Our growth group is studying the journey of Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt. I say "growth group' instead of "small group' because we had 14 people last week. It was AWESOME! It's a really interesting video study that is easy to understand, and takes you back to what it might have felt like for Moses, who was instrumental in not only helping get the people out of Egypt, but getting Egypt out of the people! Moses' feelings are quite similar to the feelings that we, as Christians, are struggling with every day. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since that is most often the case in the Bible. Like Moses, we all have times that we are fearful of what's ahead, and begin to doubt ourselves and even doubt God. He knows what God has called Him to do, but he is afraid. Afraid that people won't believe him.. afraid that something might happen to him.. afraid that he isn't strong enough, brave enough, eloquent enough.. GOOD ENOUGH to be an instrument of God.
God "equips" Moses with a staff. A piece of wood that Moses (and the Israelites) begin to see as a sort of "magic wand." With the staff Moses does miraculous things, and the confidence of Moses and the Israelites is bolstered. Then God has this conversation with Moses in Exodus 4:2:
The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—
Later when Moses and the Israelites, thirsty and dehydrated, finally reach a well only to find that the water is bitter, they seem to expect that the staff might be of some use in bringing them water and or food. Again, God demonstrates that HE is their source as he commands Moses to "lay down" his staff pick up a random, ordinary piece of tree bark or wood to throw into the well .
In this story I hear God speaking to me. He's saying, "Tina, Let It Go. Cast aside the things that you are afraid to let go of.. the idea of how things "should be".. the gifts and treasures that you hold so tightly to. I don't want you to trust them, I want you to trust ME.. with everything. I am your provision. All you need is ME.
I think we all have things in our lives that we have acquired or achieved that we think make us "something." Some of us are trying desperately to accomplish or acquire so that we can be someone who can do great things. Unfortunately we put our faith, hope and trust in our achievements, talents, gifts, etc. instead of in the One who gave them to us. Through this story I hear God saying again, "Let It Go. If you have ME, you have everything you need to be the person I want you to be."
What is God asking you to cast aside? What ordinary thing have you deemed extraordinary? What thing have you put your faith, hope trust, confidence in other than Christ? Are you willing to let it go, and put your trust in Him?
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 1 Timothy 1:12
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.Psalm 73:26