As I have been studying through Exodus for Sunday school, I noticed something about Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush. I noticed a triangle. Look with me at Exodus 3:7-10.
In verses seven and nine, we read that the Israelites have cried out to God. In verse eight we see what God is going to do in response to their cry – He’s going to come down and deliver them and move them to a better place. Then in verse ten we see how He’s going to do it – He’s sending Moses.
Now, the truth is that Moses wasn’t an overly willing tool. He had a good life. Although he did know and remember the fate of his people, he had tried once to help and ended up having to flee. He wasn’t successful then, and now he had a life in which he was content. (There were, at least, no threats on his life!) If I were an enslaved Israelite overhearing this conversation between God and Moses, I wouldn’t be too confident about God’s choice for my deliverance.
But God was.
The Israelites didn’t cry out to Moses. They cried to God. Moses tried once on his own to help his people and failed miserably. So, he left and didn’t look back – until God informed him that His plan included Moses. Are you seeing the triangle with me? The people cry out to God…God calls Moses…Moses, through the power of God, meets the needs of the people.
I absolutely love having the privilege of seeing God work this way. But, all too often we cut Him out and end up with a line instead of a triangle. And so often the line has a beginning point, but no ending – a need without knowledge of where to find help or a helper without knowledge of where to find a need to meet. We share our prayer requests with one another from desperate hearts, hoping that someone will hear what we have to say and be moved by God to help us. But, somehow we neglect to really interact with God about our needs.
Now, I’m not speaking against sharing prayer requests. I think it’s helpful to open up to one another. What I am saying is that when we depend fully on God to meet our needs and listen to Him (instead of the pleas of others) for ways we can meet the needs of others, there is a perfect success in the fulfillment of our needs. Not only that, but God is truly and incredibly glorified because it is obvious that it is His hand working through His people to meet the needs of His people.
Only God can truly answer our prayers wholly and completely. When we try to step in and do for each other without His direction – or when we seek help from one another and leave Him out of the triangle – we miss seeing the awesome power of God. His work today might play out a little differently than it did then, but it is no less powerful. It is no less miraculous. It is no less glorifying to His Name. Oh that we would let Him do His work!