Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Grabbing the Snake's Tail

Man, taking a risk is tough stuff. We work so hard to build "security," that we often get to a point when we either think we have it made, or we pass up opportunities to enrich our lives even more by going out on a limb.

This morning, I heard a great reminder about the endless possibilities that God has awaiting us...if we trust him.

Mike Linch (our Sr. Pastor) shared a lesson from the life of Moses - perhaps the greatest leader ever to walk the earth. The funny thing is that Moses had no clue how incredible of a leader he was - or that he could become. He did his very best to try and talk God out of using him to change the course of history.

Moses was a "but" guy. Every time God would explain to him what he was supposed to do, Moses replied with a "but." He came up with every excuse in the book. However, God knew Moses better than Moses knew himself.

During his encounter with the famed burning bush, Moses' outlook changed. He went from being a "but" guy to becoming an "OK, I suppose" guy. It wasn't until later that he fully trusted God...but one step at a time.

For 40 years, Moses meandered through the Midian wilderness tending sheep. He had been on the run for quite a while, and settled down with his wife's family. It wasn't luxurious by any stretch, but it was "safe."

But, in the end, I'm certain God knew that for Moses, being a shepherd wasn't fulfilling. And, I feel confident in saying that Moses - deep down - knew that he had been spared from Pharaoh's hand as an infant for a reason. He knew God had plans for him - big ones.

But, one thing Moses likely never had to lean on during those 40 years as a shepherd was his trust in God. He felt forgotten and disqualified. And, while God wasn't finished with him, it was ultimately up to Moses to take the next step.

The turning point came when God (speaking out of the bush) told Moses to throw his staff on the ground. Doing so, Moses witnessed the wooden rod turn into a snake. God then instructed Moses to pick up the snake - by the tail! I, for one, would run from a snake. But, Moses lived in the wilderness, and surely knew that IF you picked up a snake, you did it by the head, so it couldn't dig its fangs into you.

But, Moses was obedient - and trusted God. So, he grabbed the tail of the snake, and it turned back into the staff he would later use to deliver a nation - God's nation - from slavery.

When we're wandering through life after years in the wilderness, God may be asking us to pause and turn our eyes on Him. He may even ask us to grab the snake by the tail - to boldly and confidently trust in His ability - not ours.
It'll likely be the only way we'll escape the wilderness, and discover the amazing things He has waiting for us on the other side.

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