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May 03, 2016

Four Things God Supplies to Overwhelmed Leaders

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Have you ever felt out of your league as a leader? You may be surprised to know that one of the greatest leaders in the Bible, Moses, can totally identify with those feelings. Even so, God used Moses in the most amazing ways.

The good news about being used by God is that God uses insecure, overwhelmed, intimidated leaders like you and me, to accomplish his work in this world.

The story of God calling Moses in Exodus 3 and 4 give us a picture of an overwhelmed leader.

When God called Moses to deliver his people from Egypt, it is helpful to put yourself in Moses’ sandals. He grew up in the house of Pharaoh and fled as a wanted fugitive after killing an Egyptian. Then, God spoke to him through a burning bush, telling him to go back and do the impossible.

Moses questioned God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:7-11)

What does God do for Moses? Does he act like a divine drill sergeant saying, “Just move it!” No. Does he respond like Donald Trump saying, “You’re fired!” No.

God in his infinite mercy supplies four things to Moses that apply to overwhelmed leaders today:

1. God supplies his presence.

He said, “But I will be with you…” (Exodus 3:12)

God manifesting his presence in a special way is one of the great benefits of the gospel. Before you came to Christ, you were at odds with God. You were his enemy. You were actually under his wrath.

But in Christ, you have been reconciled to God. And as one of God’s people, you experience his presence to bless you. You see God doing this with Moses and the people of Israel in the wilderness. He was with them in a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. He helped them. He led them. He protected them. He provided for them. He blessed them.

And God has promised to be with you. After Christ gives his disciples the Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples, he says, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

God is with you as you fulfill the ministry he has called you to lead. God has promised he will be with you forever.

2. God supplies his power.

“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.” (Exodus 3:19-20)

What were the chances of Moses waltzing into Egypt and freeing the Hebrew people on his own? Let’s face it. They were zero. There was no chance.

This was not about Moses’ power, but about God’s. God basically said to Moses, “You provide the obedience Moses. I’ll provide the power.”

What power do you and I have to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, change a human heart, or make someone grow spiritually? None.

In fact, Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He means that apart from him you can do nothing of spiritual significance. Why? Because only God has the power to make a spiritual difference in the lives of people.

Here’s the challenge for us: In Moses’ situation, it was so obvious that Moses couldn’t accomplish the challenge on his own. He knew he had to rely on the power of the Lord. For us, we sometimes think we can handle ministry on our own. That’s a trap.

We need to rely on the power of God for effective ministry. And here’s how we can tell if we are depending on his power: How much are we praying? Prayer indicates our dependence on the Lord. Prayer demonstrates that we know we don’t have the power. That we know we are relying on God’s power.

3. God supplies his providence.

But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exodus 4:10-12)

Moses is immobilized by his own inadequacies. He says, “I don’t have the verbal skills to do this. I’m slow of speech. I’m not a good public speaker!”

And God says, “Moses, trust my providence.” God’s providence is how he orders the circumstances of this world to make sure his will is accomplished. God says, “Look Moses…who controls these things? And I have made sure that you have what you need to accomplish what I called you to do.”

Do you believe that? Do you believe that God is in control of the abilities, the education, the background, the intelligence, the physical characteristics that you have? Do you believe God has given you what you need to accomplish the task he has put before you?

Even with all God has given us, we still have weaknesses  The words of Jesus to Paul are a comfort:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Trust that he has given you those weaknesses so you will depend on him.

4. God supplies his partners.

But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do.” (Exodus 4:13-15)

Moses is complaining about his lack of speaking ability. And God says, “I’ll give you a partner to fill in where you are weak.” That’s God’s way throughout the scriptures. That is why he calls the church the body of Christ. We all need one another. We each have a role to play. We each have a unique contribution to make. You need people around you who can fill in where you are weak. And you can do the same for them.

In the midst of this passage that shows us the mercy of God, we also see God’s anger triggered by Moses saying, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13).

God puts up with our fears and insecurities. But he does not accept our disobedience.

“Send someone else” is not an acceptable answer to the Lord. He won’t take no for an answer. If God calls you to do something, he won’t accept no for an answer. “Send someone else” will not fly with God.

Here is the encouraging part: You can obey because of the four things God has promised you. Yes, God has given you great responsibility as a leader. Fortunately, he has given you equally great resources and promises to empower you to fulfill that responsibility as well.

Can you think of anything else God supplies to overwhelmed leaders?


Grow in your fruitfulness for Christ by enrolling in the free practical ministry training program called Open the Bible for Leaders.

Greg Norwine

Greg Norwine was a pastor for many years before joining the staff of GlobalFingerprints, the child sponsorship ministry of ReachGlobal.
Greg Norwine was a pastor for many years before joining the staff of GlobalFingerprints, the child sponsorship ministry of ReachGlobal.