God wants 100% of us. The life of Moses is a great example of this.
Moses was a stutterer (slow of speech and slow of tongue) and God called him to be his spokesman. Why? Because if someone charismatic and a great speaker were to lead the Jews out of bondage, the people would follow the man, not God.
So, there was Moses, a faithful man, but he certainly didn’t believe he could do what God was asking him to do. Despite all of his objections and fear, Moses, above all things, was obedient.
With each task, Moses’ faith grew. The stutterer argued God’s stance in front of the Pharaoh. He communicated to the Jews how to avoid the Angel of Death during Passover. He used his staff to split the Red Sea. He led them out into the desert where he heard God’s call and communicated the 10 Commandments to the people. He listened and communicated the needs of the people to God.
Time and time again, Moses overcame his fear of speaking in obedience to the Lord. Once, in the desert, when they were in need of water, God commanded Moses to tap the rock with his staff and water poured out.
Later, however, after some 40 years in the desert, relying daily for God’s delivery of food in the form of manna, the promised land was finally in sight. Once again the Jews were thirsty and once again a rock waited to be a fountain of refreshment.
This time however, God did not command Moses to tap the rock. He commanded him, the stutterer, to speak, and the rock would flow water.
This was Moses’ last test of obedience. He had overcome his self consciousness of speaking for years, but he must have done so while still struggling with an inherent fear of doing so, because, at that moment when God commanded him to speak to make the rock provide water, Moses chickened out. He tapped the rock instead. In God’s mercy, he gave him one more try. He tapped the rock again and the water flowed.
Moses had done all that God had asked of him. He had led his people out of slavery, taught them in ways of faith and communicated God’s laws. He dealt with strife and infighting and idol worship and God’s wrath. His faith grew and grew and grew. God probably had 99% of Moses.
But there was still that one thing Moses hadn’t let go of yet. That last 1%. Moses still hated stuttering.
God could have been happy with all that Moses had done, for his leadership and obedience, but he wanted all of Moses, even that last 1%. So, he commanded Moses to face his deepest fear head on, the one thing that was standing between him and God, and Moses failed. Twice.
The consequence for that failure was Moses would not be able to enter the promised land. Sure, Moses still went to heaven, as he was present with Jesus during the Transfiguration. But, Moses’ story is a great example of how relentless God is in his pursuit of your soul. Everything God asks you to do is for your benefit so that you can move closer to him. You may move mountains, free people, change the world, but if you still have the one thing separating you from God, God won’t be satisfied.
He wants all of us so that we may spend eternity in his presence. We are all Moses, in that respect, being called to do what God commands so we may grow closer to him.
I hope when we are faced with “speaking to our rock,” we tackle that fear and do as the Lord has willed. It will be tough for us to overcome.
Just ask Moses.