I was at the monthly Big PUSH on Saturday, when in the midst of the sung worship an elderly gentlemen suddenly spoke out in tongues. And Sue then picked up her microphone and explained that that was tongues are a spiritual gift that the Holy Spirit sometimes gives, and that He also gives the gift of interpretation, and so when someones speaks in a tongue like that we should wait for the interpretation. And we did, and the gentleman then shared the interpretation.
But while we were waiting I felt the Spirit saying that its significance was this:
God is releasing the tongue of Moses.
Well, the biblical Moses was an elderly gentleman, still wandering through the wilderness shepherding his sheep even at the respectable age of eighty, when he saw a tree ablaze with fire — and yet not consumed by that fire. He went to have a look–and God began speaking to him, and commissioning him to be his mouthpiece to bring deliverance to His people enslaved in Egypt.
‘B-b-b-b-but Lord, I’m slow of s-s-s-s-speech and tongue…’ began Moses (Ex. 4:10)
God was having none of it: ‘I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say’ (4:12).
Now, quite apart from not thinking himself a qualified public speaker, I imagine Moses also though he was a bit too old. Because we know from his one recorded psalm that he wasn’t expecting to live much longer than seventy years, or maybe eighty if he were lucky (Ps. 90:10).
And although he undeniably had an incredible testimony of how God had delivered him from death and unexpectedly placed him in a position of significant power and influence–, although he had clearly had a divine call to bring deliverance to his people and stand for justice on behalf of the oppressed–hadn’t he blown it? In trying to stand in solidarity with an oppressed Israelite he had murdered an Egyptian, and been forced to spend forty years in exile in the wilderness. Surely any opportunity for him to be used by God was now long since gone.
But God did not think so. And in spite of Moses’ excuses, God restored him and released him to bring liberation to his people from the satanic strongholds by which they were enslaved.
And I believe God is going to do the same thing in this season for some of you.
You think you are too old. But God says you still have decades of fruitful ministry ahead.
You think you don’t have the necessary gifts or skills. But God says He made you and He will empower you to do whatever He calls you to do.
You think you have been disqualified. But God says that His grace has qualified you, and any voice that says otherwise is a demonic lie from the pit of hell.
You think that the powers that hold this generation captive are too strong, and there’s nothing much you could do even if you were to try. But God says He knows that Pharaoh will not let God’s people go without a struggle, but nevertheless He has about to stretch out His mighty hand to tear down the strongholds of darkness that keep His children in captivity.
You think you don’t have anything to say. But God says that if you open your mouth then He will fill it. With groans too deep for words; with tongues that you may not understand, but that may communicate to a new generation the very word of God; with testimonies of His power and love and faithfulness; with new songs of deliverance.
And I believe that this time God is not just releasing a solitary Moses to train up a new generation of Joshuas to enter the Promised Land on their own. But that God is going to turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons, and the hearts of the sons to the fathers, and teach us how to walk in unity that transcends generational differences. God is going to teach us how to honour fathers and mothers, without exasperating sons and daughters. God is going to teach us how to walk in perfect freedom and holy submission. In the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
I shared all this, and after the meeting a couple came up to me and said, ‘That’s exactly it. We’re grandparents now, so we’re that Moses generation! And a few years ago Liverpool experienced something of an outpouring of the Spirit on those in their 20s. But it felt like our generation was in the wilderness. And what you said about being released again! — that’s it! And it’s not just the Joshua generation, it’s the Josiah generation…’