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What if They Don't Believe?

Words of Faith Final

What if They Don't Believe?
Words of Faith 9-19-2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Exodus 4
Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The Lord did not appear to you'?"
[2] Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied.
[3] The Lord said, "Throw it on the ground."
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. [4] Then the Lord said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. [5] "This," said the Lord, "is so 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] Then the Lord said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.
[7] "Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
[8] Then the Lord said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. [9] But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."

What if they don't believe me?
Moses' first objection was, "Who am I to do this great task?" The second was, "What if they ask who You are?" The third objection reflects an underlying fear that can plague every witness, evangelist, or preacher: What if they don't believe me? What if they don't listen? Or worse, what if they mock me saying, "The Lord did not appear to you?" What if they say my witness is false?
Moses would have a double task. First, he had to convince the Hebrew people that God had revealed Himself personally to him and that they were to leave the security of slavery and follow him into the desert. The second task was to convince Pharaoh to let the people of God go. Both seemed impossible.
The Lord showed great consideration for the concerns of Moses. He gave Moses three signs that would serve as credentials of authenticity. Two of these, God demonstrated immediately, but the third was saved for the future.
Interestingly, each miraculous sign required an act of faith on the part of Moses. He had to cast his staff to the ground. Moses would look rather foolish if he did this before people and nothing happened. He also had to hide his hand in his cloak and then withdraw it. His hand might well have come out just the same. He would also have to pour some water from the Nile onto dry ground. He might have ended up with... well, wet ground. In each case, the Lord would demonstrate His presence, power, and authority, but Moses had to first act in faith.
As we give our testimony or share the Good News of Christ, our greatest underlying fear may be that those listening will not believe. This can be a fear rooted in pride-- "What if I look silly?" But it may also be a fear rooted in concern for those we speak to-- "What if they don't believe?" In the big picture, we must release all these concerns to the Lord. My witness is not about me. It is not about how I may look or appear to others. My witness is about the truth of Christ. My witness is not about "success". It is not about getting through. The outcome or "success" will be determined by the Lord. All I can do is be obedient.
The Lord has probably not entrusted to you or me the sort of miraculous signs demonstrated by Moses, but God operates in the same way today. He calls us to act- to step out in faith- even in simple ways. When we are obedient to God in faith, He is faithful to respond. The miracle we see may be that someone we thought would never respond actually listens. The miracle may be the healing of a heart that we never thought possible. The sign may be a miraculous change that only God could have produced.
The key for us is not to duplicate the miracles of Moses but to listen for the direction of God for us. We may be asked to drop something out of our hand that gives us security. Or we may be directed to step out in a way that seems silly. When we listen, trust and obey, God will show up. Our "audience" may or may not believe. We are only responsible for being obedient.

Father, I am listening. Make me obedient this day as I seek to be Your witness. Show me what it is that You want me to do. Show me what it is You want me to release from my hand into Yours. I will trust and obey. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2022 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.