February 24, Sunday

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Speaking Before Others“

Exodus 6:30

But Moses said to the Lord, “Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?”

As a pastor, I preach a few times a month now, but it wasn’t long ago that I was incredibly fearful of public speaking.  I remember when I first told my mom about feeling called to ministry about 12 years ago, one of the first things she said (in Chinese) was, “But you’re so scared of talking in front of people.”  She was right, of course. A couple of years after that, I was tasked with the simple assignment of giving announcements at services on a regular basis. The first time I was frightened despite preparing for hours.  But even after doing it dozens of times later, giving announcements would give me so much anxiety. You can guess how I felt then when I was asked to preach.

I can only imagine how Moses felt as he was called to speak before Pharaoh.  Whereas I was being asked to speak before a friendly and receptive church crowd, Moses, on the other hand, was going before a king who likely thought of himself as a god and demanding that he do something that was completely against his own self-interests.  Pharaoh was a one man hostile crowd. On top of this, Moses was being asked to go to Pharaoh for the second time, after having been harshly rejected the first time. I think we can all understand why Moses tells God that he isn’t capable.

Speaking about God to others, friendly or hostile, can be nerve-wracking.  The reason Moses struggled—and the reason many of us struggle—is that when we stand before others to speak, we feel the spotlight.  We can sense all of the eyes fixed on us, looking at us and hearing us, like everyone is noticing all of our weaknesses. Just like many of us, Moses in this moment is reacting out of his insecurity.  

So how do we overcome our insecurities and fear of speaking before others?  My solution was and is still… worship. Whenever we’re faced with our insecurity or inadequacy, the answer is to take our eyes off of ourselves and direct them to God.  It can be frightening to speak to others about Jesus, but if in those moments, we can remember who we are speaking for through worship, we can speak with confidence knowing that it is not about us,but it is about Him.  

Most of us are not preaching from the pulpit this Lord’s day, but all of us have opportunities to speak about Jesus to others.  Whether we speak to 300 people or to one, let us fix our eyes on Jesus and find the strength to speak boldly for His name’s sake.

Prayer: Jesus, give me a heart of worship this today.  Help me to fix my eyes on You and not myself, and give me the words and the boldness to proclaim Your Name to others. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Matthew 13

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