Despite the many ways in which Moses failed, he bears the title Friend of God, and that is good news for us. We, the stumbling, frail servants of a great God, need just such grace in serving Him. For us to speak for God, it will take God working mightily in us. God normally revealed himself through visions and dreams, but not so with His servant Moses. With scared, self-effacing Moses, God spoke “face to face, clearly and not in riddles” (Numbers 12:6-8).
Having grown comfortable tending sheep in the desert, he did not crave the spotlight. This made him the perfect choice to lead God’s people.
We who are eager for the stage will go to the stage of our own accord and speak from our own frail wisdom. We need no encouragement to step up, but the humble heart fearful of stealing God’s glory speaks most effectively for God. We can speak for God. Each of us can speak for God. All of us can speak for God, and all of us must. Humility that shuns the spotlight sometimes produces the most malleable voices for God.
Wanting to speak for God is not wrong; but speaking for God may mean obscurity not fame, persecution, not praise. The trouble is that most of us want the warmth of the fire without the pain of the flame. We desire the fame that comes from a life fully devoted to God, though our lives are not fully devoted to God. We want to speak His words, although we remain ignorant of His scripture. However, if we want to speak His truth, we must know His word. This was the core of Jesus’ prayer for us: “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17).
To those who had followed Him throughout his ministry, to the men he had schooled day and night, to His devoted disciples he gave this instruction: “Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:18-19).
We must begin and end there, then, where our Lord left off. We must draw near to Him and “share in His suffering” so that we have something to say. Then we must be willing to leave to God the increase. What is fame, after all, compared to God calling us His friend?