Lord, Send Someone Else

Lord, Send Someone Else

It is no secret that foreign mission work is difficult. It requires you to move away from your friends and family, away from the comforts of home. Upon stepping off the plane you are immediately thrown into a whole new world. The food is different. The smells are different. They don’t speak English everywhere. They drive on the other side of the road. In some areas, maybe they don’t have electricity. They worship false gods. It is so easy to say, “Lord, I just don’t think I am cut out for this. Surely, there are more qualified people who You can send.” We look at ourselves in the mirror of the task at hand and we start pointing at all of our weaknesses. We think our weaknesses will somehow prove to God that we aren’t the ones he wants, like we know better. You see, we like to use our weaknesses to make excuses, but God wants to use them to demonstrate His power.

Remember what Moses said to God that day at the burning bush? Moses, one of the greatest and godliest men in all of history actually told God to “send someone else (Exodus 4:13).” Was it because He didn’t know God was truly with Him? No! YHWH (I AM WHO I AM) was speaking to Him from a burning bush that wasn’t being consumed. God had shown him that he would confirm Moses’ words with signs and wonders (staff turning into the serpent, Moses’ hand becoming diseased then healed again, God’s promise to turn the Nile water to blood). Even after God reassured Moses that He would help him to speak and teach him what to say, Moses still asked God to send someone else. It was never truly about weakness. It was always a matter of willingness.

The Bible says that God’s anger burned against Moses over his unwillingness (Exodus 4:14). As a result, God told Moses to tell his brother Aaron about the things he heard from Him. Aaron was a gifted speaker, so he would the spokesperson. This seemed like a good idea. Moses hears from God, Moses tells Aaron, and Aaron tells the people. But this isn’t what God had initially commanded Moses in verse 12:

Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say (my emphasis added).”

And as we see later on in the Old Testament, Moses would face many problems because of his brother. Aaron was the one who led the construction and worship of the golden calf. Aaron’s sons tried to worship God with strange fire and were killed for it. Aaron even led a rebellion against Moses at one point. Aaron’s ability didn’t necessarily produce a willingness to follow God’s commands. Moses would learn this the hard way.

If God calls you to go, then He wants to use you—with all of your weaknesses and shortcomings. He knows that you can’t do it in your own strength. That’s the point! There has only ever been one perfect missionary and His name is Jesus. Moses led God’s people out of slavery in Egypt, but only Jesus can lead people out of slavery from sin. This is the message we have been given to tell the nations: “Jesus can set you free! He did it for me.” When that is your focus, all of the difficulties about got to live in a foreign land seem to fade into the periphery. All of your weaknesses, doubts, and insecurities become in some ways irrelevant. The God of the universe has called you out; He wants to use you as His messenger to the nations. How can we make excuses when people are perishing? The only acceptable response to God is one of willingness: “Please, Lord, send me!”