Today we’re going to talk about stress, I’m talking to those of you who might be thinking or literally saying today, “Help I am stressed out!”
Thinking about stress, and all the ways it can absolutely reek havoc in your life, the things that we fear. The things that we cry out to God about. The things that we worry tirelessly about, the things that we lose sleep over, the things that we have NO IDEA.. how to handle – it makes me think about faith.
The kind of faith that moves mountains, the kind of faith that allows an ordinary man to walk on water, the kind of faith that split the red sea.
When I think about that great faith, I think of Moses, so we’re going to talk a bit about Moses today and while there are numerous references in the bible that we could pick to apply the life of Moses to our daily walk with the Lord, I’m going to unpack the text for you in Exodus 4:1-5 were we find Moses on the far side of the desert in Mideon were the voice of God show himself to Moses from a frame of a crackling bush.
Listen y’all, I don’t know what you’re going through. You don’t know what I’m going through.. but this is what I believe God is going to show us today. I believe he’s going to show us how to HANDLE IT!
So grab your bible if you have one and I would love for you to follow along with me as I read from the text in Exoducs 4:1-5.
If you'd prefer to WATCH rather than LISTEN, click here to watch the video of this training. If you'd prefer to read, go ahead and continue down below!
EXODUS 4:1-5 (NLT)
1 But 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.
5“Perform this sign,” the Lord told him. “Then they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.”
So let me set this up for you this way. Do y’all remember the movie “Cast Away”? Great Tom Hanks movie.. one of his best. In this movie, Tom Hanks had been alone for so long on the deserted island that he made friends with a volleyball. “WILSON”
Wilson became his companion in the movie and if you remember at the end of the movie when he is floating out to sea on his raft, Wilson falls off the raft and he can’t save him.
Heartbreaking part of the movie right, y’all know you cried! Lol.. over a volleyball. Over Wilson.
Can you imagine becoming so attached to a material item, that you would almost view it as your best friend. Your companion? (iPhone)
In Exodus chapter 4 Moses has a staff in his hand. At this point God was just beginning to introduce Moses to the potential of this staff that would be a figure in his life and a tool for miracles beyond comprehension in the years to come.
At this point, Moses is just getting acquainted with his staff, but WE know what this staff is going to do at the red sea. We know that when 2 ½ million Egyptians are chasing Moses and the Hebrew people to their death out of Egypt, that Moses is going to stretch that staff over the red sea and the left side of the sea is going to say to the right side of the sea “I’ll see you in the little while” and God is going to do something so miraculous and so powerful.
How many of you know that God will direct the elements of your life to work on your behalf when you’re walking by faith?! Amen.
But in Exodus chapter 4, Moses doesn’t know this yet. He can’t see it. Somebody say hindsight is 20:20. Hindsight is 20:20. Do you ever look back on a situation and think to yourself, I can’t believe I worried so much about that. Look at how God HANDLED it.
Our hindsight is 20:20 which means we can look back at see the details of our situation perfectly, with 20:20 vision but with GOD, he looks at our situation with foresight, and his foresight is 20:20! AMEN.
Your struggle is not a surprise to him. Your adversity is not a surprise to him. Your situation is a setup.. for what HE can see perfectly.. is to come.
This staff that Moses is just getting acquainted with in Exodus 4 would not only part the red sea, but another time when Faro wouldn’t let the people go, God told Moses to strike the Nile river and turn in to blood.(So he does it)
Later he strikes the Nile and turns it into frogs, He takes his staff at one point and strikes the dust of the ground and turns into a swarm of knats.. all of this is happening with Moses’ staff. Something as simple as a wooden staff.
In the book of Numbers chapter 20 Moses finds himself with a rebellion on his hands after following God’s direction and leading his people into the wilderness where they were desperate for water. God told Moses I hate when my people complain but I love them enough to give them exactly what they need when they need it so go strike that rock with your staff and water will flow in abundance to take care of all your people and their livestock. How many of you are thankful for God’s patience with us amidst our whining, our complaining, our lack of faith at times… He’s still a good good father. ALL THE TIME. Amen?
The awesome thing we can learn but studying how God moved powerfully through the life of Moses, is that EVERYTHING we need.. is in reach. Everything we need, right now, is in reach.
