Scripture Reading: Exodus 18:17-19
What could you do to lighten the load of all that God wants you to do? As a summary of the last nine lessons, here’s a short list of some of the things God had Moses do to lighten his load. These things not only lightened his load, but they allowed God to accomplish through Moses all that God wanted to do. Maybe they could help you to accomplish more, too.
1) Delegate. Jethro helped Moses to see that Moses would only wear himself out unless he involved others in the work.
2) Write it down. God helped Moses to write down what he had already learned from God, and would need to know in the future, so that Moses could share this wisdom with others.
3) Trust God’s timing. God showed Moses a huge vision for what He wanted to do through Moses, but God also told him that it wouldn’t happen overnight, but rather, little by little.
4) Listen for God’s specific instructions. God spoke in specific detail about how God wanted the people to do the work―and Moses listened.
5) Give dignity and honor to those serving with you. God showed Moses not only specific ways to involve others, but also how to give them dignity and honor for their work.
By putting a system in place, Moses was able to multiply the number of people who could experience the freedom God had in mind for them, including us today who still benefit from those words. Moses still had meaningful work to do, but he was relieved from having to do it all himself.
As I wrote this lesson, I had just returned from a missions trip to Africa. My wife and I had been wanting to do something to help the people of Africa in some way, but we had no idea what to do. The problems facing that continent are overwhelming. But after voicing our desire to each other and to God, God showed us a way that we cold help. He invited us to join a missions trip to Swaziland to plant hundreds of small vegetable gardens in people’s backyards.
The project was simple enough in theory, but took a huge amount of planning and effort to make it work in practice. We certainly couldn’t have done it alone. Thankfully, we didn’t have to.
God raised up people to help in dozens of ways: donors who funded the trip, drivers who helped us get through the mountains, pastors who went ahead of us to prepare the people for what we were going to do, translators who helped us interact with the local people, administrators who handled the logistics for our team, and secretaries who arranged hundreds of details during the week.
If we had tried to do this alone, the five of us who went from Streator might have planted five or ten gardens the whole week. But, by involving others, God was able to use our team of 80 volunteers, working alongside the beautiful people of Swaziland, to plant and distribute over 8,000 of these small vegetable gardens. Over the past few years, thousands of volunteers, on dozens of similar trips, have been able to plant and distribute hundreds of thousands of these life-giving gardens.
I often think that I’m the one that has to accomplish the whole vision that God puts on my heart. While I’m willing to do the work, I get overwhelmed because there’s too much work to do. The truth is there is too much work to do―at least for one person. But by involving others, we can finish the work together.
If you feel overwhelmed by the visions that God has put on your heart, remember that Moses needed help, too. Remember Jethro’s words to Moses:
“What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you…” (Exodus 18:17b-19a).
Moses took Jethro’s advice by involving others―and God was with him. May God be with you, too.
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.