistake? What if God didn't show up?
So here we were, with fifty-two sets of eyes, ears, minds, and hearts listening to the words that God gave us to say. As I spoke, the churning of my soul gave way to courage. God reminded me that I was saying His words, sharing His plans, and seeking His people to be His disciples. This was all about HIM, and He was with me every step of the way.
The agenda for the evening was simple. We wanted to pray for our community, our churches, and for women to receive the truth of Christ. As we ushered in our calls to pray, the word courage was spoken again and again and again by women all over the room. It was a great reminder to me that we are all afraid, but God teaches us how to have courage through Scripture. After Moses had begged God to send someone else to do His work, God called Aaron to come alongside Moses to lead the people. Exodus 4:29 says, "Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped."
God brought together Moses and Aaron to lead his people, and He is bringing together the women of the Wiregrass also to bow and worship His name. We do this with undivided hearts and by obeying God's call in our lives in spite of any fear or hesitation or speech impediment we might have. Prayer gives us the courage to follow God.
Together, we can lead women who are without a church to find a church home.
Together, we can encourage women to read the word of God.
Together, we can help women out of the misery of sex trafficking or teenage pregnancies or broken marriages and give them the courage to choose Christ.
Let us not live with divided hearts. Together, God gives us courage to cross the sea of fear into the land of milk and honey. He is with us, and He will teach us how to follow His path for our lives. May we bow and worship Him, the great I AM.
To have courage, we've got to let go of fear. Let's do that in today's worksheet, shall we?
Join us on Tuesday, January 12th at 6:00 p.m. for our Undivided Women Launch Party at Covenant United Methodist Church. Invite your friends and learn more about this exciting new ministry for our community!