Heat but No Light

Exodus 2:11-14; Acts 7:20-29

Moses believed he was to be the deliverer, many years before he received his recommission at the burning bush. He assumed everyone else would realize it too.

The passage goes on to tell us, “On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting” (Acts 7:26).

Now why did he go back to the scene of the crime? I think he returned to carry out his plan. He’d proved his loyalty to the Hebrews by striking down an Egyptian official. That was Plan A. Now for Plan B. He would return to the scene of his action and rally the troops. But they didn’t listen to his counsel. In fact, they didn’t respect him at all. “But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?'” (Acts 7:27).

How those words must have stung a man who had just risked everything.

It’s a pretty simple plan, isn’t it? A meat-and-potatoes sort of proposition. If you’re a spiritual leader, spiritual people will follow you. That’s true of any leader. If you’ve got the goods, people follow. But they didn’t follow Moses. At that point, the prince of Egypt led a lonely one-man parade. The bills of the flesh are now coming due.

Let’s level with each other. Have you ever experienced something like that? Most of us have been there. You get all ready to pull off something big for God. You set goals. You spend time and money. You tell a bunch of people. But as painful as it may be for us to admit it, goals not bathed in prayer or brought before the Lord in humility turn out to be downright useless. They don’t go anywhere. They don’t accomplish anything. They generate heat but no light. And you’re left with confusion and defeat.

Bottom line: If you are moving in the energy of the flesh, your efforts are doomed to fail. But when you trust the Lord God to give you the next step, when you wait in humility upon Him, He will open the doors or close them, and you’ll get to rest and relax until He says, “Go.”

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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