Let’s start with a question
How many people find it difficult to talk to strangers or people you don’t really know? I don’t really have a problem doing that, because I found a secret to having conversations with people.
Ask questions…and care about the answers (Philippians 2:4).
· Where are you from?
· How did you find our church?
· Do you have family here?
· Do you know anyone at our church?
· What do you do for a living?
· How did you come to know the Lord? (i.e. What’s your story?)
· Have you joined a small group, yet?
· No? What are your interests, because our small groups are based on what you like to do?
Sometimes you’ve got to be quick on your feet; for questions lead to answers, which lead to more questions, which lead to answers and conversations. Let’s say they don’t ask you any questions, that’s okay, because your questions to them have opened up the conversation for you to share things about you too. Whenever you’re in one of those uncomfortable situations, and you’re not sure what to say… just start asking questions!
God asks questions too
God never asks questions for His benefit. No, He asks them for your benefit. He knows the answers; He’s omniscient, remember (1 Kings 8:39)? He’s asking to make sure you know the answer. He asked Adam, “where are you?” Because he wanted Adam to realize his fallen state (Genesis 3:9).
And the same with Moses. In Exodus 4:2 God asked Moses, “What’s in your hand?” A rod of course, but once Moses laid it down, it came alive! It became a snake.
Nice trick, right? But is that all God wanted to do was show Moses a nice trick? No! God was fixin’ to answer some big prayers. God was about to perform some big miracles.
You see the Children of Israel were in Egypt, they were slaves. They were miserable, so they were praying, God, deliver us! God free us from the bondage of Egypt!
Who will stand up?
Do you believe God wants to answer some big prayers for his people today? I know I do. But in order for God to answer these prayers, He’s got to have some willing people to be His hands, His feet, His mouthpiece. That’s right, just like how God was going to answer the Children of Israel’s prayers by using Moses and what was in Moses’ hand – he’s looking for willing vessels today!
You see, Moses was that willing vessel, but he wasn’t always confident! He was lacking the faith required for the job. So, what did God do? He said Moses, not only am I going to use you… but I’m also going to use what’s in your hand (Exodus 4:2-4).
· The Staff represented Moses’ identity, as a shepherd
· The Staff represented Moses’ skillset, the knowledge required to use the staff
· The Staff represented Moses’ passion, what Moses spent his time and energy doing
More than ordinary
Moses used the staff whenever God performed a miracle, including the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-22)! To Moses the staff was ordinary (a part of his daily life), it was useful, reliable, relatable, and comfortable. He knew this staff – he understood this staff – it was in his hand. So for God to perform “Uncomfortable, Extraordinary Miracles” he often helps us get there with comfortable ordinary things. God knows we’re human, with weaknesses and frailties, with strengths and weaknesses… and there are times when he will ask us to do uncomfortable things – to get outside of our comfort zone.
Besides Moses’ rod, God used David’s sling to take down Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:50, and his harp to calm down King Saul in 1 Samuel 16:23. These things were ordinary, comfortable objects, known well by their owner, but when offered to the Lord, it comes alive. It does more than you can ever imagine!
Think of the story of the young boy in John 6:8-13, and his lunch of two small fish and five barley loaves. God can take that small, ordinary thing in your hand and use you and it for a miracle that touches thousands of lives!
Use what God gave you
At International Pentecostal Church (IPC) we have what’s called Small Group Ministry; but it’s not what you think. Usually, small groups meet and have a Bible study, and have some food and fellowship. That’s great! But at IPC we center our small groups around interests, hobbies…you know, what people have in their hand.
Because we believe that God can take your: offering, instrument, tool, hobby, trinket, knowledge, wisdom, presence, passion, expertise, gift, ability, time, talent and treasure, and use them to minister or help or reach others.
Isn’t that what it’s all about? It’s not about you, your wants, your desires, your comfort, your preferences. It’s about others.
If you want to grow as a Christian this year, and I mean really grow. Let God use you.
Specifically, let God use what’s in your hand.
· Let Him use who you are
· Let Him use your talents
· Let Him use your passion
And you will grow.