It’s Tuesday…a beautiful sunny Tuesday…and as I walked to the office this morning, I remembered the conversation I had with my amazing Aunt Chi, on our drive home yesterday on ‘the staff’. Moses amazing staff.
In Exodus 4:2…God asked Moses one of my favorite questions, ‘What’s in your hand?’
Moses was just a shepherd. For 40 years, he’s been tending to sheep’s, leaving his role as prince of Egypt, to associate with His people, the Israelites. He was a shepherd now. But God had just assigned him a new role, a new assignment, ‘Lead my people and take them to a land filled with milk and honey’.
Moses doubted His ability. He came up with many excuses as to why He is not fit for the job.
He was just a shepherd. What did He know about leading people?
He tried to help the people once. He tried to revolt against the king. They laughed at Him then. They did not accept Him.
He’s a fugitive now!
How will He carry out this huge assignment?
He said to God. “I can’t speak well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer”. And God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? Get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say. Aaron will accompany you”. (Exodus 4: 10-12)
He also told God, “They won’t trust me. They won’t listen to a word I say. They’re going to say, ‘God? Appeared to Him? Hardly? (Exodus 4:1). And God gave this classic reply- ‘What’s in your hands?’.
‘A staff’. He replied.
And God said, “Now take this staff in your hand; you’ll use it to do the signs.” (Exodus 4:17)
With God, that ordinary shepherd staff had power. With God, the mouth or ‘the words to say’ was no longer an issue. With God, Pharaohs palace and a bad name was no longer an excuse.
As I pondered over the discussion with Aunt Chi , I realized that sometimes, we come up with excuses for everything…we come up with reasons why anything and everything won’t work.
The government is bad.
We are not born with a silver spoon.
There is no time.
I am so busy.
We are at rock bottom.
We speak only pidgin.
No one has done this before.
We are not famous.
We are poor.
No one will welcome us or listen to us.
What if they don’t like me?
We’ve failed at life before. Comfort zone is safer.
But, if we can open our eyes, to see what we have in front of us…what we have in our hands…maybe, then, God can use us to do impossible things.
What if we open our eyes to our strengths, network, talents, friends, education, knowledge, internet, prayers, our uniqueness, even our lack, and leverage on that to make something out of our life?
What if we open our eyes to the Most High God- Jehovah?
What if stop focusing on our lack…and start seeing what God can do with the ordinary little we have in our hands…like what King Jesus did with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes?
Moses may not have realized it then, but His story, His past, His experiences, was so relevant and beneficial to this new assignment. He was a prince. Prince of Egypt. He knew the inner workings of the palace. He knew the traditions and culture of the land. He was a shepherd…He’s been a shepherd for 40 years. He knew the terrains of the land. He knew how to guide sheep and lead them through high mountains and lowly plains. He probably may have battled thieves and preys. He’s grown. He’s learnt. All of His differing experiences have taught Him and groomed Him. Even though He didn’t see it then, God did. He was perfect for the job.
What’s your story? Could your story, as insignificant and horrible as it may be, be the staff in your hands? Could it be the spark or light someone needs to cause a change in their dark life?
What do you have in your hands- Light?
Your experiences matters. God doesn’t waste anything. God can make something out of our nothing? What’s your excuse?
Oh the beautiful things, God can do through you.
I love this article from Bible Study Notes and what it says about this subject:
To Moses it was just a rod, to God it was an instrument for miracles. The staff by the power of God became the staff of God (Exodus 4:20) and it was used to part the red sea, perform the 10 plagues, bring water out of the rock etc. Another example is in John 6: 5-12, here Jesus was faced with the challenge of feeding over 5000 people who had gathered to hear him speak. They needed food and asked if anyone had any to spare; a boy offered his 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes (which is not even enough to feed only Jesus and his disciples). To the disciples 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes couldn’t feed 5000 people but to God it was more than enough. Jesus blessed the little and it was enough with 12 baskets of leftovers.
God works with what is in our hands. Many a times we look outside ourselves for help to do something, thus doubting God’s ability to use that which he had placed in us, take our little and make it into something more than enough for us.
All you need to do is not despise what you have now, instead be grateful for it, nurture it with all of your heart and speak the word of God into it then watch God use it to increase you.
