Scripture Reading: Exodus 19
How many people will be affected by what you do this week? Chances are, it will be more people than any of us might realize.
We all have a “sphere of influence,” people with whom we have contact throughout the week, people who can be influenced by the way we live our lives. It may include people in our own family, people where we work, or people where we just hang out. It may include a bank teller, a postal worker, a doctor, a nurse or a receptionist. It may include people at church, people on the Internet, or people we don’t even know, who are watching what we do.
And what we do matters.
Take a look at what happened when Moses was obedient to God’s call on his life, taking steps of faith even when surrounded by doubt. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, and called him to set the Israelites free, Moses hesitated to believe it. But God assured Moses that he was the man. To confirm it, God told Moses He would give him a sign:
“I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain” (Exodus 3:2).
Now if I were Moses, I think I would have been a little bit frustrated that the sign would only come after I had taken this huge step of faith! Why would God wait until after the Israelites were free, and worshiping Him back at this same mountain, to give Moses “the sign”?
To see why, fast forward several months. In Exodus chapter 19, we see that the sign wasn’t just for Moses, but also for those in Moses’ new sphere of influence.
When Moses stepped out in faith, and the people came back to the mountain to worship God, that became a sign that anyone could read. As the people gathered there at the foot of the mountain, God told Moses to remind the people:
“You yourselves have seen what I [God] did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.”
The people heard this and responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.”
Then God speaks these words to Moses:
“I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you’ ” (from Exodus 19:3-9).
God wasn’t done with Moses when they got to the mountain. God still had many years of work ahead for him, and God needed the people to always put their trust in Moses so that they would follow his lead.
Sometimes the signs God gives us are not just for us, but for others to read, too. When we step out in faith, being obedient to what God has called us to do, it releases others to step out in faith and obedience as well.
A few years ago, I felt God wanted me to head up a city-wide outreach here in town. With more than a little fear in my heart, I finally brought up the idea at our local ministers’ meeting. Within a year, we had over 200 people involved in planning and pulling off this event.
Looking back, I realized that my stepping out in faith, and doing what God had called me to do, was a catalyst for others to step out in faith, and do what God had called them to do.
People are affected by what we do.
What is God calling you to do? Remember that you may not be the only one who is affected by what you do or don’t do. None of us live in isolation. In fact, the sign that God gives you to show that He really is with you may just be the sign someone else needs to read! Then they’ll be able to see that God is with them, too!
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.