Oct
08

Emotions: Moses’ Journey and Our Invitation

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mosespromisedlandI felt as if I were inside Moses’ skin yesterday morning as I meditated on Deuteronomy 31. I identified with his emotions. It was a moment when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes through my own journey to glimpse into Moses’ heart.

 
Moses, who struggled long and hard with his personal abilities, the call of God on his life, had come to the end of 120 years. He had learned so much. He’d been transformed in so many ways. 
 
He now stood confidently before the people he had led for the last forty years. The moment was painful for him and for his people. He must release them to another leader and he must do it in such a way that they don’t struggle to follow Joshua, the new leader. That took a good measure of strength, wisdom, and self-control. He loved this people. He had felt called to lead them for eighty years. 
 
The first thing Moses said to his people was that he was just not physically able to lead them any longer because the days ahead would be challenging and would require the next generation to use their energy and youthfulness to face what was ahead. 
 
And while this was completely true, somehow I felt that Moses was saying the easy thing first. It was his moment of connecting them to something they could accept more easily before he chose to share the more difficult truth.
 
This difficult was that God would not allow him to personally cross over the Jordan. Moses  owned his personal truth. He shared it with his people even though perhaps he could have been tempted to limit this moment to the physical truth of his age. He was vulnerable before the people. Previously he had been tempted to hide his vulnerability. Now he embraced it.
 
Moses had grown as a leader. He spoke for himself instead of depending on someone else. He faced truth. There was no anger in his words. His heart was for his people. He was preparing them.
 
He assured them that the Lord Himself would be crossing over before them and dealing with their enemies. Then he comforted them by telling them that Joshua would be crossing over before them. 
 
He admonished them not to be afraid. It is God who was leading them through others and God would continue to be faithful.
 
Moses had come to the place where it was no longer about him. He was secure in who he had become, a servant of God, a friend of God, a leader of the people. He led them courageously into a difficult transition. 
 
He passed the baton, so to speak, to Joshua in front of the people. Moses was deliberate in his actions and his words. This moment was so important for the people and he knew it. 
 
What had happened to the Moses who was impatient, who was angry, and who often felt incompetent? He had matured. He had allowed the work of God in his own heart. He had endured a lot of pain and difficult days. 
 
Perhaps this was his greatest moment, even greater than choosing to leave the palace and identifying with the Israelite people, even greater than the Passover, even greater than leading the people through the Red Sea, even greater than when he received the Ten Commandments. Oh surely not, you might say but can you see the beauty of what was happening? 
 
Moses stood before the people and led them from a place of acceptance, self-control, and vision. His personal struggles had quieted enough that he was aware of the big picture and the importance of the moment which was so much more than just about him and his passions and his call. 
 
 A moment when, no doubt, his emotions were sky high inside his chest. He was attune to his emotions but not enslaved to them. 
 
Perhaps tears fill his eyes. This was no easy moment. Moses was giving up a dream, one which had cost him dearly to follow.  
 
With grace and beauty, Moses led. He led without denying his personal failures. He led without anger towards God or others over his personal rights. He led with a compassion that had been tried in the furnace of tough days and purified. 
 
The journey of Moses’ life is portrayed in the Scripture in real, raw, and relevant ways. He was not a perfect man, yet he loved his God and he kept on keeping on. He grew in his humanity and in his spirituality. At the end of his life, his emotions no longer controlled him, in part because he had learned to listen to them and find out what they were telling him about his soul and his God.
 
Where are you on the journey? Do you struggle with your personal call? Does its importance seem to overshadow the big picture of what God is doing in the kingdom? Do you need to find more self-acceptance and self-awareness? Do you need God’s purifying work in your emotional life?
 
Will you embrace the journey as an invitation from God which will prepare you for the greatest moments of your life?

 

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