Sep 12, 2012

Wednesday in the Word - God's Capacity in My Everyday Carry
Signs for Moses - Exodus 4

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

“Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”

Exodus 4: 1-17

I stumbled across this passage and was struck by what the Lord used to give Moses confidence.  Moses doubts his ability and God asks the question, "What is in your hand?"  Moses is a shepherd and he carries a staff.  God shows him how He can make great things happen, even with the things Moses carries every day.  

The conversation reminded me of a website called EverydayCarry.  You can check it out here.  Folks submit pictures of the items they carry everyday.  I have a feeling that the folks sharing photos are former Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as the focus is on a discipline and philosophy of preparedness.  Living and playing in the mountains of Colorado, I love this stuff.

Moses was prepared for his role as a shepherd, but God wanted to show him that He could use what Moses had right now to make a difference.  He then shows Moses that he can use even an empty hand.  Lastly God instructs Moses to rely not on what he has in his possession, but on his surroundings.

Even after these signs, Moses is full of excuses.

I am great at excuses.  Excuses are my forte.  I am excellent at walking past homeless people, not giving because I assume they’ll spend the money foolishly.  I am great at putting my frivolous wants above the needs of others.  I am really exceptional at ignoring that still small voice that says to give.  I offer God the same excuses as Moses.

The truth is, God has given us everything and he can do miraculous things with our everyday carry.  He can change lives if we’d just give him our hand.  I need to embrace the fact that God owns it all and is in complete control.  God could use the Nile river back then and he owns my surroundings now.  Through God and through His leading, we aren’t limited to our own possessions, but we have infinite capacity to make a difference and to glorify Him.

Is it possible to tweak your everyday carry, not only to be prepared for this life, but to prepare yourself to serve God?

What items could you keep handy to bless others and to point to Christ? 
- A Bible
- A copy of The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
- A gift card
- A tool kit to help with roadside repairs or to give away
- A $100 bill

What are you holding back from God? Is there anything that you are unwilling to give away or use to help others?

What excuses are holding you back from a life of stewardship and generosity?
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