Posted: 9/28/18 at 9:20am. Column by Ed Jordan.
Almost two decades ago, my wife and I were sensing that the time of relocating to a new ministry was approaching. We had led our church at that time for 11 years and seen it grow in both numbers and health. While the work was thriving, I had led them as far as I could lead them. They needed a different kind of leader for the next phase of growth, and we needed a new challenge.
As we began to think about a new place of ministry, we felt God leading us to explore international missions—more specifically, to explore the possibility of serving as missionaries in eastern Europe.
It took us almost two years to go through the hiring process to become an employee with an assignment overseas in Hungary.
We sold everything we had—except for what would fit into three small crates—which a truck picked up from our driveway. We did not see them again for 16 months.We also took 13 footlockers of clothes, books, and other necessities to keep us going for a year.
Upon arrival in Hungary, we spent months doing governmental paperwork to get necessary legal documents while settling our family of four into a two-room furnished apartment of 110 square feet and starting university classes in a foreign language.
How could we do such a thing? What would motivate someone to do that? The answer is similar to what happened to Moses in Exodus 3:10 (ESV), where we read: “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
God made it clear as he spoke to us through the Bible, through open and closed doors, and through steps of faith that we took. God was calling us to go to Hungary to help Hungarian Baptists as they tried to train workers to serve in the new opportunities available once the Soviet Union’s communistic control was removed from the country.
If we had focused on the difficulties, we might not have gone. But instead, we focused upon God and the fact that God had called us and opened the door for us to go.
I don’t say all this is to pat ourselves on the back, but rather to say that wherever and whenever God calls, that is the best place to be. That could be across the world or across the street.
There are three words to notice in the first seven words of Ex. 3:10, when God said: “Come, I will send you to deliver.”
“Come.” That word means that God is going in front of you, or walking beside you. God didn’t say “Go,” but rather he said “Come.”
Moses was not going alone into Egypt, nor would he accomplish his work for God alone. God was going in front of him and walking beside him. When you are following God, God is walking in front of you. There is nothing scary about what we might face when God is going in front of us and clearing the way.
The second word is I will “send” you. This is, at its heart, a missions word. In Latin it is the word from which we get “missile.” It is something sent to a particular place, along a particular course, with a particular purpose or mission. God was both with Moses and in front of Moses, but also acknowledging that Moses had a course to run and a particular mission to accomplish.
God was sending Moses to “deliver” God’s people out of Egypt and to lead them into the promised land. In verse 7 God says that he had heard the cry of the oppressed people and that he was going to deliver them. In verse 10 God sends Moses to deliver the people.
Both are true. God will deliver, but God is partnering up with Moses, so it will be through Moses that God will deliver God’s people.
Think of this: God chooses us, to partner with him, to be used to carry out God’s saving work in the world. When God wants to get something done, God invites a person to be the instrument through whom God works. And when we obey, even when it is hard and scary, there are always great blessings.
God says to you: “Come, let’s go together, and get done what God needs to do.”
What is God calling you to join him in accomplishing?