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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Start With What's On Hand

moses Pictures, Images and Photos

Exodus 4:1-2     Then Moses answered and said, "But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.' "  So the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"...(NKJV)

Have you ever felt called to do something for God's kingdom?  Have you ever felt God leading you to do something that seemed, well . . . crazy?  If so, I have an idea of what you're feeling, I've been both places, myself.

During these times, we're faced with our biggest enemy:  self-doubt.  We size ourselves up, compare ourselves to others and think, Why would God want to use me?  I'm nobody!  I've got nothing special to give, and who would want to listen to me, anyway?  It's so easy to psych ourselves out, and to give up before we even get started. 

If it's any consolation, you're not alone.  Even Moses doubted his abilities when God called him to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh in Egypt.  He offered up every possible excuse to the Lord:  "Who am I?" (3:11) "Who shall I say sent me?" (3:13) Finally, in verse 2 of chapter 4 he says "What if they doubt my authority?" 

Then God did something amazing.  He took the ordinary shepherd's staff in Moses' hand and turned it into a serpent when Moses cast it to the ground.  Was there anything magical about the staff?  No, but the God who formed the heavens and the earth decided to use that staff for His purposes.  Did the miracle have anything to do with Moses?  No, but the staff belonged to Moses, and the miracle occurred when Moses obeyed God's command. 

This must have been a pretty frightening event, and likely a particularly terrifying snake because the Bible says that Moses fled from it.  Then God asked him to do something that went contrary to everything he knew about poisonous creatures, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail."  If I were Moses, I'd be thinking, WHAT?!?!  However, as he reached out in obedience, the snake turned back into a rod in his hand (4:4)

Doing the work of God can be scary at times.  It almost always takes us out of our comfort zone, requires us to talk to people that make us uncomfortable, and sometimes involves taking a stand when we'd rather hang back and pretend we're invisible.  It might involve standing up to bullies at school, or standing up for your beliefs in the classroom.  Whatever the circumstance, it will feel to a certain degree like taking a poisonous snake by the tail.  We want to cringe at the very thought; expecting to be bitten at any moment.  But when a child of God is surrendered to the work of God, miracles occur! 

My favorite part of these verses?  Exodus 4:2, "What is that in your hand?" and again in 4:4, "and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand."  Although God gave Moses the direction, God gave Moses the staff, the message, and the opportunity to obey, the miracle occurred through Moses' hand!  If we surrender to God's service, He will do amazing things through our hand.  How awesome is that?

If God is calling you to do a work for him, don't be hindered by self-doubt.  Every excuse you can find about your qualifications is completely correct; you are flawed, you aren't good enough, but it doesn't matter.  We come to Jesus for salvation "Just as we are," and we should surrender to His service "Just as we are."  God will make you qualified through His strength and power. 

The humble shepherd's staff of Moses was to be used for many miracles throughout his ministry.  It came to represent the seal of God's authority.  So, what is that in your hand?  What are you currently doing?  Where do you live?  With whom to you associate day by day?  God has work for you to do, amazing work for His kingdom, and He wants to start with what you have on hand. 

Have a great week, God bless, and get busy!

source:  Dr. J. Vernon McGee Commentaries

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