Do not despise these small beginnings – Zechariah 4:10
We have desires, aspirations, dreams etc. and sometimes it causes us to despise what we currently have; we hate our jobs, partners, house, clothes, everything about us seems to be just what we don’t need. But I challenge you to see that God will use what you currently have to get you to where he needs you to be. Nothing happens by chance; you are not in that current situation by chance, it’s all part of a plan and supposed to work together for your good but that can only happen if you stop despising and complaining about what you have and start seeing what God wants to do through it.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. – 2 Corinthians 4:7
How do we turn what we have now into what we need it to be (according to the will of God)? We simple need to find what God’s word says about that thing/situation, confess that word with our mouth over and over again and by that we are injecting the life of God into it. So instead of complaining about does things, we speak the word of God into them. Don’t despise your days of little beginnings, stop complaining and making excuses, have a grateful attitude, get the word of God in your mouth and in your heart and watch as God uses that little to create much.
I recently watched ‘Finding Dory’ (beautiful movie) and as Marlins and Nemo got into another dead end as they looked for Dory, Nemo asked, ‘what will Dory do?’ ‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming’….that’s she’ll do.
From the movie, I learnt that no matter what life throws at you…Think, ‘What will Jesus do? What will God want me to do?’….It may look crazy or foolish, but just do…Pop your comfort bubble and soar again.
I love that God did that with Moses. Taking Him away from ‘Comfort’ and on amazing new scary but beautiful adventure.
As I dwelt on the shepherds staff this morning, reminiscing on the conversation with Aunt Chi, I asked God to show me ‘what I have in my hands and to let go of the many excuses hindering me from using it?’, and then, God reminded me of something equally important; our focus should be on the God of the staff and not the staff itself. Focus on the God of the ‘tool’, and not the tool itself. Focus on the God of the miracle, and not the miracle itself.
Focus on the one who showed you what you have in your hands.
Don’t let anything take Gods place in your life.
Because the staff, the tool, the miracle, your hands, the methods can change. Only God cannot change. He is God. He cannot be fit into a box. His ways are higher, His thoughts are wider. He is wiser.
What I have in my hands is great and powerful, but not as powerful as God…..without Jehovah, my Heavenly Father, the thing I have in my hands- gifts and talents is nothing?
And so if He asks me to change the tool in my hands or to use another method or to take another path, can I obey and trust Him?
Moses had performed many miracles with his staff…this tool God had placed in His hands. However, one day, the Israelites started their ‘trouble again’. They whined and nagged about water. (See Number 20:7-12). And then, God spoke to Moses: “Take the staff. Assemble the community, you and your brother Aaron. Speak to that rock that’s right in front of them and it will give water. You will bring water out of the rock for them; congregation and cattle will both drink.” Moses took the staff away from God’s presence, as commanded. He and Aaron rounded up the whole congregation in front of the rock. Moses spoke: “Listen, rebels! Do we have to bring water out of this rock for you?” With that Moses raised his arm and slammed his staff against the rock—once, twice. Water poured out. Congregation and cattle drank. God said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you didn’t trust me, didn’t treat me with holy reverence in front of the People of Israel, you two aren’t going to lead this company into the land that I am giving them.”
God said speak to the rock, not, hit the rock with your staff. God will provide, not Moses. God spoke, but Moses disobeyed & didn’t trust God.
And so I added to the prayer, ‘Please God, help me obey and trust you too. Lead me & guide me in wisdom. Help me hunger for, what’s next! irrespective of what I have in my hands for your glory!’.
What I have in my hands is so important. My talents, strengths, experiences, money, little, ordinary, family, friends….is important. But really, in the end, it is by Gods grace that I am what I am, and can prevail.
Moses parted the red sea and did great things with the staff….but it wasn’t really about the method or the staff, it was about God. God used the talents. He used the vessel. He gave the victory.
He can do all He wants to do using many methods. He can direct you to another path. Your success could come from a method you never know. The staff is not your God. What you have in your hands is not your God. Jehovah is.
I’m learning that I should not be confined in a box. I should never confine God also. It’s an adventure…this journey with Christ…and it could lead us anywhere. Being in a box makes the journey boring and makes you blind to the possibilities that can you might benefit from.
Obey Him in every season of your life. Listen for the next step. Open your hands wide. And when you are stuck, look again at what you have, but never at the expense of obedience to God.
Live in obedience always.
It’s always about Jehovah. He gets the glory. He gifts the victory. He loves us so much.
‘What’s next Papa?’ That seems to be my favourite prayer nowadays.
What’s next Papa? What have you placed in my hands this moment…How do I obey you, and How can I use it to make positive impact for your glory?
Keep bearing fruits Fam!
Love & Light
Ps: Sorry, long post!!!! Thanks a million for reading till the end!!! I’m so grateful!!!
Have a fruitful life!!!!