By Pst. Barnie Achoki
Moses said to the LORD, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people." The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." – Exodus 33:12-14
THE ISRAELITES COMPLAINED & GRUMBLED:
Leading the children of Israel in the wilderness was one of the most difficult things that any leader would have asked for. Imagine leading almost a million people in the wilderness, people who have lived most of their lives in slavery and in a foreign land. These people kept complaining and grumbling each time they encountered a difficulty. They kept reminding Moses how he should have left them in Egypt to die there instead of bringing them out in the wilderness to die. They quickly forgot their afflictions in Egypt and the great miracles God had performed for them beginning with parting the Red Sea.
Just like us, each time the Israelites encountered something difficult, they complained and grumbled against Moses and by extension against God. And so here Moses is inquiring about whom God will send him with. He acknowledges here that he needs help, he can’t do this by himself.
AUTHORS OFTEN FORGET THEIR SOURCE:
As experienced Authors, we may come to a place where we forget our source. Where we think it’s because of our expertise and experience that we have gotten here. Or we may be in that place where we are stuck, we have run out of ideas. For an author that can be a very frustrating time, you want to write but the ideas are not flowing. That’s when like Moses, we need to acknowledge that we need God. We need Him to go with us; to inspire us; and to give us those ideas.
TEACH ME YOUR WAYS GOD:
Secondly Moses asks God, “Please teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” Notice here that he doesn’t ask for strength, more power or even grace to lead these stubborn people. He doesn’t ask for strategy or wisdom to do so. He asks to be taught the ways of God so he may know God.
As Authors, it is out of learning God’s ways that we can be able to make Him known and teach others His ways – be it in life, relationships, work, business or whatever niche you are passionate about. May this be our constant prayer, “Teach me your ways so that I may know you God.” And you know what? So often our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts. As high as the heavens are from the earth, so high are His ways from our ways, and His thoughts from ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
May God teach us His ways during this COVID-19 season that we may come to experientially know Him for ourselves. Like Job, may this be our testimony, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5). It is that experiential knowledge, that which our eyes have seen that people are waiting for. Not just what we have heard. That’s what makes our writing authentic (just like our preaching).
MY PRESENCE WILL GO WITH HIM AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.
God’s response to Moses here is very interesting. He assures Moses that His presence will go with him “and I will give you rest.” Notice He doesn’t promise him power, possessions, prosperity or even influence and ability to lead these people. He promises him His rest. The wonderful thing that this COVID-19 has done to us, and I hope we come to realize this, is that it has paused our lives. Our lives are in a PAUSE. This is an opportune time for us as Authors to pause and reflect. There’s nothing as powerful as a reflection. When we reflect, we realize the mistakes or progress we have made, what needs to be recalibrated and adjusted, and what lessons we are learning. This is enough fodder to load our weapons with in order to write those books that will inspire, instruct and inform others.
REST IS A WEAPON
In my few years of writing, one thing that I have come to appreciate is rest. We often don’t realize how depleted we are from our busy schedules. As a result of this, we find ourselves running on empty, no longer having any fresh manna to feed our readers. Writing from the inside out is one of the most powerful things that any Author can do. Let our books be written out of the overflow of a soul that has been filled and refreshed as we rest. May our souls as Authors be restored by these still waters (the lack of so much activity).
Did you know that the first four letters of the word restore is REST? It is until we are rested that our souls can be restored. The original meaning of the word restore is to make better than the original. And so let us see this season as a time that God is giving us rest. And as we rest, may we be restored, made better than before so that streams of living water may flow from us.