Jennifer Kim, a graduate of Boston University, spent a year in Shanghai as one-year intern from 2013-14. She is currently serving as a staff at Catalyst Agape Church (New Jersey) while attending Alliance Theological Seminary.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
Overcoming Fear to Serve God
Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” 2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” 3 And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. 4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— 5 “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” 6 Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow. 7 Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. 8 “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. 9 If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.” 10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.
While many have heard the testimony of my time serving in Shanghai, not as many people know about the long two-year journey I had wrestling with God before I obeyed Him to serve overseas. On a regular Friday night worship service, our church was singing the song, “How Great is Our God,” and while I was meditating upon the words, I was so encompassed by the truth of the lyrics of how majestic and awesome our God is. Captured by His presence, I prayed to the Lord, “There is nothing more that I want than to serve the awesome God You are for the rest of my life.” Immediately after, I heard the Lord say to me, “Then will you go.” While this was one of the greatest moments of my faith, it also became one of my most shameful moments, because while I had just prayed this prayer of submission to the Lord, the moment God asked me to go overseas a fear came upon me, and all I could say was, “God I can’t do that.”
In today’s passage, Moses encounters the living God through a burning bush, and immediately after, the Lord commissions Moses to go to Egypt to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh. While Moses is in the midst of God’s presence and given this incredible calling to be used by God, he wonders how he could be used for such a task as this, sharing all his doubts to the Lord. Yet the Lord addresses all of Moses’ fear by telling him exactly what to say to Pharaoh (3:13-22), by showing him miracle after miracle to show His incredible power (4:1-7). God even eases Moses’ insecurity regarding his inability to speak by allowing him to bring his brother Aaron (4:13-17).
My greatest insecurity regarding God’s commission to serve the Lord overseas was my fear of leaving my comfort zone, as well as the reaction of my non-Christian parents. For the next year, God addressed all of those insecurities when I had to be re-located to another state for a job and saw God’s amazing provision in my life, and when my parents gave me their full blessing to serve in China. While I had never asked God to ease these insecurities, He showed me powerfully that He is the God of miracles and the sustainer of our lives, and thus I could trust that He would be with me in Shanghai.
God has called each and every one of us to serve His Kingdom. We may struggle through fear and doubt, but I want to encourage you today to be honest about these fears. Ask God to show you His provision and grace, so that you may align yourself to God’s calling over your life. For: “God will supply all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
Prayer: God, what an amazing privilege it is to join Your Kingdom work. Help me to surrender my fears to You so that I may serve faithfully in all that You ask of me. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: John 5-6