There is a strange dichotomy when it comes to serving God. We want to serve Him, but often it is on our terms and not His. We want to be used by God and would love to distinguish ourselves by doing something great for Him. But our desire is often based on our own idea of how we can best serve Him and what we think we have to offer Him.
God however does not choose us to serve Him based on our desire nor our self estimation of our usefulness to Him. In fact to the contrary, God usually chooses us when we are least likely to want to do it and are feeling totally inadequate and unqualified to do it.
Moses is the poster child for this dichotomy. As a young man he set out in his own strength and timing to be God’s man of faith and power to deliver the Israelites from Egyptians. His ill conceived plan backfired on him and he ended up fleeing for his life. Ironically it took forty years of desert exile to divest him of all spiritual ambition in order that God could finally use him.
When God interrupted Moses’ comfortable life with the burning bush and called him to return to Egypt Moses balked. “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” he protested. (Exodus 3:11) This was just the first of four major excuses that Moses sought to use to wiggle out of God’s call to use him. God’s responses to these objections give us insight into what serving God is really all about.