Day 14: Who Am I?February 17, 2015
In Exodus 3 God told Moses that He wanted him to deliver the entire nation of Israel out of bondage and slavery. What an assignment! In verse 11, Moses replied to God, “…Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
It appears that God sees more in us than we see in ourselves. Moses asked God the question, “Who am I?” Moses saw himself as a shepherd, husband, father, and son-in-law. God saw him as that and more: a deliverer, a prophet, and a friend.
Do you have a revelation of the way God sees you? How do you seeyourself? Perhaps God is asking you to do something or be something for Him, and all you can see is what you are not. You may be thinking to yourself, I’m not greatly educated; I’m not the best-looking person; I’m not very strong; I’m too fat; I’m too old; or, I’m too afraid. You may be asking God, “How can You expect me to do that? Who am I that I could start a business (or teach a class, or form a Bible study, etc.)?”
God looks at you and says, “You’re the one for the job! I’ve been preparing you. You’re ready!” God isn’t putting confidence in your flesh; instead, He’s looking at the deposit of Himself in you to do the job.
When God asks you to face a new “pharaoh,” you may say, “Who am I?” But God says to you, just as He said to Moses, “I will certainly be with you”(see Exodus 3:12). It doesn’t take faith to do what you know you can do. But it takes a lot of faith, determination, and perseverance to do what you know you can’t do!
More than 25 years ago when we lived in Tulsa, Rick and I were on the road most of the time, traveling with our children as we ministered full time across the United States. Finally, there came a time when I had to return to our home with our boys and give them the stable home environment they needed. We didn’t want our sons growing up in hotels and traveling countless hours between meetings year-round.
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Rick continued ministering on the road and returned home every week or two while I stayed home with the boys. It was during that time that God asked me to stretch myself beyond what I thought was possible — beyond my skills or abilities at the time. You see, I never went to Bible school. I was never trained to be a Bible teacher. Yet God was speaking to me about starting a Bible study for the women in our church!
At the time, there was no women’s ministry in the church. Of course, in order to start the Bible study, I would have to talk to the pastor about it and get his blessing first. I loved the pastor and his wife, but, honestly, I felt that if I had to talk to them on the phone or in person, I would start stuttering and have absolutely no idea what to say!
I knew God was putting the Bible study on my heart and asking me to lead it. I talked to Rick about it, and he suggested that I take the pastor and his wife out to dinner after church — by myself, without my husband by my side — to talk about it. I was so scared that it took me two weeks to get up the nerve to even approach the pastor about it.
You have to understand how difficult it was for me to take this one step of obedience. In my mind, I imagined that as I approached the pastor, he would see me as stupid — and that I would be completely embarrassed. That’s really how I saw myself at the time!
Finally, I did gather the courage to ask the pastor and his wife to dinner, and they accepted. With all the nerve I could muster, I sat there at dinner with them and shared what was on my heart about the Bible study. To my great surprise, after I shared, the pastor said very kindly, “Oh, Denise — that sounds great! Could you pass me the butter?”
I had been seeing myself all wrong! I had seen myself as weak, stupid, inadequate, and far from confident. But God saw me as a capable, strong leader of those women! And that is what He demonstrated in and through my life as I led a very successful Bible study for the next two years. Many women’s lives were powerfully touched and changed. I even held an overnight conference at a hotel, and 220 women attended!
Later I had my own television program in the former Soviet Union that reached a potential viewing audience of millions. But I wonder if I could have done that if I’d said no to that Bible study years before?
Jesus paid the greatest price that could ever be paid to set us free from all the limitations we try to put on ourselves. He was beaten to the point that His friends wouldn’t have been able to recognize Him. Then He hung naked on that cruel cross, bleeding profusely in front of His mother, some of His disciples, and some of His worst enemies, including the religious leaders. Jesus didn’t do all this so that we would stay bound up with fear, powerless to move out and obey what He has put in our heart to do for Him. When our Lord was dying on the Cross, He was actually setting us free to live — to live “life more abundantly” for Him (see John 10:10)!
So when negative thoughts, such as thoughts of inadequacy and inferiority, come to your mind, don’t listen to the devil, who will always be there to suggest these thoughts to you and then agree with you when you receive them. He’ll whisper to your mind, Poor you, no one understands. This situation is just too hard. And it’s never going to change. YOU’RE never going to change.
But all those thoughts are lies! Jesus Christ paid the price so you and Icould change in whatever way we need to. I promise you this: If you’ll pour out your heart to God and then take just one step toward what He has put in your heart to do, you’ll be on your way to making 2015 one of your greatest years yet!
Please let us know what’s on your heart that we can pray with you about. Our prayer team stands ready to add our faith with yours and to expect the miraculous on your behalf.
In His great love,