Moses shifted uneasily. The task God was asking him to do was too great. God didn't understand how things worked at the palace. He, Moses had been brought up as the adopted grandson of a pharaoh. He knew all about court etiquette and he knew he couldn't just go waltzing into Pharaoh, demand that the Israelites be released and they would be released. Oh no, that was not the way things worked. God would have to come up with another plan. A better plan.
He was God, you know. God could like, strike every single Egyptian down dead. Then, the Israelites could gather up everything of value and be one their way. It would be easy. Or, how about this? God could simply transport them to the promised land. One moment they'd be slaving away in the hot sun and then POOF! They'd suddently find themselves lounging around their own palaces in the Land of Milk and Honey. Hey... maybe God could arrange it so the roles would be reversed and the Egyptians would be the slaves. Hmm... What a great idea and it would be so very easy. They wouldn't have to do anything and as for God? Well, He would have to do something but you know, if God had created the Universe, this would be nothing for Him, right?
Sigh... nope, God was insistent that things would be done His way which meant that Moses would actually have to... do something.
But Moses protested again, What if they won t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, The Lord never appeared to you?
Then the Lord asked him, What is that in your hand?"
Exodus 4:1-2a (NLT)
What was God thinking? Moses had asked Him a question and instead of answering it, God asks Moses what's in his hand? What does that have to do with anything?
A shepherd s staff, Moses replied. Exodus 4:2b
Moses was puzzled. It was just a staff. It was useful when it came to herding animals or as something to lean on when walking but it was useless when it came to setting a nation free.
Throw it down on the ground, the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back.
Then the Lord told him, Reach out and grab its tail. So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd s staff in his hand.
Perform this sign, the Lord told him. Then they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob really has appeared to you.
Exodus 4:3-9 (NLT)
Over and over references are made in Exodus to this staff as well as the staff of Aaron. Was there magic in this staff? Did the staff turn itself into a snake? No. It was just the instrument through which God chose to use to demonstrate His power. In Exodus 4:20 (NLT) this staff is referred to as "the staff of God".
God certainly does not need tools or other resources. However, He often gives them to us for us to use. Yes, there is the danger of relying on these things rather than relying on God. We often hear about that. However, there is another danger, one which I don't think we hear about quite as often. There is the danger of neglecting the tools and resources God has given us.
It is well and good to ask people to pray that you get a job but when you do so, make sure you are taking action as well. You're "pounding the pavement" and filling out applications as opposed to sitting at home watching television or spending all your time on Facebook. Perhaps you're working a couple of lower-paying part time jobs until something better comes up or you may even be applying to go to school to learn a new profession or skill. Yes, you are trusting in God provide a new job for you but in the meantime, you are actively pursuing it, preparing yourself to be ready for when God opens the door.
It is well and good to pray about relationships but it can't stop there. What are you doing to improve the relationship? Are you being an example of Christ to that person or are you just focusing on what is wrong with them?
We want to be healthy but are we living a healthy life-style? We want to be financially secure but are we willing to learn to be good stewards with what we have so that we can save more bit by bit?
I think you get the idea. Yes, God can and does work instantaneous miracles. I know that well for I have experienced some. However, we also must learn to recognize the resources and helps which God has placed in our hands... and use them.
I heard Joyce meyer say " if we walked in obedience we wouldnt need so many miracles" We will always be expected to do our part, but we cant do our part without leaning on God. Funny how that works... Its easy to love God when he gives you yhe quick fix miracle, but real love is proven when we can go through the wilderness and not around it, trusting God that even though this is tough it is what is best for us. I agree with you about using all the tools that he gives us. And his greatest tool that he gave to us is the power found in his word. Great blog.