What are you holding in Your Hands?
Just about everyone knows the story of how Moses was mandated by God with the task of leading approximately 3 million people out of Egypt and how God miraculously parted the Red Sea so that the multitude along with their possessions could cross over on dry ground to ultimately reach their God-Promised Land.
There are some fundamental lessons we can all learn for the intriguing times in which we live, so we too can step into our future.
YOU CAN’T ACCESS THE FUTURE WHILE YOU ARE HOLDING ONTO YOUR PAST
In times such as these it is imperative that you make a decision for once and for all to leave the past behind. Notice that the Israelites could only take across what they could carry. This should be an invitation for you to not take yesterday’s drama, disappointments, devastations or any load that would overburden your future. It will hinder, if not stall your progress altogether. What burdens you? Is it worry about your children and their children’s future? Is it a cut in salary or a potential loss of work? Do financial concerns bombard your mind and rob you of your peace of heart and mind? Are health issues plaguing you? Are your relationships in crisis? Whatever is burdening you, at some point, you will have to make a decision. Do you have a change of mind on how you are viewing the situation and choose to cross over into a new way of thinking? Or do you stagnate? Remember, we are always only one decision away from making a significant life change.
Our current day truth is that we are entering a new world, a new way of life is before us. As my son said to me the other day, it seems that we are in a quiet revolution. We are going into uncharted waters, we have never been this way before and it is going to take courage and faith to move forward. We simply cannot afford to get stuck.
So awe-inspiring was the miracle of the Red Seas parting, one can only imagine that after centuries of the weight of the water on the ocean bed, the sand would have been wet and dense to a very great depth. Yet even the sand was dried up in an instant to allow the crossing over to take the weight of all those people, and their carts and goods. Don’t be surprised in the times ahead when you may be called upon to trust God in a dimension that defies the natural circumstances and could quite frankly stretch your faith beyond reasonable bounds. But move forward we must. We may well need to get used to the unusual and the miraculous on earth as God’s will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.
WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING IN YOUR HAND?
Moses had just one instrument that he used as a constant reminder that God was with him; that was his shepherd’s rod. His staff was an instrument that he carried with him for years. God asked him the question in Exodus 4: “What is that in your hand, Moses? He replied it is a staff.” The Lord instructed Moses to throw it down. Instantly it turned into a serpent, rivaling the symbol of the serpent that Pharaoh wore on his headpiece or crown. As soon as Moses caught the serpent by its tail, it turned back into a staff.
What are you holding in your hand? Is it an entrepreneurial concept, a witty invention, a creative idea that could create a new income stream? Maybe it is an unusual, or a unique skill or an in-born talent designed in your DNA; a God-given gift that you know if you could and would release, it may open new pathways for you.
It’s very powerful to note that Moses stood before the vast Red Sea with millions of people depending on him for deliverance from the full might of the Egyptian army chasing them down. With no-where else to turn and flee, he had one choice and one choice only: that of obedience and trust. Under God’s instruction, Moses had to stretch forth his rod before the seas would part. I wonder what would have happened if he was afraid that nothing would happen? That is often the case with us, isn’t it? What if I do this, and nothing happens? But O, what is the potential in the possibility we miss out on if we don’t? What could have been the disastrous result if his faith in God failed? How would things have turned out if Moses was of the mind that thought, well, Lord, You have the power, you just do it?
This is the beautiful complexity of being in relationship with Almighty God. He is all-powerful, He is almighty, He is sovereign and yes, He can accomplish whatever He chooses in an instant. But He has chosen to work through His creation—people. We as those people need to find that fine balance in working under the Lordship of His Sovereignty and make sure we do our responsible part. For example, we can’t pray for work, but lie on the couch all day. We can’t ask God for sustaining health and never do any exercise or eat well. We can’t pray to write a book, start an organization, open up an orphanage, and yet not do our responsible part. Moses had to stretch forth his staff forth in faith. Only then did the miracle manifested.
PARTING WITH OLD MINDSETS AND MATTERS
God kept those seas parted and the ground dry until every last soul had crossed over. Then something very interesting happened. The enemies of Israel’s past—the whole of Pharaoh’s army had the waters close in on them. Knowing the weight of water and how many tons would have rushed back with enormous force, there was no way anyone could have survived. And this is exactly what we need to do with those stale mindsets and old matters. Let them go into the sea of the past and make a firm decision to cross over into the new, despite the chaos that swirls about us at present.
Not for a moment, do I believe the people would have not faced fear, perhaps even terror, and they must have wondered if they were going to come out of all of crisis alive. It is the same for the world right now. People are frightened, uncertain, reports are saying that anxiety and depression levels are at unprecedented levels in our times. However, we have no choice but to cross over. Especially as Believers, we need to cross over in faith, having hope, knowing that our God is able. Whatever the Red Sea is that you are facing, you have to know that God will see you through. And He will.
