What’s In Your Hand?

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Too many times we do not attempt great things for God in service to Him because we look down on what we have to offer and figure it’s not much so we pull back and fail to serve falling into the trap of the excuse that we’re not good enough or talented enough.


Exodus chapter four is a great read as you see Moses being called by God to deliver the people of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses is making excuses why he isn’t the right person for the job and how the people will not listen to him.  Then God gets his attention with one sentence.

Exodus 4:2 (ESV) The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.”

From that point in Exodus 4 you’ll see God demonstrating His power to Moses through the staff that he had in his hand. The important point to see is how God used what Moses had, not what he didn’t have.

All of us can find things in other people we wish we had. We may even think of how much good we could do if we just had the skills, talent, or means of another person. I believe God would say to us via this passage in Exodus, as He said to Moses, “What is in your hand?” What skills, talent, opportunities, and means do you have right now? What are you doing with what you have? Have you offered what you have to God as an instrument for His use?

We sometimes forget that God’s grace supersedes our inabilities by His grace. After all we were “dead in trespasses and sin” as Ephesians 2 reminds us but He comes to us by His sovereign grace, granting us faith, life, and prepared abilities in the way of skills, talent and opportunities to come out of comfort zones in order to express our love and devotion to Him

Ephesians 2:8–10 (ESV) — 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Too many times we get into the “why I can’t” mode of thinking as we look at what others have or even more at what we don’t have. God’s wake-up call is simple: Look at what you do have and offer it to me. Here’s a great example of how Jesus put His disciples to the test:

John 6:5–13 (ESV) — 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.

Note how the disciples took the little they could find in a boy’s lunch and gave it to Jesus who blessed it and fed the multitude and even had some left over. There are endless possibilities what God can do with what we have if we’ll just offer it to God.

What a great lesson!

There are times we focus on how little we have to offer, and we get discouraged as we focus on the “smallness” of what we have. That is what happened in the rebuilding of the temple as the people compared the effort with what had been before. That’s when God spoke a word of “wake up” through the prophet, Zechariah.

Zechariah 4:10 (ESV) — 10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.”

Are you despising the day of small things in your life by being more focused on a comparison of what you have to offer God with others or with what you think you should have in order to offer a pleasing sacrifice of service to God? Before you compare yourself to others or complain about your situation, look again at what God said to Moses and know it is applicable to all of us, “What is in your hand?”


Bob Brubaker

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