I read of Moses contesting God’s calling of him as a prophet and the one to free Israel from Egyptian slavery. Of him continuing to protest after each promise God gives in answer to his concerns – even his hand turning leprous and being healed. Moses only quiets after being given a rod he can ‘do signs’ with. He is fearful. I wonder at his fear and stubbornness – he’s speaking personally with God! God is actually telling him to do something, with His backing; that he will have the power and other gifts he needs – but he resists. I feel impatient and frustrated towards Moses. It’s so obvious, reading it, that he’s being needlessly stubborn, and should just believe God.
But then I realise that he’s not that different from me. I, too, am fearful. I read the scriptures which testify of God’s love, miraculous powers, and ability to do all the things He has promised. I believe them – I know God has this power and love, and will accomplish everything He has planned to do. But I don’t always believe that this holds true in my situation. I know He can, but do I believe He will? This is always the question it comes back to.
I know that I need to learn to act without fear being the main feeling; to forget, in a way, the past, which seems to tell me I should fear – because I haven’t seen that kind of help in the thing I’m attempting, and because I haven’t succeeded.
Enoch had done some preaching before his revelatory experience (to ‘go out among the people’ seems to indicate preaching, as used elsewhere in scriptures). He hadn’t succeeded – he was ‘held in general contempt’ (Hugh Nibley), and didn’t have skill with words, as he felt.
The Lord told him to ignore that, and to trust Him to give Enoch words and to make him a great minister of the Gospel. He told Enoch to place clay on his eyes, then wash it off, so he could see what natural eyes cannot see; to have spiritual vision beyond the ordinary. To perceive how things really are, beyond the record of daily life and regular perception.
I base my expectations of what can happen, for me – as a result of my actions, etc. – on my past experiences, and my interpretation of them. But God can enable me to do greater things than I think possible. Things beyond the scope of my regular perception, ideas, and experiences.
To do this, I need to learn to see with new eyes – eyes open to the realities which are beyond what I already ‘know’.
But, because I won’t always be able to see with this vision, I have to believe what God tells me – about Himself, the possibilities, and the promises for following the Gospel – through the scriptures and the Holy Spirit.
I should try to not be like Moses was then, continuing to question, each time, when my confidence again grows weak. (Although, if I do, God will still answer and reassure me, as He did Moses – but I think I’ll receive better results, including in personal growth, more pleasant feelings during the experience, and perhaps sooner success, when I believe more quickly. Like Alma taught, it is better not to be compelled to believe).