Exodus 4:11-12 – The Lord said to him, “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.”
Luke 12:11-12 – “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
In Exodus 4, God called Moses to be his mouthpiece. Moses would represent God to both the Egyptians as well as the Israelites. Moses would speak on God’s behalf and utter the very message God told him to pass on. Some believe that, when Moses first declined God's offer, he was practicing false humility, common in his day. Others believe he wasn't very eloquent and was simply scared. Who knows? Whatever the reason, it seems plausible he may have been a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of speaking to Pharaoh. Who wouldn’t?
I’ve been there. Such fear comes from relying too much upon myself and not enough on God. God says as much with these words,
“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? (verse 11)
God’s the sovereign One in the equation, not me. Our Lord made a similar point in Luke 12 when he told his disciples they would be persecuted for following him. How would they respond when they were caught and tried by the authorities? How would they reply to the charges? Just think of the pressure and stress. Would fear overcome them? Or would they find the right words at the right moment?
Jesus told them not to worry about such things. He said,
“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, (verse 11)
Our Default Excuse
The number of people who have told me they do not share their faith because they are “afraid they won’t know what to say” is higher than I can count. How often have we remained silent when we could and should have lovingly confronted a friend or family member for a particular sin in their lives? How many times have we avoided offering counsel to someone making a major life-decision because the pressure was simply too great? We’re afraid we’ll get tongue-tied for Jesus.
Those, and other examples, are often the result of leaning too heavily upon our own abilities (or fearing our inabilities) rather than trusting God and his Spirit to speak through us. But notice the reasons both
God the Father in Exodus and Jesus in Luke’s Gospel give for placing our trust in God:
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (verse12)
for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (verse 12)
Trust God and Speak
You see, God never requires anything from us for which he does not also equip us. God wants us to witness to unbelievers as well as to minister to fellow believers. We are his hands and feet. More than that, we are his voice. We are not called to share our own opinions, however, but his words and counsel. Of course, as a seminary professor once reminded me, God seldom fills empty heads. If we aren’t listening to God through prayer and the study of his Word, then it is indeed doubtful we will have much to offer anyone.
And yet, as we dig into his Word and meditate upon what he has revealed to us, we will hear not only what he is saying to us, but also what he wants us to share with others. And that’s more than worth our effort.
Have you ever frozen in fear of what to say to someone who asked you why you are a Christian? Or have you not known how to counsel a friend who asked you for advice concerning a tough life-situation? Did either of those experiences make you more or less likely to “speak for God” when future opportunities presented themselves? Do you think you were leaning too heavily upon yourself? Your abilities? What are three things you can start doing today to prepare yourself to communicate God’s truth to another person when the next opportunity presents itself?
Grace and Truth,
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