So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
He [Moses] said, “A rod.”
“And He [God] said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (Exodus 4:2-4, NKJV).
Moses is not only an excellent example of a shepherd, one who leads and guides those over whom he has charge, but he is also a clear picture of how God’s power operates through human vessels.
When God first called Moses and told him to go to Pharaoh and demand that he let the enslaved Israelites go, Moses protested that he was inadequate and unequipped to do so. God then called Moses’ attention to the shepherd’s staff in his hand, a symbol of how Moses made his living. I find that fascinating. God didn’t say, “You’re right; you’re a dummy. I’ll call someone else.” Nor did He say, “Moses, you don’t realize how really brilliant and powerful you are.” He simply asked, “What’s that in your hand?” Then, when Moses identified it as a shepherd’s staff, God challenged him to throw it on the ground. Moses did, and the staff turned into a serpent, illustrating the ability of the symbol of Moses’ own personal strength and abilities to turn deadly. But then God demanded something even stranger; He told Moses to pick up the serpent by the tail.
Now anyone who knows anything at all about snakes understands that we do NOT pick them up by the tail, as that leaves the serpent free to turn and bite us. Human logic tells us to pick it up by its head so we can control its venomous fangs. But God wanted Moses to see that this dangerous creature could only be controlled by God’s power, not Moses’ power. The only way Moses could learn that was to lay aside human logic and obey God’s command, regardless of how intimidating it might seem.
There’s a strong lesson in that for all of us. God has woven into our very beings the motivational gifts, or passions, that will naturally drive us toward God’s purpose for our lives. Moses, though raised in a palace, had left that life behind and taken up the lowly existence of a shepherd, the very profession God had designed for him that would help prepare Moses for the greater job of shepherding God’s people. But it wasn’t enough for Moses to identify and pursue the passion God had put inside of him; he also had to submit that passion to God’s purpose. Hence, the example of God telling Moses to throw down his shepherd’s staff, which then turned into a dangerous creature, and then God ordering Moses to pick it back up in an even more dangerous manner. Moses’ innate, God-given passion to be a shepherd was represented in that staff, but that same staff had to be submitted to God’s purpose before it would evidence the power of God that would fulfill that purpose.
And that’s the lesson to each of us. We are no different than Moses, in that God has woven a passion into us that will drive us toward our life’s purpose. But if we want to see that purpose successfully fulfilled, we must submit that passion to God’s purpose, recognizing that we are unable to fulfill it in our own strength. When we do that, God’s power will rise up within our lives and then spill over onto the lives of others in ways we could never have imagined.
God is not a respecter of persons. He has called each of us to fulfill His purpose, and He has equipped us with a passion that will ultimately drive us toward that purpose. The question is, will we submit that passion to His purpose to release His power into a world that so desperately needs it?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]