Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

God Can Use Your Everyday Tools And Experience For His Kingdom Work

Photo by Reza Vaziri
God Remembers His Covenant With Israel

From the end of the book of Genesis to the beginning of Exodus, a period of over 400 years, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had remained silent as Jacob's family multiplied exponentially in Egypt. You see, after the death of Joseph and his brothers, Jacob's family had grown so large that the Egyptians became frightened and decided to enslave these Israelites. The Egyptians even attempted to control the growth of their population through killing male Israelite babies.

The Israelites cry out to God in their pain and misery. The heavy burden of cruel, Egyptian slavery was becoming too much for them to bear. The man Moses, an Israelite raised in Pharaoh's household, even tried to defend his fellow Israelites by killing an Egyptian taskmaster. As a result of killing this Egyptian, Moses had to flee for his life. He ends up in the Sinai desert for 40 years, where he becomes a shepherd in the household of Jethro.

But God has not forgotten His chosen people. He hears the pain and agony of their Egyptian slavery. He begins to work in dramatic ways in order to accomplish His Kingdom work in the world.

Moses' Staff Becomes God's Staff

One day, Moses was out in the desert near Mount Horeb shepherding his flock, minding his own business, and then God shows up to have a little chat with him. God reveals to Moses that He has heard the cry of His people in Egypt and that He is about to rescue them from their slavery. He will bring them out of Egypt and into the Promise Land. He asks Moses to be his key man to lead His people out of Egypt.

Moses, though, doesn't want to be the leader. He argues with God on several levels regarding why he can't do it and the difficult time he is going to have convincing the Israelite elders that God has actually sent Moses in the first place. So, God gives Moses a couple of miracles that he can perform for the elders in order to demonstrate God's power. One of these miracles involves the staff Moses uses in his current job of shepherding.
The LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?”  “A staff,” he replied. 
Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” He threw it on the ground, and it became a snake. Moses ran from it, but the LORD told him, “Stretch out your hand and grab it by the tail.” So he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand. “This will take place,” He continued, “so they will believe that Yahweh, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” (Exodus 4:2-5).
What I find even more fascinating is that just a few verses later in this same chapter, this same shepherd staff is no longer referred to as Moses' staff.
So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took God’s staff in his hand (Exodus 4:20).
When Moses finally yielded his life, his profession, his calling over to God and obeyed Him, Moses' tool of the trade, this simple shepherd staff no longer was Moses' staff. It became God's staff.

What Do You Have That God Wants To Use?

Has God through His Holy Spirit been speaking to you lately? Has He been asking you to use talents, abilities, and tools in your current profession in order to expand the Kingdom of God?

Moses was a simple shepherd working the backside of the Sinai desert. His primary tool for his occupation was a shepherd's staff. He had experience leading flocks of sheep and goats from point A to point B. Also, his previous experience growing up in Pharaoh's household (he had most likely been groomed for leadership at some level) made Moses the ideal candidate to lead God's people out of Egypt to the Promise Land.

What do you have that God wants to use? If you're a musician, maybe God wants you to take your musical instrument and yield it to Him in order for it to become God's instrument to use for His glory instead of your own Kingdom purposes. Perhaps you're a nurse or doctor. You have the tools and knowledge to go to a third world country in order to spread the gospel through medical missions. Or, maybe you can swing a mean hammer or work a power saw? Is God calling you to use your tools and abilities to help those in need around the world?

Through using what God has given us, we can be His hands and feet to a lost and dying world. Just allow yourself to be sensitive to the leading of His Spirit in your life. Surrender your life, ambitions, career, and tools of your trade over to Him and watch how He can use them for His glory and His purposes.

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