- Lisa Betz
Slave or Sovereign
I was recently reading some of the excerpts in the Bible about Moses. Moses was born as a member of a slave class but was raised up as a member of the royal household. In Exodus 2:11-14 we see his two worlds collide.
"11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”
14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
Moses was a member of the royal household he needed only to command the Egyptian to stop and, if they were wise the would have stopped. So I began thinking, why did Moses act the way he did? Why act out of emotion instead of authority? Moses did not use the authority given to him because he looked at himself and questioned his identity. Though he was a member of Pharaoh's house he considered himself less, somehow unworthy. He considered his position to be based on who he was, rather than on the fact that God, through Pharaoh's daughter, had elevated him to be a sovereign of Egypt. Because he had an internal focus he reacted based on anger and his faults. He set aside the place of position that God had set him in and turned to sinful paths and away from God.
How often do we do likewise? How often do we face circumstances that cause us to question our identity? We may not think we do this but I challenge us all to prayerfully consider this question. How often do we face a life circumstance and feel like we don't have the ability to overcome it? How often do we struggle with a decision or perhaps even a person at work? What about our neighbor or a family member. How often do we resign ourselves to the mentality that "that is just the way it is, or perhaps just they way I am". God made us co-heirs with Christ! We cannot abdicate our authority and handle things in our flesh. He has given us everything we need and most of all He has given us the Holy Spirit who is MORE than enough!
What happens when Moses later confronts a fellow Hebrew who was beating another member of the Hebrew community? They scorn him as a hypocrite and they no longer recognize his position. So Moses in failing to take up the authority given to him not only sins himself but is incapable of helping his Hebrew brothers. We must get past the identity issues that have plagued the church for so long and embrace the position to which God has called us. It is not because we are worthy and able but because He is!
We need to move from a slave mentality to a sovereign mentality. A good sovereign is one who is moved by love for their people. They don't carry royal authority out of entitlement or arrogance but rather out of a heart to see people joined to the kingdom. The bible tells in 1 John 4:17
"17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus."
He has called us to a place of kingdom royalty let us embrace it so that we might show others how great is His love for them!