During my first few years of high school teaching, I was unsure about so many things. I was trying so hard to impress my students and fearing failure at every turn. But there was one interaction that temporarily jarred me out of my insecurity. The principal stopped me one day in the hallway and asked if I would consider being his assistant principal. As a man whom I had grown to respect and love, I felt honored by such an offer. Yet underneath, I was dumbfounded. What could he possibly see in me that would make such a request plausible, even credible? Perhaps he had made a terrible mistake in his choice. Perhaps he didn’t really see the unsure person inside of me. After considering his offer for some time, I graciously declined, not because of insecurity but because I knew my place was in the classroom. Moving into an administrative post would have taken me out of my core gifts and strengths. But that one interaction and offer has stayed with me all these years. The principal saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. He saw me as a leader and called me out as one.
Recently, I read the story of Moses’ calling and recognized the parallel to my story. Moses saw himself as a murderer and a fugitive, resigned to end his remaining days as a shepherd in the remote Sinai desert, but God saw something else. He saw a leader and a prophet, the one He had chosen to shepherd His people through the desert and into the Promised Land. Like me, Moses was also dumbfounded by the offer: “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Ex. 3:11). He was resistant, thinking that God had made a terrible mistake in His choice, but God eventually overcame his resistance. Despite all of Moses’ objections and questions, he answered the call. The rest of the story is one of the great redemptive epics of all time.
The wonder of the gospel message is that you can start seeing the man He sees in you.
Moses’ story is certainly unique, but the way God dealt with him isn’t. God created us out of love, put distinct gifts in us, and knows what will give us joy. But we are often blinded by our insecurities, fears, and shame. We cannot see ourselves as He sees us, so we respond to His initiatives with resistance. But what if God is calling us out to do and become what we were created for? What if His calling is our deepest joy? What if in answering that calling, even if it means walking into terrible unknowns, we find the life that we have been looking for as men? Yet how do we know for sure? What guarantee are we given if we jump?
The answer to this last question is the answer Moses got to his initial one. In response, God didn’t give him a verbal resume concerning his preparation and gifts for such a job. He didn’t give him a pep talk or offer him five strategies for success. Instead, He responded with five simple words: “I will be with you” (v.12). This is the answer He gives all throughout the Bible to insecure and fearful men. It’s the same answer He gives to us today. As we follow His calling on our lives, we get His company, His voice, and His coaching. It’s what we really need to live out our destinies. It's all we need to live out our destinies.
So what does God see in you as a man? It's undoubtedly more than you see in yourself. The wonder of the gospel message is that you can start seeing the man He sees in you.
And when you answer His call, you can start becoming that man.
Bill Delvaux is a graduate of Duke University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has served as a pastor and a high school Bible teacher. Presently, he leads Landmark Journey Ministries as a speaker, small group coach, and author of Divided: When the Head and Heart Don’t Agree and Landmarks: Turning Points on Your Journey Toward God. Bill also serves as content editor for Stand Firm, LifeWay's devotional magazine for men. He and his wife have two grown daughters and reside in Franklin, TN. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillDelvaux.