Thursday, August 24, 2006

Staffs and Serpents

When I resigned from the church, I was determined to "re-invent" myself. Great concept because there were a lot of things that needed to change, but there was a problem in my thinking. I had forgotten that the clay doesn't say to the potter, I'm going to shape myself into what I want to be. God had another plan, and I'm glad that He did, because while I continue to be in the process of being re-invented, I see a lot of things much differently than I did a year ago and those who live closest to me will tell you that's a VERY GOOD thing!

In the week before I decided to resign, I heard a devotional at a ministerial group. The message was built around God's challenge to Moses to "throw down his staff". When he did, the staff became a serpent and when God told Moses to retrieve it, it became a staff again. What's interesting about this whole story is that the purpose of the staff changed dramatically.

Up until that point, the staff had only been used to shepherd sheep. In the 40 years that Moses was a shepherd, he would have used his staff to rescue sheep, protect the sheep and guide the sheep. After the encounter with God, the staff was never used for those purposes again. After the God encounter, Moses staff was an instrument of miracles. Over and over again, God used the staff (something that was familiar to Moses) as an instrument through which something supernatural took place. The staff was central in the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, bringing water from a rock, in military battles and many other places.

God used what was familiar, common and ordinary and did something miraculous over and over with it. None of it makes any sense in the natural, but there aren't many places in the bible where God does something amazing that makes a lot of sense.

To the widow who is starving he says, feed my prophet and there will always be enough for you, and He sustained her for 3 1/2 years.,

To the childless senior citizens, He promised an heir and at 90 Sarah delivered her first born. When Isaac was 16, God tells Abraham to offer him as a sacrifice and their God revealed himself as the God who provides.

To the terrified king, God sends a young boy to slay a giant with nothing more than a sling and 5 stones.

To a virgin, God says, you're going to have a son, to a disciple he says, walk on water, to the pharisees he says kill me and in 3 days I will rise again.

None of it makes any sense at all, but God was in it all and made all of it work!

The same is true with you and me. God is constantly calling you and I to things that make no sense, and yet that is where is He is waiting to show Himself and His great power! In fact it may well be that the key to seeing God do the kinds of things we see Him doing in the Bible in and through our lives is simply to listen and risk more.

The easy thing to do is play it safe and hold on to the "staff" in our life and keep doing the same thing in the same way. The exciting thing to do is to step out and go for it and watch God step up to the plate and do something amazing!!

1 comment:

Danica said...

I remember that sermon the day you resigned, and I remember the feeling of the floor dropping out of the bottom of the church as your words sunk into the minds of the congregation.

A year already hey.

I'm glad you have a blog because I'm excited to see what God does with you now. Cool Tim.