Releasing What We Know
It’s good to have a grateful heart for all that you have experienced in your life. I try to regularly celebrate what God has done in and through my life. But I suppose I have also been haunted by the question: “What if?” What if I had believed God more? What if I had obeyed, when God first put the thought in my mind? What if I had not yielded to my fears or doubts? What might God have done? Those kinds of questions can keep you up at night.
Moses is one of those fascinating biblical characters almost everyone can identify with at some point. He was an ordinary person through whom God intended to accomplish extraordinary works. Unfortunately, Moses occasionally assumed he knew what was best and would short-circuit what God intended. Moses experienced much, but he might have experienced more.
The story of God’s call on Moses is well known. Moses was simply herding sheep in the desert as he had done for decades, when God suddenly intervened and told him of the astounding work He intended to do through him. It was far beyond anything Moses could have dreamed. Soon, however, doubts flooded Moses’ mind. He was not eloquent. Perhaps people would not heed his words or follow him.
Finally, God gave Moses an unusual command. Throw his shepherd’s rod to the ground. His rod was his primary tool as well as defense. He had used it for many years. Moses knew it well. Or so he thought. That would be like telling a fisherman to throw his nets to the ground, or a baseball player to throw his glove to the ground. Why relinquish the one thing necessary for you to accomplish your work? Moses might not have known much by that point in his life, but he knew shepherding! Or so he thought.
To his credit, Moses obeyed and tossed his rod to the dirt. Suddenly, it became a serpent. It frightened Moses so much that he fled from it. How could something so terrifying have been in Moses’ hands so long?
But of course, it wasn’t a serpent until Moses cast it to the ground. As long as Moses clung to it, it was merely an ordinary rod. It was only as he released his grasp on it that it was transformed into something greater. And that’s the point.
What is currently in our hands that will never become greater until we release it? Until we drop it to the earth, it remains what it has always been. But, when, in faith to God’s word, we release what we have to God, it is suddenly transformed into something far greater than we could have imagined.
It might be our ability to speak or teach. We assume we have little ability in that field, or only when teaching children. Then God tells us to release our grasp on our skills and to stop telling God that all we have in our hand is a rod. Suddenly God is using us to lead a neighborhood Bible study in our home or in the lunchroom at our workplace. We assume that our skills, abilities, possessions, resources are just ordinary, and, as long as we cling to them, they are. But when we release them to God, suddenly they become much more.
What is it you have been stubbornly holding on to while insisting it is only ordinary? What might God do through your life if you surrendered every aspect of your life to Him and let Him transform it into a powerful, divine instrument?
You do not want to reach the end of your life and be haunted by the question: What might God have done, if only I had laid my rod on the ground?
Written by Dr. Richard Blackaby