Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014

"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. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand."  Exodus 2:11-12

I don't know if you are familiar with Popeye the sailor man but I grew up watching his cartoons on TV.

Popeye was a nice, mild-mannered man with extremely large forearms. Nothing seemed to bother him except when anyone harassed the lovely and talented Olive Oyl (his girlfriend). Once that happened you could see his face become flushed and smoke would pour from his pipe and he would reach for his can of spinach. It was in those moments he could be heard muttering his famous line, "That's alls I can stands I can't stands no more!" Those grammatically challenged words were his call to action. Gulping down a quick can of spinach he would be empowered to whip the bad guy in short order and rescue his woman from danger.

In this Scriptural text, Moses had a "Popeye Moment". 

Raised as an Egyptian, and an Egyptian of privilege at that, he was still a Hebrew at heart. One day when he happened upon an Egyptian severely beating a Hebrew slave, and "it was alls he could stands he couldn't stands no more". Overcome by the passion of this "Popeye Moment" he struck the Egyptian and killed him. That ill-advised act of anger caused him to have to flee the country for fear of Pharaoh's wrath. It would alter the course of his life.

What sparked his anger was understandable and maybe even admirable. But his reaction was disastrous.

What happens in those "Popeye Moments" can make you or break you. 

Why does this matter?

Fast forward some forty years and we find the exiled shepherd standing before a burning bush and God speaks: The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”  Exodus 3:7-10

God is saying to Moses, "This is all the suffering I can stand for my people, I can't stand no more suffering. I know you can't stand it either so I am going to send you to deliver them!"

Did you hear that?

When Moses' passion lined up with God's passion it shaped the vision for the rest of his life! Moses just had to find his spinach.

The same has been true for me! My "passion point" or my "Popeye moment" is what God used to shape the vision for my life!

It may be the same for you.  It is often how God works!

Have you had a "Popeye Moment?" 

If so, what caused it? What is it that you "can't stands no more"?

What motivates you to action and stirs your passion?

Do you know?

Discovering what you can't stand may be the key to where God wants you to stand!

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