Friday, January 4, 2013

What's That In Your Hand?...

When God calls Moses to return to Egypt to lead His people out of their bondage, Moses needs quite a bit of convincing that he is the man for the job. It is not a false humility that gives pause to Moses. It is more like a real, deep-seated fear. I think it is less of a fear of Pharaoh or anything back in Egypt and more of a fear of Moses knowing who he really is and his obvious shortcomings as a person and a leader.

In the midst of the calling, when Moses needs reassurance that he truly is God's chosen for the task, God asks Moses a simple question...

"What is that in your hand?"

To which a confused Moses replies, "A staff".

Moses was a shepherd. A staff was a necessary, useful tool of the trade. No self-respecting shepherd was ever found without his. So what did "a staff" have to do with leading a nation out of slavery?

1. God can use anything to accomplish His will. The power and the miracles, which would occur later, were not in the staff. They were in God. However, God can take the mundane, everyday thing in our hand and turn it into something wondrous for His glory.

2. God can use anything in our hand for His glory if we will commit it to Him. Most of us would consider ourselves lacking in resources that really could make a difference in the world. All of us have played the game, "if I had a million dollars I would..." However, God doesn't ask us to do thing with what we don't have. He simply asks us to consecrate what de do have in our hands to His will and His way. He can do the amazing with a willing heart and open hand.

3. God always seems to use the simple to confound the complex. A shepherds staff, really only a stick. God is going to cause great miracles with it. He is going to use it in the plagues. He is going to use it to part the sea. He is going to use it to lead His people from Egypt to the land He has promised them. A simple stick in God's economy is greater than the mightiest sword or army.

4. God's ways are not ours and they are always infinitely better. Who would have chosen a murderer in exile with an old stick to confront the mightiest nation on earth? Who would have chosen a man who couldn't put two comprehensible words together in public to speak for a nation? Who would have chosen the man who begged and begged not to be chosen? Only God.

5. God calls us and accepts us with whatever we have in our hands. The secret is that He doesn't want the stuff we can bring to Him (talents, resources, abilities, etc.). He has all of those things that He needs. What He really wants is you and me - our hearts - fully committed and devoted to Him.

So, in this new year, when you are fretting and thinking what the future holds or when you are confronted by an immense vision that causes you to shake in your boots, I have a simple question for you to repeat to yourself...

"What is that in your hand?"...

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