BE DONE WTH MUMBLING AND GRUMBLING
Just a word of caution: When the Israelites had all crossed over and over the next few days, they celebrated with joy and great delight, no doubt marveling at their miraculous deliverance. But here was their challenge: at the first sign of opposition, they began groaning, mumbling and grumbling. They found no water, they yearned for the leeks and garlic of Egypt, the thought they had been brought out of slavery to die made them want to return to their harsh taskmasters of Egypt.
GOD IS PREPARING SOMETHING NEW
Isaiah 43:19-21 Voice
Watch closely: I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak, and you’re about to see it. I am preparing a way through the desert; Waters will flow where there had been none. Wild animals in the fields will honor Me; the wild dogs and surly birds will join in. There will be water enough for My chosen people, trickling springs and clear streams running through the desert. My people, the ones whom I chose and created for My own, will sing My praise.
In times such as these, we are going to have to be more focused on what God is saying and doing than what we are hearing from unreliable and manipulative sources. We will have to focus intently on what God is doing behind the scenes rather than what we are seeing with our natural eyes. We are going to have to stay in an attitude of thanksgiving and praise to keep hope alive. The moment we sink into despair, discontent and complaining—even criticizing, we will start losing the battle for hope. When there is no hope, your future decays very quickly.
Hard times are upon the world. We may even be heading into the worst of times, but we still have a choice. We can hide and cringe in fear; we can be armchair critics and have every opinion about how the world should be run, without us ever doing our part. Or, we can take the worst of times and at best, make a decision to influence for good wherever and whenever we can.
EMBRACING WHAT GOD DOES IS BEST FOR YOU
One of my favorite Scriptures is this one. I have so many but I especially love this piece out of Romans,12:1-2, MSG
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
We can advance at supersonic speeds in the area of technology, experience unprecedented breakthroughs in the medical field, live in outer space for a year or more— which is fast becoming an adventure and is seeing increased demand—and make rapid progress in just about everything that makes our lives easier. Yet astonishingly, within, we remain spiritually unregenerate, unrenewed, immorality has become the norm and justice does not always prevail. We live largely without accountability to God who gave us life and entrusted us with dominion over His creation in all its beauty, and He created all of it for our good pleasure.
ACT JUSTLY. LOVE MERCY. WALK HUMBLY.
Centuries of history show how little regard man has given this finely balanced and magnificent creation. Could it be that if we don’t acknowledge, worship and serve the Almighty Creator, we don’t value His creation? The fallout of this is seen in our nuclear disasters, polluted oceans and rivers, smog-filled skies and the disregard for soil that is meant to provide nutritious food for the multitudes living on earth. And now we contend with a global virus-Covid 19.
While we were making all of these advances, we somehow managed to miss the greatest revolution of all: the salvation of our souls. We have dominated everything else, but not our souls! We so easily pass by this gift of life-this eternal oxygen mask. We assign the matter of soul-salvation to another file, comforting ourselves that we will look at it sometime in the future. We forget that it is God Himself who created us in His own image. We say it so glibly, but it is a life-transforming truth, of which we must take ownership. We omit to recall that it is His kindness that leads us to repentance (a turning away from habits, patterns and behaviors that keep us trapped and ensnared) so that we can live in the fullness of a transformed life here on earth— not just one day in the blue “bye and bye” but some day being today. Some day is same day in the now!
LIVE IN THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S ABUNDANCE
When we accept God’s offer of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, we begin to change through the working of the Holy Spirit within us, so that the result of that inward change flows out to others. The ongoing gift of salvation is that the outworking of Christ within becomes a most effective way to positively influence other people’s lives for good. Jesus Christ gave His life completely, holding nothing back, so that He could fulfill His life’s purpose. He sacrificed His very being to redeem people at odds with Him—people far removed from His ways—with the ultimate intention of you and I being the eternal beneficiaries where we obtain our inheritance through His death and resurrection. His resurrection power is always deeply at work within us. This is not only for another time or after our death, but for the here and now, enabling us to live in the fullness of His abundant life.
In offering your everyday life, God is not expecting superhuman feats, nor a nothing-but-perfect life. There is no need for projection or performance from you, but rather the authentic you being willing and available, humbling yourself under His mighty hand to get the job done in your part of the world.
It is time for us to cross over, leaving the old behind, ready to embrace the new. To look with new eyes, live with greater compassion, reach out to those who need to be shown the way and to encourage one other with great hope, because that is for sure what we have been given. Our responsibility it to receive it and live by it.
So ask yourself today: “If I am alive for such a time as this, what can I do to bring a greater contribution to my world?
Constantly be reminded that hope will always light up your way.
This beautiful artwork at the head of this page is a series by the gifted artist Ciska Swanepoel. Ciska and I collaborated on a project and combined her artistic talent and quotes from my books and all proceeds from the sales of these packs of cards and notebooks is generously given to many wonderful causes.
Look out for my future blog posts where this series of artwork, “What are you Holding in Your Hands” will be displayed.
To support this great endeavor and enjoy your beautiful cards, contact Ciska: