God directed Moses to confront Pharaoh, but he also told him Pharaoh would not listen. Think about that for a moment. Moses received an assignment and was told he would face a person with a heart of stone. Granted, God promised an eventual release, but there were long days ahead before Moses would get to that point.
God prepared Moses for the challenge by tempering his expectations. Most of us would think having a stick that turned into a snake would be all we needed to convince another person to listen to us. But Moses would be facing someone who was not afraid of snakes or impressed with Moses’ God. In fact, Pharaoh fancied himself to be a god who was equal to the challenge presented by Moses.
God also helped Moses define success…really redefine it. So many times we think of success in terms of winning, achieving, or possessing. For Moses, success was found in obeying. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego all understood success was found in obedience. So did Jesus. He was obedient unto death even though He had the authority to come off the cross and to call out the names and sins of those ridiculing Him. Through obedience, Jesus honored the Father.
For the follower of Christ, success is also found in obedience. We don’t control how others respond to us or how they feel about our commitment to Christ. To be honest, their responses and feelings have nothing to do with our obedience. We are accountable only for the things we control, like our level of obedience to the directions given to us by God. Success in God’s economy is always measured by our faithful obedience, which brings Him glory in the process.
How do you define “success”? What role does obedience to God play in your definition?