12 Jan The Character Test
Welcome to day three of our 21 Days of Prayer and Reading. Today, I want to share a few quick thoughts from a scripture I briefly shared over the weekend in our Sunday message.
Exodus 2:12 (NKJV)
12 So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
In case you were wondering whom this scripture was referencing, it was Moses. Yes, Moses, the man who led the Children of Israel out of Egypt. One of the heroes of the Old Testament. The guy who was allowed to see God with his own eyes. As great as he was, he still had some flaws. He was not perfect by any means. In some ways, that is a relief to us. It let’s us know that we are human. It lets us know that we, like Moses, are going to miss the mark from time to time. Some of the greatest men and women in the Bible done some bad things. Things that many might even say should have disqualified them from ministry. Both David and Moses were responsible for murder, but yet God saw fit to forgive them and show them grace. Perhaps, at times when they didn’t deserve it. Aren’t you glad God shows us grace….even when we don’t deserve it?
What I want to focus on today is not what Moses did. We could fill in the blank of that second part of the verse with a dozen things. Instead of murder, it could have been, stealing, having sex outside of marriage, lying, doing hardcore drugs….and this list could go on for a while. The particular sin of Moses is not what I want to focus on today. What I do want to draw your attention to is the action Moses took prior to murdering the Egyptian man.
The true test of our character is how we operate, how we conduct ourselves, when no one else is looking. Moses was intentional enough to stop and look in one direction, and then another, before murdering this man. Looking both ways is a great idea when you are crossing the street or operating a vehicle. However, when it comes to our character, this is a finite way to know that we are about to do something we will regret.
In a court of law, premeditated murder is assigned to an individual when it is determined that he or she had enough time to consider what they were about to do, prior to actually doing it. If a person flies off the handle and kills someone, it is different than stopping to look both ways before we commit a crime.
Here is the question I want you to ask yourself. What am I doing that requires me to look one way, and then the other way, before I do it? Remember, when we do this, we are assuming no one sees us. We see how that turned out for Moses. A few months later, he thought he had got away with it, but found out that someone saw him bury the body in the sand. More importantly, God sees what we do even when another person does not.
Here is my challenge to each of us today. If you are failing the character test, take a few moments to concentrate on what, “Is making you look both ways.” I feel in my heart that 2021 is a year that God is going to continuously challenge us to be better. Does he forgive us when we drop the ball? Yes, of course he does. But, when we find ourselves dropping the same ball over and over, we need to make adjustments. I challenge you to take the things in your life that causes you to look both ways and ask God to strengthen you in those areas. God alone can help us develop our character. Let’s strive to be closer to God in 2021. Let’s put away things that separate us, and move towards behaviors that bring us closer to a God who desperately wants to be in relationship with us.