New Hope Notes
Who Is Your Jethro?
The Ohana Factor
Pastor Pat McFall
Good morning family! How are we doing today? So good to see you!
Today’s Ohana Factor series is about having a critical conversation with a coach who can get us to the next place in our life—sometimes we just need a different perspective of a challenging voice.
Which friends and family members are you surrounding yourself with that will help you live the abundant life that Jesus has for you—that you desire? In a culture of distractions, is that even possible?
Twenty-five years ago, the average American had six close friends; today, the average is two close friends. And a recent survey says, “I can identify zero people that I consider to be close friends.” What has happened? Can we regain these critical relationships to have the conversations we need that will change our lives? When friendship seems to be in a crisis, can we have friendships that we used to have?
In a culture of distractions when we are more connected thumb-to-thumb instead of eye-to-eye, is this possible? I believe we are just one critical conversation away from changing our whole life—changing the whole trajectory of our destiny! What voices of wisdom are we allowing to speak into our lives?
Today, we will talk about The Jethro Voice. We all need a Jethro in our lives—someone who will challenge and give us something to think about! Do you have a Jethro in your life?
Talking about Jethro, I’m reminded of my dad whom I lost years ago. I had some Jethro moments with him: one of them had to do with my chores of unloading the dishwasher. I would grab a bunch of things in my arms and walk to the dishwasher, dropping forks, and things on the way. My dad would stop me and tell me that I’m creating more work for myself, than if I were to do things one at a time. I still remember these moments with my dad, even though he’s been gone years ago, because there are some jobs that you just can’t do all at one time!
Moses is about to have a similar encounter with his father in law—in just one conversation Moses’ life is changed…
Exodus 18:7 NLT says, “So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law. He bowed low and kissed him. (What a great relationship!) They asked about each other’s welfare and then went into Moses’ tent.”
What kind of relationship do you have with your in laws? Moses and Jethro seem to have a very good relationship; scripture later tells of Moses sharing with Jethro all the things they had experienced getting out of Egypt, and the ways that God helped them overcome obstacles time and time again—Moses is sharing a testimony.
A testimony is ways in which God is working through your life. Some of us are afraid to share our testimonies because we’re not sure how it will make us look. Some are excited to share only the super victorious parts that make us look fantastic, but shy away from the hardships that God rescued us from because it may expose our weakness, and we find it difficult to talk about. Whatever it is, I want us to be encouraged that there is no hardship that we are currently struggling with that Jesus Christ did not die and set us free from! In Christ Jesus, we are a new creation—the old is gone and the new is come! That’s the good news of Jesus!
Here’s what’s crazy about Jethro: He is a priest of Midian, minding his own business when Moses comes into his life, marries one of his daughters, and witnesses the God of Israel. We don’t know exactly when Jethro realized that Moses’ God was the God above others gods, but we do know that he is excited to know this God. There’s no way he could have anticipated the change in the direction of his life without his relationship with Moses. But know this: When you consider your life that…
How did you end up in the job you have? How did you end up with your spouse? Who are you hanging out with that will encourage you towards God’s best for you? Statistics show that we are the average of the five people we hang out with the most. So if you were to consider the five people you hang out with the most, what does that say about you? Is that good news or bad news?
Proverbs 13:20 NIV says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
“Walk with knuckleheads, and you’ll be a knucklehead”—that’s my translation! When I look back and think about all the dumb things I’ve done in my life, I wasn’t doing it by myself; I was hanging out with some knuckleheads and we got into some knucklehead trouble—such as the time I decided to skateboard down a steep hill—I fell and hit the ground at 25mph without a helmet! (I cracked my head open and have a huge scar on my head to remind me.) I was taken to the emergency room and heard the voice of Jethro call out to me through the doctor. She said, “You know you’re an idiot, right?” I said, “Yes I do, ma’am.”
Is the direction of your life being dictated by godly relationships that influence your life in a positive way, or are you holding on to relationships that are unhealthy and dragging you into areas that you don’t want to be?
How did I end up in Tacoma Washington? Well, a good friend invited me to join him to pray with him there. How did I end up in Hawaii? I started a master’s program when I met Pastor Aaron Cordeiro. Direction flows through relationships. How did you end up here? Where is your future going? You can’t predict your future, but God knows your future! He knows your steps. Moses didn’t anticipate that this one conversation with Jethro was about to change his life and the life of the entire people of Israel!
At this point, there are about 2 million people in the wilderness. In the morning, Moses goes to the judgment seat and stays there from early morning to late in the evening, judging nearly 2 million people and listening to their problems. How can one person handle the pressures of 2 million people? I wonder if we have ever felt that we were the only ones who could carry the weight of all the problems of the people—to fix their finances, business, spiritual, and relational problems!
Sometimes we forget that God uses EVERYONE to accomplish His purposes, not just you, amen? That’s why at New Hope we Do Church As A Team (DCAT). I don’t have everything that we all need. So why was Moses doing everything himself? Maybe he felt pressured because he may have felt that he was the only one God was speaking to; or, maybe, he was expecting the solution to come from his father in law.
Who is your voice of wisdom? Maybe they have a solution you haven’t thought of. Sometimes we need people to give us advice like Jethro did with Moses; Jethro just comes to Moses and offers his advice without it being solicited…
Exodus 18:14, 17-18 NLT says, “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?’...‘This is not good!’ Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. ‘You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too.’”
Jethro explains to Moses that when that many people have expectations of one man alone to solve their problems, it usually will not get solved. Jethro suggests that Moses select capable men who fear God, spend time with them, teach them the decrees and laws given by God, show them the way to live, and the duties they are to perform; appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. If those men can’t find solutions for the people, then Moses, you deal with them.
I wonder how that must have set Moses free from exhaustion. Have you ever been exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally? Let me tell you my other Jethro moment:
I was let go from a non-profit job so I took on clients as a personal trainer. I made enough money to pay for groceries. I finally got a full time job—BUT I forgot to factor in the time I was training, so I was working more than 40 hours a week, barely spent any time with my newborn son. My boss asked me how I was doing, and gave me a Jethro speech. He told me that there would be seasons that will be difficult and sometimes we just have to push through them. But if you’re this exhausted in a year and things don’t get better for you—I’ll help you. Want to know what he told me? He said, “I’m going to fire you,” and smiled as he said it!
He said, “Pat, you can get a job anywhere. If you want to train people, then train. But this is not sustainable. And if you don’t learn to pace yourself now, you won’t know how to when life gets really tough. If you continue down this path, you’ll end up the way Moses did—exhausted.” He was giving me a Jethro speech—a different perspective! So how do we walk in this path toward wisdom?
The Path To Wisdom