Exodus 32-34, Psalm 28
Dwight L. Moody said: ” Moses spent 40 years thinking he was somebody; then he spent 40 years on the backside of the desert realizing he was nobody; he spent the last 40 years of his life learning what God can do with a nobody!” Like Moses, unless we lose ourselves, we are in no position to be used by God. There is a book called, “Harvest”, by Chuck Smith. Contained in those pages are the true stories of many of the Calvary Chapel pastors like: Greg Laurie, Skip Heitzig, Jon Courson, Raul Ries, etc. Each one has been used mightily by God, but not until they lost their sinful lives, their pride, their selves.
When we see the response of Moses in today’s readings, full of humility, selflessness, and pure love for his fellow Israelites we begin to see why Moses needed those middle 40 years to remove any sense of pride. I wonder if the young Moses (Acts 7:22 “…learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds”) would have responded differently to God’s offer to make of Moses a great nation in Exodus 32:10, “Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.” But Moses, full of humility and love pleads on behalf of the Israelites. We read in Ex:32:11-14, “Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?…Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven;…’ “. So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.” Moses had to be removed of pride and self to think of others, and more importantly God, first. Before giving the perfect example in Jesus Christ in Philippians 2:5-12, Paul exhorts us, saying in 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in loneliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
If we pause for a second and realize that, in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”. We who are full of the Holy Spirit have the fullness of God residing within us. Can you imagine the revival that our church, that our community, that our nation would have if like Moses, we humbled ourselves and yielded to what the Holy Spirit could do in all of our lives. But God loves us too much to ever force His will on us. It is up to us to submit and empty ourselves of anything which holds us back. God wants to use us, but if we are vessels filled with ourselves, we are unusable. If we empty ourselves then we can be filled with the Holy Spirit and used to accomplish His will.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: