And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
– Acts 7:23
We are looking at Moses through the message delivered by Stephen just before he became the Church’s first martyr. Here we see the only reference to Moses’ age when he killed the Egyptian.
We should note that Stephen said that it “came into” Moses’ heart to visit the Israelites. He had grown up in the palace away from his people, and this statement tells us that it was not happenstance that he just happened to be walking by when he saw the Egyptian abusing an enslaved Israeli (Exodus 2:11).
God placed it in Moses’ heart to go out to the enslaved Israelis. I believe this illustrates our previous discussion regarding how the Holy Spirit will use our desires to lead us.
And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. (Acts 7:24 -25)
We see in Stephen’s message that Moses understood his calling to lead the Israeli people out of Egyptian bondage. He knew that God had put him in a place of leadership to bring deliverance to his people. Moses knew that God planned for him to lead his people out of bondage but made a mistake in assuming that this was something that he could accomplish through his strength and might.
Moses knew the plan of God for his life. He did not know how to walk out of that plan and missed God’s timing for him to step out into it. We must discover the keys that will unlock the plan of God, which was the focus of my first book, Fundamental Keys to Unlock the Plan of God. Unfortunately, though, most Christians who do so will unlock the plan for their life, but few will do anything with it.
Moses attempted to step into the plan of God prematurely. There is timing involved with walking in God’s plans and purposes. We must keep this in mind. While there is nothing we can do to speed up the manifestation of God’s complete plan in our lives, we can delay it.
Moses was born when midwives were massacring the male children of Israel at the direction of Pharaoh. In a sense, you could say that he was destined to die, but God not only preserved his life but also put him into the palace to grow up in the household of the very man who was trying to murder him!
Moses seems to have assumed God would use his position in Pharoah’s household to enable him to deliver Israel from their bondage. The only problem with this was God is not interested in sharing credit with us and so will not work through us in a way that will cause us to get the credit.
Moses spent forty years in the desert before God sent him back to fulfill his destiny. God moved through a series of plagues that targeted the Egyptian gods and showed their inferiority to the God who created all things!
They worshipped the Nile River, and God turned into blood!
They worshipped insects, and God used lice to plague the Egyptians!
God used Moses in such a way that devastated Egypt as a nation and devasted all of their gods. He could not have done this without Moses first coming to a place of complete dependence on the God he served.
My point in this discussion is to show you that Moses knew what the plan of God was for his life. He tried to step into it in his efforts and ended up in the desert for forty years. How many of us have done something similar and derailed ourselves from the plan of God in similar ways?
Many Christians have walked a similar path as Moses did. They have discovered the plan of God only to mess it up by trying to step into it early causing them to end up in a mess. I believe that the main reason for this is pride. People discover the will of God and then pridefully step out, expecting to blaze a trail for the kingdom. They forget the example of Saul, who ended up in the desert (Galatians 1) before emerging as the apostle Paul.
There are a lot of ministers who operate from their abilities, wisdom, and power. Many of these launched out due to an experience with God but then left the Holy Spirit behind as they “blazed” the trail they believed God had called them to walk. We can only imagine how this must grieve the Holy Spirit!
God will always call us into places where we must depend totally on the His Spirit to succeed. He desires to move supernaturally through the Church much more than we desire for Him to. It is our pride and self-sufficiency that is blocking Him from doing so.
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:27 – 29)
Paul provides us with a job description in these verses that describe the qualifications of a person who God can use. He tells us that this person is “foolish,” “despised,” and “weak.” How many of us are willing to sign up for this role?
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