These are few of the common excuses that people may give when they realize that God wants them to serve him. Many feel, perhaps in all sincerity, that they are not good enough to do something for God. This certainly was displayed in the life of a well-known Bible character, Moses. When God revealed his plan for the life of Moses, Moses responded with doubt and excuses. He felt no one would believe him or follow him. In Exodus 4:1, Moses tells God, “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.”
In the following verse, there is a wonderful lesson to be learned in the reply that God offered. Exodus 4:2 tells us, “And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand?” The answer to God’s question was that Moses had a shepherd’s rod in his hand.
Throughout the Bible, God had a wonderful habit of using whatever a person possessed if that person would simply yield it to God. Among many other items, God used a stick, a coat, a fish, a couple of pennies, a slingshot, a jawbone, a rock, and some loaves of bread. The almighty Creator of the universe is able to use any ordinary object that is yielded to him in faith. The process is not complicated.
• Examine your hand – God asked Moses, “What is that in thine hand?” Each person only needs to examine what they personally have. It doesn’t have to be grand, majestic or even what the next person has. God simply wants to know what you have. Whatever you have is enough for God to do something miraculous.
• Empty your hand – Moses answered God’s simple question and said, “A rod.” God’s reply was as simple as his question. He said, “Cast it on the ground.” Sometimes, this is the hardest part for Christians. Even when the possession is small and seemingly unimportant, it is human nature to cling to that possession. God wants to know if his children trust him enough to let him have it.
• Enjoy God’s hand – Once Moses let go of that simple shepherd’s rod, God used it to perform many impossible tasks (found in Exodus). That rod turned into a snake, ate other snakes, brought water out of a rock, turned water to blood, and probably performed other miracles that are not recorded. Of course, the miracles were not accomplished by the rod but by the power of God. The rod was simply a symbol of the submission and faith of Moses.
I Corinthians 1:27 confirms that “God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” Simply take whatever you have and yield it completely to God. Next, sit back and enjoy the wonderful things that God will do!
The Rev. Timothy Benefield is pastor of Golden Valley Baptist Church. Sermon notes is a column by local religious leaders.