Moses: Faith to Leave and to Lead

All of us are leaders in one way or another. When it comes to leading there is a requirement that is given to us that involves leaving. The life of Moses teaches us what it takes to be a good leader. Moses was a great leader and through his life we can learn how to have faith to leave and to lead.
The first aspect of being a great leader is learning to leave. Now, when I say ‘leave’ I am not referring to leaving a location. The ‘leaving’ emphasized here is more of a spiritual concept of leaving rather than a physical act of leaving though at times the physical act of leaving may prove necessary. There are four things that this spiritual concept of leaving does. First of all, Leaving Surrenders Association. Notice what our text says in Hebrews 11:23-24, “By faith Moses when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” Moses found himself in a unique situation in Egypt. He could have stayed there and enjoyed living in the palaces of Pharaoh, but he did not. He realized who he was and that he did not belong in Pharaoh’s house. Unfortunately, many Christians today forget whose house they belong. We need to realize who we are and who we belong to. In order to live the life of faith there comes a time when we must surrender our associations. In other words, you cannot continue to hang out with the same people and involve yourself with those who are living in sin. This does not mean we cannot befriend people in order to win them Christ. There is a difference. We can befriend them without associating with them. We are in this world, but not of this world. You can have non-Christian friends for the purpose of trying to win them to Christ, however, you cannot participate in their sinful practices. To live the faith life, there are times when we must cut ties with those who we used to associate with and we must begin to associate with those who are a part of our Christian family.
Secondly, Leaving Abandons Sin. Notice the scripture says in verse twenty-five, “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Moses chose to suffer rather than enjoy sin. If you were given a choice to participate in a sinful practice that is actually very enjoyable or to suffer as a person of faith, what would you choose? Think about it. Sin can be fun. Sin can be enjoyable. However, the enjoyment of sin does not last. It is poison. It may taste good and smell good and look good, but in the end it brings death. In order to live the faith life we must abandon sin. We must turn away from sin and get as far away from it as possible.
A third thing that we see concerning this aspect of leaving is that Leaving Embraces Affliction and Reproach. Notice what it says in verse twenty-five once again, “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” And in verse twenty-six we find, “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” In his commentary on the epistle to the Hebrews, Homer Kent writes: “The treasures of Egypt were considerable. The wealth and opulence of the Eighteenth Dynasty is well known from the remains of tombs and temples. The fabulous treasures discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen, a later pharaoh in this dynasty, speak eloquently of the luxuries available to royalty in Egypt. Moses, however, deliberately made a choice that placed such luxuries beyond his reach. Yet our author says that he did so as a result of evaluating the worth of them as compared to the wealth inherent in the reproach of Christ.” It is obvious that Moses knew of the coming Messiah. This truth is also seen in many of saints of the Old Testament. There was revelation made to them concerning Jesus and they trusted in the coming Messiah for salvation. Moses was focused on his relationship with Christ rather than the treasures of Egypt. He embraced the affliction and reproach of following Christ rather than enjoy the treasures of Egypt. What about us? Do we embrace affliction and reproach? Living for Jesus is a fun and exciting life, however, it also brings with it an element of suffering and persecution. The question for us to consider is whether or not we are willing to put aside our earthly treasures in order to follow Jesus. How far are you willing to go for the cause of Christ?
A final aspect of leaving is that Leaving Forsakes Bondage. In verse twenty-seven it says, “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” As Homer Kent says, “Here was Biblical faith in perfect demonstration.” Moses forsook Egypt. The land of Egypt symbolizes the bondage we have to sin. The Bible teaches us that sin has a way of holding us captive. It wraps its chains around us and grips us, hindering us from fulfilling God’s perfect plan for lives. In order to live the faith life and be strong God-honoring leaders, we must forsake the bondage of sin. This can only be accomplished through faith in the amazing grace of God. What is it that holds you back? What sin keeps you captive? Place that sin under the blood of Jesus and let the cross set you free so that you can live the faith life.
Not only do we learn from the life of Moses how we can have faith to leave, but we also learn how we can have faith to lead. As mentioned earlier, all of us are leaders one way or another. We all have people that look up to us and follow us. The question is, how are you leading? There are three aspects of leadership that we see from the life of Moses. First of all, Leading Makes Worship a Priority. Notice what the scripture says in verse twenty-eight, “Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” Moses kept the Passover. He worshiped. It was a priority in his life. In order to be a good leader you must live a life of worship. Our entire purpose in life is to bring glory to God. Everything we do is to be an act of worship. You can live the life of faith, you cannot be a good leader, unless your entire life brings glory to God. Do you bring glory to God through the way that you live? Is worship a priority in your life?
Secondly, Leading Requires Sacrifice. In verse twenty-eight, Moses made sacrifice to God. In order to be a good leader and to live the life of faith it requires an element of sacrifice. As we talked about earlier, ‘leaving’ in itself is a sacrifice. It’s not easy to give up sin. It is not easy to cut ties with people we have known. It is not easy to free ourselves from the bondage of sin. Those in leadership make huge sacrifices. These sacrifices are not enjoyable by any means, but they are imperative to be a good leader and living the faith life. The question for us to consider is, how much of a sacrifice are we willing to make? Are we willing to give up the pleasures of this life and our own personal comfort in order to live the life of faith?
A final aspect of leadership that we see in the life of Moses is that fact that Leading Dictates Determination. Verse twenty-nine reads, “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land; which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.” Moses and the children of Israel were determined to leave Egypt and head to the promise land. In order to be a good leader and to live the life of faith there must be a determination about us. Living a life of faith is not easy. It is something that we must make up our minds to do every day, we must be determined. How determined are you to live the faith life? How determined are you to be a godly leader?
Moses was a great man of faith. His faith gave him the power to leave and to lead. How is your faith? May our prayer be that God would give us the faith of Moses to leave those things that we must put behind and to press forward as strong godly leaders in this world.

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