Always remember that you are God's second choice!

May 29, 2023


by Martijn van Tilborgh 

I discovered a long time ago the truth of the saying that “information is powerful.” If you’re a preacher, a motivational speaker, a teacher or an author—or you have ever listened to or read one who made an impact on you—you’ve probably already come to that conclusion as well.

Actually, you most likely became who you are today because of that discovery. The right information for the right person at the right time has the ability to change their world for the better and forever. It can permanently change the trajectory of our lives. Information has the ability to shortcut our learning curve, simply because it offers us a pathway to a desired result that we couldn’t see on our own. 

Now, this is nothing new. Scripture teaches us the power of information throughout. In fact, the very existence of the Bible itself demonstrates the invaluable impact that information can have on people. The word of God, packaged in book form, has made the kingdom of God accessible to countless people throughout history.

Jesus summed it up when he declared, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 32 NKJV).

Knowledge (or the information) of the truth can deliver you from all kinds of “evil” that keep you stuck, in pain and depressed. “The truth” is sort of a “catch-all” solution for all kinds of suffering we experience as people. It allows you to discover the kind of freedom that the kingdom of God has to offer—good news for the poor, the brokenhearted, the blind and the oppressed (Luke 4:18).

If you’re called by God (and if you’re breathing, then take that as a given), chances are, he has given you a message. A message so powerful that it has the ability to deliver others from the pain they are experiencing in their lives. 

Tony Robbins once said that there are only two types of people in the world.

First there are those who run away from pain.

The others are those who run toward pleasure.

The sad reality is that many people don’t really know where they are going in life, but they know one thing… they don’t want to experience the pain that they are feeling! They want to run away from it.

Your message has the ability to move people from pain to pleasure.

From bondage to freedom. 

Other than Jesus, the ultimate “messenger” found in Scripture is surely Moses. Think about it: God trusted him with a message that would ultimately deliver a nation from over 400 years of pain and suffering. 
In studying the life and history of Moses, I have found five things that we should learn as “messengers” and “influencers” to apply to our lives and ministries. 

1) You have what it takes.

I picked up my phone one time and on the other end was a very prominent ministry leader. The day before I had spent eight hours with him and his team to create a marketing and communication blueprint to help increase the impact of his message. Some of the dialogue had been centered on identifying and defining just what God had given him uniquely to say.

Over the years I have learned that the only way to be successful as a ministry leader is to clarify what is “your lane.” God has given you a gift that only you possess. In it lies what the business world calls your competitive advantage.

When I have conversations like that one while I am coaching leaders, I will try to drill down to the core of someone’s existence. This makes such engagements very interesting, but sometimes also very uncomfortable and personal. 

In some cases, it will even make someone question themselves. This is exactly what happened in this particular case. 

Do you think I have what it takes to do this?” was the question I was asked. 

I answered with a question of my own: “Did God give you a message?
This produced a firm “YES” as his response.

Well, then,” I said, “if that’s your answer, it’s THE evidence that you have what it takes to do this thing!”

You see, when God gives you a message, gifting and anointing, he already has a “market” in mind for it.

God gave Moses something to say because he had selected an audience that could benefit from that message. Why in the world would God give you something if he didn’t have anyone in mind that would need to hear that message? 

2) You are God’s second choice.

This brings me to the second thing I learned from Moses…

You are God’s second choice! 

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying you are less than others. In fact, when it comes to God’s desire for us to know him and the fullness of the life he has to offer, we are all equally his No. 1 choice.

I’m not talking about when he calls us to himself. I mean when he calls us to do something for him.

The fact that Moses was given a message of deliverance to a people in bondage was not because God wanted to give him a powerful ministry. Of course, he wanted Moses to be a successful leader, but at the same time, this wasn’t about Moses at all. It was all about the people. 

God chose the people before he chose Moses. 

In other words, the people in Egypt were God’s first choice.

When you read Exodus 2 you see the following sequence of events:

  • The people cried out because of their pain. 
  • The cry of the people had gone up to God.
  • God heard their groaning.
  • He remembered his covenant.
  • Then he acknowledged them in their pain.

God chose the people before he went to look for a messenger! 

The ministry of Moses and the message that God had entrusted him with were merely the result of the process described above. 

The people came first. Moses came second.

In that sense, we are all God’s second choice. Why, you ask? 

Because we all have received a unique gift from God on some level. That gift was not given to serve ourselves. It was given to add value to the people that God had in mind when he gave it to us.  
That awareness should keep us humble.

Speaking of which…

3) Your message is not just an opportunity. 

If I were Moses at the burning bush, I can imagine that my ego would have been stroked. Think about it. The word of the Lord came to him through a supernatural encounter with God Almighty.  

It must have been quite the experience. 

And through it, Moses received an assignment, a mandate to do some pretty remarkable things. God promised him at that moment to give him a platform and a ministry that he had never had before. 

Moses was destined to speak to the masses (and remember, this was without the internet).

Not only did Moses have a supernatural experience and a profound encounter with the word of the Lord, he also was given the ability to demonstrate some pretty powerful signs as he was sent to confront one of most powerful strongholds in human history. It was quite an amazing opportunity.  

But here’s the deal. When God is giving you a message, it’s not about the opportunity that this brings to you. It’s all about the responsibility that comes with the message. 

You see, something happens when you ask God to use you. When God answers your prayer it’s all about the responsibility that comes with the task. As someone once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Such was the case with Moses. 

He received “great power” not to give him a great opportunity, but to give him great authority to that he could fulfill a great responsibility. 

One could argue that Moses really didn’t have a choice. He got what he asked for! And now he was responsible for what he had been given. 

4) Your pain is someone else’s gain. 

For Moses, the pathway to freedom came at an expense. He understood the pain of Egypt. In fact, he grew up as part of the regime that inflicted that pain on God’s people. When he discovered that he and his people were part of the problem he took matters into his own hands and tried to bring deliverance within his own strength. 

We all know how that went: his fleshly intervention propelled him into a long and painful process that ultimately qualified him to become God’s deliverer to his people. Forty years of detoxing took him to the backside of the desert where he finally was assigned his task.

It was a painful journey. Yet it was exactly that process that qualified him to lead the people where he had gone before. You see, escaping Egypt wasn’t uncharted territory for Moses. Life outside of Egypt and the freedom he experienced had become normal to him. He knew the desert like the back of his hand. 

His journey and his pain become the gain for countless others. 

Like Moses, God uses our mourning and turns it into dancing (Psalm 30:11). Not just dancing for ourselves, but for others. 

It makes sense, because, after all, Jesus said that “we testify of what we’ve seen!”  (John 3:11).
Unless you’ve experienced something yourself, you can’t be a witness of it. “Testifying” of something you haven’t seen actually makes you a false witness (and let’s just skip what the Bible has to say about being a false witness: it’s not good). 

Be encouraged that your journey, your experience, your pain ultimately qualifies you to minister to others who have experienced or are experiencing that same pain. 

5) Your message is an accelerator.

Your message can speed up others’ move into the more that God has for them—it can provide them with the ultimate shortcut to overcoming obstacles in their way.

Moses’s experience in the desert opened up an opportunity for others to get through that wilderness region in just a fraction of the time. When you take a close look at a map, you will discover that the people of Israel could have gotten to where God wanted them to be in about 11 days of walking. What ended up taking them 40 years could have been accomplished in less than a couple of weeks, even with a rest day or two.  

I call that the ultimate shortcut! 

You see, what took Moses 40 years to learn created a pathway for others to reach the same destination in a fraction of the time, had they listened. (Actually, 0.0007% of the time.)  

The message that God has given you has the ability to shortcut the learning curve for others. They don’t have to suffer the same way you suffered. In a sense, you have paid the price for others, a principle of the kingdom. Jesus is the ultimate example of that. 

Because of your journey, others can skip the line! 

So, there you have it:

Information is powerful! But with great power comes great responsibility. Let’s be responsible, courageous and confident. Confident that we have what it takes to bring freedom to others. Not because we’re so important, but because there are people waiting for our message that God has entrusted us with.