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The Problem of Going Alone


The Problem of Going Alone

Pastor Ron Johnson

Living Stones Church, Indiana


The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?” Exodus 18:13-14 NLT


Here Moses is overworked and overwhelmed. His mission is solid. He is leading and serving God’s people. His motives are solid. He genuinely loves the people and wants to resolve conflict so they can live in harmony. 


His problem is with his method. He is trying to do it alone. 


What’s interesting is that the Lord does not correct Moses directly. While He often spoke to Moses “face to face” (Exodus 33:11), this time the Lord sends him help in the form of an organizational consultant who looks a lot like his father-in-law! 


Jethro says, “This is not good!” (v. 17). The phrase, “not good” is used only twice in the Old Testament--here in Exodus and all the way back in Genesis 2:18 where the Lord says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” These passages highlight two key areas where men must avoid the temptation to go it alone.


Living Alone: Men were not made to live alone. We need a mission to live for and a team to help us accomplish it! We need a band of brothers to bond with. Satan’s chief strategy is to isolate us from the Lord and from others. Stay connected. Find nourishment and strength in the friends God has placed in your life. 


Leading Alone: Men were never meant to lead alone. Isn’t it amazing that even Jesus, the sinless, Spirit-empowered Son of God, chose not to go about His assignment in isolation. Jesus chose twelve men to be with Him (Mark 3:13-14). If Jesus needed a band of brothers, we, too, must surround ourselves with a good team to help with the mission.


Finishing Well: Jethro gave Moses this promise: “If you follow this advice…then you will be able to endure the pressures.” (v. 23) Life and ministry are filled with pressures. You were never made to take the journey alone. Focus on building great relationships. Love your wife. Make memories with your kids. Love your congregation. But don’t forget to surround yourself with leaders who love you and love the mission.


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