In these eight verses from the Book of Exodus, God pictures the three ministry tools given to every believer for the furtherance of His kingdom. As we delve into the typology of these miracles and their prophetic parallels, take notice that in the Exodus snippet above, Moses only tries two of the three devices God had provided. Motivation aside, in his deviation there is a significant lesson for the body of Christ. But first, lets examine the fishing tackle.
Tool One: Talent
God tends to use us wherever He finds us. It matters not if we sell cars, sweep floors, or chair a major corporations—God can use our current aptitude for His honor, glory, and praise. Our Lord essentially said to Moses the sheepherder, “Is that a shepard’s staff in your hand? I can use that!” Our Father says the same thing to us, but first we are told to throw it down. Why?
Because God desires that we see our talent for the snake it likely is. Far too many of us give prime recognition to the job or the position within the job, rather than God. We are guided by flesh and not by Spirit. In so doing we are not serving God. Incredibly, this can even occur in our ministries! God tells us to throw whatever it is down and then to pick it back up by the illogical-end (everybody knows you do not pick up a snake by the tail). This faithful, irrational act reestablishes God as our head.
Tool Two: Testimony
In the Bible leprosy is a picture of sin. The demonstration of Moses revealing (first) his leprous hand from his heart and then a cleaned one is a depiction of the born-again experience. When we share our testimony, like Moses, we express what we once were and how through the cleansing, redemptive power of Christ we have gotten where we are today. Many times our mere behavior bears witness that our desire to sin has been replaced by our desire to serve Jesus.
Tool Three: Truth
And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. And the water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.” Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” Exodus 4:9-10
The people looked to the Nile’s water for life, but the spirit of God’s message to Moses was that this course of water; a picture of the road that they were on, only brings death. Moses had received the God-given authority to bring this powerful, no-holds-barred message, but he stuttered—not so much in his speech, but in his response. This is precisely where many of us pause and stutter as well.
We readily employee the first two tools of our ministry (just like Moses), but when it comes to plainly telling folks that they are on a road towards destruction, we stop cold. After all, we don’t want to offend anyone. The truth be told, there comes a time, after other tools have been utilized and ignored, that we must say to the non-believer, “The course you are on leads to death—you MUST be born again.” The other tools are important, but the implementation of this tool is critical and sadly the one we tend to use the least. Do we really know what we are declaring when we joyously sing, “I want to see Jesus high and lifted up?” It is time for the world to understand the implication of a ‘lifted up’ Jesus. Let us; let me stutter no more.
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die. John 12:32-33
I am convicted by own words. I confess that I am guilty of the very thing I preach—my propensity is to rely on devices that are easy to handle and to ignore the ones that require a steady, skillful hand. It’s clear as I write that this latter tool; the tool of truth requires practice and a thorough review of the owners manual in order to use it effectively. Checking-in with the Manufacturer on a regular basis is also highly recommended.