Saturday, January 24, 2009

We Can't, He Can

Confidence. It's something that you either have or lack, right? Why do some people appear to be bursting at the seams with it, while others timidly doubt themselves regardless of natural giftings?

Moses, a man chosen by God, was groomed by God for almost eighty years for the task he was assigned. Yet even after meeting God in a burning bush, observing God's ability to perform miracles that defied imagination, and being spoken to and instructed by God Almighty, Moses lacked confidence in himself and his ability to successfully accomplish what God asked of him.

Chapters 4 through 6 of Exodus include details of God's initial plan for leading his children out of captivity in Egypt. I'm especially fascinated by this passage from chapter 4:

10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” 11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” 13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” 14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. ...NLT

In 1999, I took a chance that changed my life. I had always enjoyed writing skits for the student ministry at church, but I never considered myself a "writer". And although I was not looking for a job, I stumbled across an add for someone to write Christian children's television show scripts in the newspaper one weekend. The listed requirements were specific and I did not meet them, but despite my tendency toward lack of confidence, I sent in my resume along with an original script.

Expecting that nothing would become of my prayerful whim, our family set out on a ten day journey to the middle of nowhere (outside of Memphis, Tennessee) for David's AAU baseball national tournament. When we returned, I had several missed phone calls from the producer of the television show who wanted to schedule an interview.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that out of hundreds of responses, I was one of only a very small handful of people they were considering, and I was the only one who had submitted an original script. Fast forward to this past year when an amazing chapter in my life came to an end. For nine years I was privileged to write "Discovery Jones Expeditions," an extreme sports/action show that incorporated Biblical messages and principles into each episode. Now in syndication, it appears in countries where the gospel message is illegal. It amazes me that God has allowed the words in my head to translate into other languages and make their way to other countries so that children can hear that God loves them, that He has a plan for their lives, and that His Son, Jesus, conquered death so that they could have a personal relationship with Him.

I spent many years lacking confidence--but I discovered something that I hope you will learn well before the age I had to be to "get it". If you try to muster confidence in yourself, it will never come--at least not in the way it should. Instead, it will be a bit of arrogance mixed with pride. But realizing that you are nothing and can do nothing that matters apart from God's enabling power provides the kind of confidence that he can use.

Just as he told Moses, HE made our mouths. HE made us able to see and hear. And HE alone should receive all the glory for anything good we accomplish--because it's only through him that we can achieve anything significant in terms of eternity.

If God has gifted you to do something, He will equip you to accomplish it-- regardless of how daunting it may seem. The Bible says he was angry with Moses. Hopefully, he won't find reason to be angry with us!

Please Father, show us when, where, how, and what--and help us remember that You CAN even if we think we can't!

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