Over and over again, the Israelites challenged Moses’ leadership, and it was no different when they got to Rephidim (resting place.) They were thirsty and there was no water so they began to find fault with Moses. His response was … why do you put the Lord to proof? Sadly, we often do the same thing. We test the Lord. We want Him to prove Himself over and over again.
Moses response was to cry out to the Lord”
Ex 17:4 So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
The Lord’s response may not have been what Moses was expecting. He got a lesson in what it means to be the Lord’s instrument, and that lesson applies to the Jesus’ bride today.
Ex 17:5-7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. ESV
Once again the Lord asked Moses … what is in your hand? The same question He asked him in Ex 4:2. God continued to use Moses’ rod throughout Israel’s wandering in the wilderness. When we face our challenges, God is asking us the same question… what is in your hand?
God takes for granted that each of us has something that is useful for Him in ministering on His behalf. After all, He is the One who gave it to us. We are all given gifts, according to the measure of the God’ grace. Maxi Dunnam put it this way: “While there may not be an equality among our gifts and our talent, at the same time every person is of intrinsic worthy in the economy of the Kingdom.” But God doesn’t measure our usefulness by our character to use those gifts; He measures by our willingness to use them.
If we are going to be the Lord’s instrument there are two key things that are necessary. The first is that we need to have a sense of our own “uniqueness.” Someone once said that each one of us is a unique, unrepeatable miracle of God. There are no copies in God’s family. Pastor Dr. Mouzon Biggs shared a personal story about how he learned that lesson:
As a child, every night when his mother tucked she would whisper in his ear: “You are such a special child, I think God must have sent you to do something special. I hope you find out what that is.” He said, “I didn’t know until years later that she was whispering the same thing to my sister and little brother.”
We all need to hear that message. We need that kind of affirmation in our life. He will use us if we are willing to ask and use the gifts He has given us. Take a few moments and read Deuteronomy 7:6-8 and meditate on the fact that, like Israel, you have been especially chose by God. Here are two things that we need to understand are the result of being chosen.
First, to be the Lord’s instrument, we have to have a sense of our usefulness. Antonio Stradivari sensed his own uniqueness and usefulness in relation to God. He was quoted as saying: “When any master holds twixt chin and hand a violin of mine, he will be glad that Stradivari lived, made violins, and made them of the best. For while God gives them skill I gave them instruments to play upon. God could not make Antonio Stradivari’s violins without Stradivari.” That’s how we need to see ourselves; as God’s instruments, unique and useful.
Second, in order to be an instrument of God, we may have to make some changes in the way we pattern our life. Some of us may need to make radical changes while others just need to become deliberate in living out what God is calling us to do. But most of us can accomplish that by intentionally being about His business day in and day out. We just need to do what God is asking us to do, being His servant and witness right where we are. God asked Moses a question and his answer was to be obedient to God’s command. It’s no different for us as God won’t ask us to do something for which He has not equipped us.
So, the next time God asks you that question, you need to know that He already knows the answer. Do you? What’s in your hand?
009 Is Jesus Lord of All