James 4:6 “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
Humility is a core characteristic of Jesus Christ. It is only fitting then for the followers of Christ to adopt this trait in their own lives. If we are going to be successful in life and ministry then we must learn this trait of humility. The verses we just read show us that God chooses to use the humble heart, while rejecting the proud heart. God will not and cannot use a proud and self-centered individual to do his work. However, when a person learns humility and embraces it as a way of life God can use this man no matter what his deficiencies may be. Let’s look into the life of Moses and see how God made this man mighty and then used him greatly to help others.
Scripture tells us when Moses turned 40 years old he developed a desire in his heart to help his Hebrew brethren that were being mistreated in Egyptian bondage. Acts 7:23-29 says – “And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.” (Read Exodus 1-4:20 and Acts 7:18-36) The Bible teaches us that Moses had good intentions in his heart to help and save his people, the scripture even tells us that Moses believed God would use him to deliver his people; but there is one problem, we never see God calling Moses at this time to deliver his people! Moses jumped the gun and followed his feelings instead of God’s word. Yes, God would call and use Moses, but not now, he wasn’t ready for the task ahead of him. We see Moses here as very confident, sure of himself, even a sense of pride that caused Moses to jump in and save the day before God instructed him to do so. Things didn’t turn out like Moses planned, we find him running for his life and spending the next 40 years in the Midian wilderness, a fugitive of the law and living in spiritual brokenness.
For 40 years Moses lives on the Midian campus of God’s Wilderness University of Humility & Character Building, raising his two sons, caring for his wife and working as a shepherd on his father in laws farm; A job that will teach him many lessons for his next assignment. He has left the lush, pleasant palaces of Egypt for the rough, dusty climate of the Midian desert. He feels let down and forsaken by God. He has learned humility the hard way, as many of us have learned. He now realizes he is not the Super Man of his youthful dreams. Time, hard work and a family have tempered this once prideful, self-reliant free spirited Moses into a more humble, useful man. God did not bring Moses to the desert to abandon and destroy him there; He took him there to build and develop him into a rugged, trustworthy hero that would be able to deliver His people from bondage and then lead them for 40 years in a rough wilderness climate and be strong enough to never give up! It’s interesting that Moses spends 40 years in wilderness schooling for 40 years of wilderness service. Never consider long lessons to be a waste of time, but rather a useful investment of time that will pay off at a later date.
God approaches Moses in the wilderness in Exodus chapters 3 &4 to call him into his work, but instead of finding Moses overconfident and ready to burn up the field, we now find him singing a different tune…a tune of humility. As God is calling Moses to be his ambassador to Egypt, he makes excuses as to why he cannot go. Five different times Moses pleads with God to see that he is inadequate and unable to do what God is asking him to do. Moses is not lazy or bitter to go serve God – he is humble! He honestly feels inadequate to serve in God’s work. This is exactly what God was waiting for. Moses’ 40 year enrolment in the Wilderness University of Humility & Character Building has paid off greatly. It’s at this point that he can graduate with honors and move to the next level of service for God. This is the heart condition that God is looking for in all his workers. James 4:10 says “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” God can use an inadequate person, once that person realizes he is inadequate and needs God’s help.