People Who Say Such Things: Understand the Obedience of Faith



March 14, 2020

Exodus 3:12 (NIV)

12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”


Previously, at the un-burning bush, God said to Moses,

So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

To which Moses replied,

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

Here may be the most beautiful and powerful part of the whole encounter. Behold God’s answer to Moses’ “Who am I” question.

“I will be with you. . .” 

God did not tell Moses why he was selected for the mission. He didn’t say a single word about Moses qualifications or lack thereof. God did not attempt to build up Moses’ sense of self-worth or credibility or give him a pep talk or say, “You can do this Moses!” The answer to “Who am I. . . ” was

“I will be with you. . .”

In the face of impossible things and insurmountable challenges God doesn’t ask us to go and develop a strategic plan, and then raise a gazillion dollars to “make it happen.” The truth? If it can be done with a strategic plan and a gazillion dollars it’s not big enough for God. 

Get back in touch with the moment. The God of the cosmos makes an appearance through an un-burning bush on the far side of the wilderness to an octogenarian sheep herder and says I am sending you to rescue and deliver a nation of a million or more slaves from their oppressor, a man who happens to be the most powerful person in the world leading the most powerful nation on the planet. 

I love how Timothy Tennent, my boss and the President of our Seminary (and parent company), Asbury Theological Seminary, challenges me. He says we must attempt something so big that unless God intervenes it is destined to fail. That’s what Seedbed and the New Room are all about (i.e. Sowing for a Great Awakening), and though it does require immense strategic praying, planning, and gazillions of dollars, only God can do a Great Awakening. And to all of our quandaries about impossible things and our quizzical inquiries about improbable outcomes, he responds with,  

“I will be with you. . .”

And he says the very same thing to you. It’s fascinating to jump a thousand and five hundred or so years later to another un-burning bush moment on the mountain of God. This time it’s the Son of God, our risen Lord, Jesus Christ, with eleven disciples in tow. 

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20. 

It’s like deja vu, right? He said, “Go,” I am sending you. They probably thought, “Who are we?” And he closes with “I am with you.” 

So there’s one more bit here. God gave Moses the sign of how he would know it was actually the God of Heaven and Earth who was sending him to do these impossible things. 

And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

“I will be with you,” though a rock solid promise can seem a little touchy-feely at times. “You will worship God on this mountain,” is a quite tangible, measurable, KPI kind of outcome. Still, here’s the kicker: You receive the confirmation as a consequence of obedience to the vision. The sign comes after, not before. That’s why we call it the obedience of faith. 

Remember, though, it starts with a good old fashioned, “Here am I!” 

People who say such things . . . 


Father, I want to be a person who says such things. Here am I! Fill me with the fullness of Jesus. Here am I! Give me the audacity of Moses, to even have the guts to continue such a conversation with the Almighty. I claim the faith to trust a confirmation that comes after obedience rather than insisting on a sign as a precondition. Come Holy Spirit, and train me to be such a person of faith. I pray in Jesus name, Amen. 


How are you stirred by today’s text and reflection? Do you sense the Spirit calling forth your audacity? Your obedience? Your faith? Are you declaring, “Here am I!” ???

If you are 60+ and missed the invitation to an ongoing sidebar with me exploring the meaning and possibilities of the years between 60 and Heaven—the years I am calling your Kingdom Prime—check in with your name, email, and address here now.

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt


Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.