Who Am I, That I Should Go?

     I have the privilege again this week of teaching a class at the Mountainside Ministry Training Center for International Messengers, a mission organization that trains missionaries for either short or long term ministries which are primarily in eastern Europe or Africa.  Over the approximately four-month session several come to teach on subjects like evangelism, discipleship, cross-cultural ministry, bibliology and hermeneutics, interpersonal relationships, spiritual warfare, etc, to help equip these folks for the ministries for which God has given them a passion. 

     I couldn’t help but think of the training given in the  military, preparing and equipping young men and women for service to our country and to defend against any enemies that would threaten our nation and freedom.  In a similar sense, as believers, we too need to be trained and equipped to face the enemy of our souls who would do all he can to defeat and discourage us and to take away our freedom in Christ.  Those who go forth as missionaries are often being put on the front lines of a fierce spiritual battle and need to be prepared in order to succeed.

     I am teaching a course on “Our Identity In Christ,” convinced that it is crucial for each of us, as believers, to know “who we are,” and “whose we are.”  We can take lots of other training to be equipped for service, but unless we understand our identity in Christ, we will fail.  A great example is found in the story of God’s calling Moses to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. As God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush that was not consumed, He said: “I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians….Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt. But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ ” (Ex. 3:10-13).  

     Interestingly, God didn’t answer this question for it doesn’t matter who we are, it matters who He is. He has the ability, we are to be available. God already knows that we are inadequate. That’s why He is selecting us, so that His strength might shine through our weakness, and our life might radiate His glory (see I Cor. 1:26-2:5).   The Apostle Paul, though he had an impressive list of credentials to have confidence in the flesh, counted all these things as loss and rubbish “in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:4-8). He learned that God’s grace was sufficient for all His needs and ministries, acknowledging “for when I am weak, then I am strong… Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me…” (II Cor. 12:7-10).  He testified: “And such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves, to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who made us adequate as servants of a new covenant…” (II Cor. 3:4-6).   

     Apparently Moses wasn’t listening to what God had said: “I have seen the affliction of My people…So I have come down to deliver them…” (Ex. 3:7,8).  God already told Moses that He (God) would deliver them.  In response to Moses question of “Who am I, that I should go?” God said “Certainly I will be with you…”(v. 12).  But Moses continued to argue, saying, “If I do go and they ask who sent me, what do I tell them?” (v. 13).  And God responded saying: “I AM WHO I AM…Tell them I AM has sent me to you…THIS IS MY NAME FOREVER…” (VV. 14,15).  God was referring to His name Jehovah, the holy, just, righteous God who hates sin but loves the sinner and thus provided for redemption–the eternal, self-sufficient God who was there, is there and will be there. 

     God was telling Moses who He is and that He would be going with Moses, in fact even promised, “I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say” (Ex. 4:12).  Moses just didn’t get it and continued making excuses, saying in essence, “God, you’ve got the wrong man. Send someone else!” (v. 13).   Moses was definitely having an “identity crisis.”  He needed to realize that it wasn’t about who he was at the time; it was who God was and would continue to be and that He would be with Moses. 

      When it came time for Joshua to succeed Moses and lead the people into the Promised Land, God made this promise to him: “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you” (Josh. 1:5).  Then He gave Joshua this challenge: “Be strong and courageous for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them…be careful to do all the law which Moses My servant commanded you…This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have success…Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (vv. 6-9).  

     Now, on this side of the cross and Pentecost (when God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers), as believers, we have God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit taking up residence in us the moment we trust Christ for salvation.  We have the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the resurrected Christ working in and through us. And we have the same promise as was given to Moses and Joshua: God will be with us and never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5 cf Mt. 28:18-20).  Just as was true with Moses, it is not a question of who I am; it is a matter of who He is–the almighty Creator of the universe, living in us. Jesus Christ shed His blood and laid down His life on our behalf that we could have forgiveness for what we have done (sinned) and He was resurrected and ascended back to heaven, but, through the Holy Spirit, comes to live in us to deliver us from what we are (sinners), giving us power over the sin nature which remains in us until we receive our glorified bodies. Through the indwelling triune God and through the equipping of the Word of God as it renews our minds, we are enabled to “do all things through Christ” (Phil. 4:13).  No matter what comes my way, no matter where He should lead me, nor matter what He calls me to do, “For this I have Jesus,” and He will never leave or fail me. He is my new life, so “for me to live is Christ” (Phil.1:21).   He is my new identity. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20). It is not who I am. It is whose I am!

Forever His,

Pastor Dave


About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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