Part 3 – God’s Signs
In this third of our five part series, you will see how God chooses to use you in bringing deliverance to others and helping them to believe. But first He will give you signs that will scare you, encourage you, and teach you to listen to and obey His voice.
These thoughts are based on Moses and the Exodus account you will find in Exodus chapter 4.
After “God shows up” (in Exodus chapter 3 & our previous lesson), we find Him telling Moses that he has been selected to be the comissioned leader and carry His name to lead His people out of Egypt into the land God promised to give to the Partiarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Moses is given a project, one of seeming impossibilities, with ridiculous odds of failure, and that required 100% faith and focus on God. Moses questions whether he is up to the task and responded to God with a series of questions all of which revealed his doubt in God’s decision.
Moses first said to God,
BUT they won’t believe me or listen to me…”Exodus 4:1 ESV
I love the BUTS of the Bible, they reveal so much about humanity and God’s amazing dealings with us. Moses doubted that anyone would listen to him. Who was he afterall? Here he was just a shepherd going before the King of Egypt with all of his powerful magicians and political advisors.
God answered Moses, “What’s in your hand?” The same thing that God asks of us, “What’s in your hand, Debbie?” “What’s in your hand _________ (your name)?” Moses was holding his shepherds staff.
“Throw it down” Moses was told. And when he did, it turned into a snake and scared Moses away. Then God spoke again to Moses and told Him to pick up the snake by the tail. Which Moses did, and the snake turned back into Moses’ staff.
“What’s in your hand?” is how God uses people. He uses what people have. The years of sheep tending were not wasted for Moses. He didn’t need a scepter to go before the King, he needed his staff. He needed what God had put in his hand, because God uses what is in our hand. (Check out Shamgar, David, Sampson, and the little boy with fish and bread.)
The staff turning to a snake was not part of Moses everyday experience, and so it was a sign given as confirmation to Moses of God’s power to use what God had given him, but it was also a sign that the people would believe.
After running away from the snake, Moses learned to listen to God’s directions and to take it by the tail – the most dangerous place. Moses learned how to do what God told him to do even if it was dangerous and uncomfortable. Moses learned that God could transform something good into evil and back again, IF Moses would trust and obey the voice of God.
Then, what Moses held in his hand was called the rod of God! And with the rod of God, Moses would eventually part the sea, strike the rock and defeat the enemy in the valley.
Sign #1 – Staff to snake – Watch what God will do with what’s in your hand
God uses what you have in your hand. Your years of doing it, your experience, your skills, your heart and your dreams. Nothing is wasted. You need nothing more than faith in what He has given you. Faith that will trust Him with uncomfortable encounters, maybe even dangerous ones, but faith that you are doing what you have heard Him say to you.
When you decide that in your heart, and take action, you begin to move in a new freedom but so do those that God has sent you to. The signs are for you and for them too, to believe!
You would think that one sign was enough to boost Moses’ confidence in God. But God gave Moses another sign in which his healthy hand became leprous and then was restored to full health again. This sign was again to reassure Moses of God’s total and unstoppable power to restore even the most disgraceful, shameful, and horrible sin and disease in his life. God was saying, trust me Moses, to use ALL that you are – even the diseased and broken parts.
Sign #2 – The leprous hand restored – God will restore and use even our diseased and broken parts
There is no sin or shame God will not forgive or restore you from and use for His glory. He will do it as a sign for you to believe in and fully trust Him, and He will use you to share it with others so that their hope can be restored and they will believe in the power of the Almighty God.
But God is not through giving Moses (or you) signs.
He next tells Moses to take some water from the Nile and pour it on the ground and it will become blood. Guess what happens? Yup. He does and it does.
Blood always represents judgment. God’s message here was that if transformation didn’t work (staff to snake and hand to leprosy) then perhaps judgment would convince them to believe.
Sign #3 – Water to blood – God will bring judgment to the land
Our land, like ancient Egypt will face judgement. Our lives will face judgment and the Blood of the Lamb will cover and protect us during this time if we believe. The purpose of the blood is to make believers.
After these three persuassive signs, Moses still objects by saying –
I am not eloquent… I am slow of speech…”Exodus 4:10 ESV
Let’s be real here, Moses had spent the first 40 years of his life being trained in all the wisdom of Egypt. Acts 7:22 The real issue for Moses was his confidence was gone! That was way back then and now, he only spoke sheep talk. And while we’re being real, he’s not really complaining about his speaking ability but his inability to be a leader to God’s people.
Even though God had promised to be with him, and teach him what to do and say, Moses was comparing himself to those smart guys in Pharaoh’s court and coming up on the short end. Which is all we need to understand that Moses’ focus was in the wrong place, on himself and not on God. God provided Aaron, to be the speaker for Moses and promised to teach them both.
Sign #4 – God provides us the support we need – because He sees more in us than we do
Who of us has not dealt with a lack of confidence? Especially when we see a task before us with seemingly impossible odds of failure and requiring more faith than we think that we have? And yet, God, who hears the groans of the needy around you and the cries from the lonley, broken and lost who you come in contact with – provides for you all you need to bring them to faith, by means of your faith.
Lastly, here’s the bottom line of this long story.
After these 4 signs, and Moses listing disqualifications, doubts, and lack of confidence, he reveals the real issue in his heart. Without anymore excuses cuz God has dashed them all to pieces, Moses says to God –
Please send someone else…”Exodus 4:13 ESV
This made God angry. (v. 14). You know why? He was angry at Moses’ unwillingness not his questions or doubts. Moses revealed, by this request, that he was unwilling not unable.
Sign #5 – God reveals what’s really in our heart – He uses the willing heart
Whatever it takes, God will whittle all of our excuses down to reveal our willingness to obey His voice. When all is stripped away, are we willing to do what He has called and equipped us for?
God has demonstrated by these signs that He can and will work with what He has created. He will first deal with our own doubts and insecurities showing Himself strong on our behalf so that WE believe. Then, he uses us to affect other people’s beliefs.
God is intending a tremendous exodus of people from bondage into freedom and fulfilling of His promises. He has been preparing you for this exodus by hearing your desires, showing up in your life, and revealing signs like these to you, verifying His desire to use YOU!
What’s is your hand? Allow Him to restore the broken parts of your heart and judge you in His love and mercy. He has provided all you need for victory and deliverance if only you are willing.
Joining you in following His voice,
See you Next week for #4 God’s Last Straw