As humans, we constantly find ourselves in difficult situations, and by default, we strive to work things out. We begin to wonder what we can and cannot do, the lengths we can go, the heights we can reach, and the elasticity of our capacities. You’re not alone.
However, one of the things I have come to terms with is the need to let God be God in our lives. As a student in college, I heard someone describe the need to accept God as our Lord and Personal Savior. Many of us accept him as Savior – we like the part where he washes us clean, sweeps us off our feet, saves us from harm, and all that knight in shining armor stuff, but we often dismiss the part where he needs to be accepted in our lives as Lord. The dictionary defines a lord as “someone or something having power, authority, or influence; a master or ruler.” Well, in a broken world wrapped in pop culture, we are told “no one should ever lord it over us.” For some reason, we have connected the word “Lord” to other words like tyranny and obnoxiousness, you name it. Accepting Jesus as Lord, however, means that we understand, accept, and yield to him as the one who has true power, authority, and influence, not to “lord it over us” but to guide us, lead us, and keep us.
A few weeks ago during personal Bible study, precisely on the 30th of August, 2020, I saw Exodus 4:1-4 in new light. It was amazing. I also knew I needed to post it on the blog. So, let’s jump right into it!
1But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” 2 Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. 3 “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. 4 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.EXODUS 4: 1-4 NLT
Now, if you’re like me, every time I came across these verses in the past, I was awed by how God brought something out of nothing; I was also awed by how God would usually use what we already have when he wants to partner with us. He doesn’t look too far; he just meets us where we are and helps us grow from there. But here’s what I never saw until August 30: VERSE 4.
For the first time, this stopped me in my tracks because I actually imagined it. I went all wait what? God, you said what? God asked Moses to grab the snake by its tail! That’s one of the most dangerous ways to kill a snake. Everyone advises against it, not just because they don’t want you to take a risk, but because the snake could turn its head and bite. But here’s God casually asking a man whose staff had turned into a reptile to pick up that snake by its tail. If I were Moses, I would have jumped back as he did in verse 3, but I’d also run away too.
Nevertheless, doing anything with God requires our reckless abandon, our total surrender, and our unsheltered willingness. Our lives need to say you are Lord. You know what is best for me even when it does not look like it! As I would usually act when something baffles me, I went straight to Google and searched something like “holding the snake by its tail” (yes, I’m one of those people who google anythinggg lol). While all the articles advised against it, some of them offered a choice in the midst of choicelessness. They said if you have to take a snake by its tail, use a stick or branch to hold its head. Exodus 4:4 was clear to us: there was no stick or branch. What does that tell you?
God will hold the head. God will do the work. God will make things work together for your good, but he needs you to hold the tail, not because that does anything significant in the grand scheme of things, but because it shows your belief in Him. It reflects your unashamed trust in Him.
Now, here’s the catch: Moses was afraid. He had questions upon questions. In verse one, we can almost hear him grumbling, what if they won’t believe me? what if… what if… Verse 10 says “O Lord I’m not very good with words…” and you know how God responds in verse 11? He says, “Who makes a person’s mouth?” and in verse 12, God says, “Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” Moses didn’t give in until verse 20, but let’s get back to the point: how many “what if’s” do you need to let go of?
Grabbing the snake by its tail could mean something different for you – taking a bold career step, forsaking anything standing between you and your relationship with Christ, forgiving a friend, family member, or coworker, stepping into the ministry God has called you into, or trusting God with your future. Whatever it is, I need you to grab the snake by its tail. Yes, it seems daunting, but here’s the point where you take your eyes off of yourself and remember your LORD. Trust Him to hold the head of that snake. Just let him see your surrender.
BUT, HOW? You may ask.
Tell Him and act like it. If you are trusting God for a spouse, you tell Him, but you also don’t go around anticipating that everyone you meet is the one. Surrender it and let things happen. If it’s forgiveness, tell God and go ahead with writing out the pain, praying for the person, or calling them over the phone. Your surrender is a mix of your thoughts, words, and actions. I pray that you receive grace to hold the snake by its tail and place an unwavering trust in Jesus as your Lord in Jesus Name, Amen.
PS: There’s a Part 2 to this post. In Exodus 7:1-13, we see the staff-serpent miracle at display. This time, however, there are some contenders. Next week, we’ll discuss why contention stands in the place God has already planned for you and what you can do about it.
As always, thank you so much for being here and thank you for reading! Have a most beautiful week ahead!
With Overflowing Love,