IL 09/24/22: Taking Matters into Your Own Hands

IL 09/24/22: Taking Matters into Your Own Hands

(Audio Transcription Below)

Theme: Learning about then moving away from a False Self-Assessment & Faulty Operating System 

Before Moses can become an effective leader – he must see himself correctly. He can’t live under a False-Self Assessment – AND Moses must see that his current operating system and his current way of getting things done is faulty.

Video:Poor Self-Assessment

Background: Year 1500 BC – The Israelites are locked into slavery in Egypt (Exodus 1:12-16). The Israelites population became a concern for Pharaoh, so he ordered all the male babies to be thrown into the Nile River. Moses was placed in a basket and discovered by the daughter of Pharaoh. She decided to adopt him – so for his first 40 years Moses grew up in the royalty and power of Egypt. Moses sat at the feet of Pharaoh, a leader of one of the most powerful nations. Like every other prince of Egypt, Moses was groomed for leadership & received the best training possible. 

Acts 7 – “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech & action.” Moses was mentally & physically impressive. 

Read Exodus 2:11-15 

Let’s recognize that Moses has the right idea. 

Moses has compassion for his people (vs. 11 – “looked on their burdens and saw the beatings”) – Moses sees something wrong and wants to make it right.

  • This is the beginning of a Vision – a vision frequently begins with a dissatisfaction with current circumstances and a picture of what could and should be done.

This is important for Leaders trying to discern God’s Will. Ask yourself: What do you see that stirs up dissatisfaction? – and you get a picture of what could and should be done to make it better. That is the beginning of Vision 

That is the good part about Moses’ leadership – but we also see some significant problems. Moses may see the problem correctly but he doesn’t yet see himself or his course of action correctly.

Moses doesn’t realize – but he lacks 3 components of Leadership: Emotional Maturity, Spiritual Maturity and Wisdom. 

1. Emotional Maturity 

This is critical because from a worldly perspective Moses was primed and ready for leadership! He received the best education, he was in great physical shape, had the most powerful mentors….yet he was still emotionally immature for what God has in mind. 

You can have a degree from Wharton or Kenan-Flagler, you can be in great physical shape, excellent mentors yet still be emotionally immature and that one liability will greatly limit or even prevent you from becoming a leader. High IQ + Low EQ = Big Problem 

Moses has an anger problem – You can tell he knows what he did was wrong (vs. 12 – “looked this way and than – buried in the sand). Moses can’t exercise emotional self control at this critical leadership moment. Prov 29:11– “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” 

Anger coupled with a lack of self-control is a universal human problem but shows in men with great frequency. 

Col 3:19 “Husbands, love your wives, do not be harsh with them” 

Eph 6:4 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger” 

Titus 2:6 (Following a long list of things needing to be taught to younger women) Paul mentions just one thing for young men: “Encourage the young men to be self-controlled.” – Solving this one problem for men…. solves so many more! 

Anger rarely solves a problem but frequently enlarges it.

Prov. 15:1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 

How many times have you seen a problem correctly – but you lack self-control or wise direction and your response makes the problem worse! — Seeing the problem correctly is only a portion of the solution. 

So often an angry response adds to the problem – when dealing with a problem don’t create another problem by your response! As we watch Moses’ life unfold and the incredible frustrations he will have to face (Pharaoh & Israelites), Moses will need to have his emotions under control. 

2. Spiritual Maturity 

Moses isn’t spiritually ready to be used by God. We see that Moses has a good desire (justice/freedom) but a disastrous direction! 

God does want to use Moses to accomplish this rescue, just not his method. Moses method was to take matters into his own hands. 

KEY!! — There is NO space between Moses Assessment of the Problem and Moses Action. 

Think about it – Moses was facing a 400 year old problem (slavery). He would be fighting against a powerful Egyptian military. This is a God-Sized problem but Moses foolishly decided to insert himself as the solution, so he strikes down the Egyptian Soldier.

Where in the New Testament do you see this pattern repeat?? — Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus had come to solve the slavery problem of Sin….and Peter decided to pull out a sword and chop down a Roman Soldier. 

Both Moses and Peter had the wrong operating system. The World deals with problems from a position of power: The one who is the strongest….with the sharpest sword. The one on top has the power. 

(Pyramid) — What they both have to learn from God is that God has a different power structure….Different Operating System. 

Upside Down Pyramid – Servant Leadership —- Jesus would set people free from slavery through the cross – Moses would defeat the Egyptians by God’s strength…not his own. This is God’s design for leadership.

3. Wisdom 

(2:13) – “Who died and made you King?” – Moses made a terrible miscalculation…….he mistakenly believed these people would eagerly respond to his leadership. Moses had done something to protect them so he assumed they would be eager to follow him (uh…..wrong! Moses apparently never had a teenager!) 

Moses completely miscalculates how he could possibly defeat Pharaoh by killing soldiers one at a time & Moses completely miscalculates how difficult it would be to lead a nation of people who knew nothing but slavery. This is not an emotional or spiritual problem – it’s a wisdom issue. 

If you are like me you can easily think of times where you completely miscalculated how difficult it would be to lead a family, business, church…..even yourself!! 


From the world’s point of view – Moses looked like a finished product. He had the right degree, the best training and he was in top physical form….but he wasn’t in shaped to be used by God — It took Moses 40 years to grow into the vision God designed for him. 


1. Can you humbly admit a time when you made a complete miscalculation – when your assessment of yourself or your plan seemed so right yet turned out to be totally wrong? 

2. Where have you seen anger be destructive to leadership – in your family business? (Coming from you or coming toward you?) 

3. Moses and Peter started out with the wrong operating system….a system built on power. They had to learn about Servant Leadership (upside down pyramid). How could you take Servant-Leadership into your family & workplace? 

4. Do you have an accurate view of yourself? 


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