I heard one of my corporate trainers say that once at the very beginning of my corporate career, and that is a phrase that has rang true in my life in so many different areas.
Ironically I had a mentor in my life speak the very same words to me in the beginning of entrepreneurial journey when I was facing my most significant adversity. Everything you need Justin, is within reach.
In Exodus 4 verse 2 the Lord says to Moses, “WHAT DO YOU HAVE THERE IN YOUR HAND?”
But leading in to that, Right before this moment in verse 1 Moses had just said to God, “ WHAT IF, they don’t believe me?” WHAT IF..
Do you know how many dreams have died under the weight of WHAT IF? How many things in your life didn’t you do because of WHAT IF. How many things in your life DID you do that you shouldn’t have done because of WHAT IF? How many nights have you lost sleep because WHAT IF kept you awake. How many mornings have you woke up paralyzed with anxiety because WHAT IF was your alarm clock.
And it’s not just WHAT IF here in Exodus 4:1, but there’s one more important word there.. it says What if THEY.. what if they laugh at me, what if they don’t believe in me, what if they don’t accept me..
Now on one hand Moses is working through a hypothetical situation because what he is worried about hasn’t happened right? He’s imagining the response he’s going to get when he tell his people what he saw with the burning bush.
But on the other hand, his response here is historical because this event is triggering a response to a past rejection he experienced 40 years earlier. 40 years earlier Moses killed an Egyptian in defense of his people, and because he TRIED to do the RIGHT THING but did it in the wrong way, ended up on the run.
Can y’all relate to that? Can you relate to really putting your heart into something but the result wasn’t what you thought it would be so because of that bad experience have no interest in trying it again? C’mon somebody. Some of y’all formed inner vows because of it!
Moses here is asking God something hypothetical “WHAT IF THEY” but it’s really based off of something that is historical. And he’s projecting his past into his potential, today we call it limiting beliefs, but God wants him to know that “everything you have, is everything that you need! What do you have in your hand?”
Now to us the staff is a simply a shepherding instrument, but to Moses the staff represented much more than his job, it represented his past mistakes. Because if he had never killed the Egyptian and ended up on the run from Egypt where he was adopted into royalty he never would have HAD the staff in his hand in the first place. So when God asks him “What’s in your hand?” it causes Moses to have to remember how mistakes that he had made had now landed him in the position that he is in because when God speaks to you about your potential he will often cause you to confront your past. He’s SHOWING us.. what we need to do to HANDLE IT.
So he says “What’s in your hand” and to Moses it’s a staff but to Moses it’s also his past and to Moses it’s also the tool he has to do the work God had assigned him to do so there’s a whole lot happening in this staff, and yet through all of that God is saying WHAT YOU HAVE IS WHAT YOU NEED!
I think God wants to say that to someone this morning that is dealing with a frightening sickness in your life, WHAT YOU HAVE IS WHAT YOU NEED, he built an extra amount of strength in you to stand and deal with that situation, he foresaw what you would have to go through and he compensated by putting a RESOLVE, and a DETERMINATION, and a STRENGTH inside of you that’s more than enough to HANDLE.. what you’re going through right now.
EVERYTHING YOU HAVE…. IS EVERYTHING YOU NEED.
So leave your list of what you DON’T HAVE alone today, and ask God to show you what you have that is within reach. The wisdom that you’re looking for to handle the situation you’re going through is probably in a book on your bookshelf.
I was talking to a peer of mind earlier last year, and we were discussing some of the challenges we were both experiencing in our businesses and in the marketplace, and based upon what I told him he recommend a BOOK for me to read. He had read it himself and told me I believe what you need you’ll find in that book. So I bought it. And guess where it went.. on the shelf.
Then later in the year I was talking to that same individual again and the conversation came up about the challenges we faced earlier in the year and guess what, some of those challenges I was still facing. And he asked me “How did that book that I recommended to you strike you? I was certain you would find some ah-hah moments in there.” Guess what.. It was still on the shelf.
You know sometimes when you call out to God about your situation and you ask him to download the information that you need to fix whatever problem you have.. God may be saying to you “Did you even read that BOOK, that I gave you?”
Listen y’all we’ve never lived in a time where the information we need to more accessible that it is today!! I mean, my goodness, everything that we need is not only available to us but it is being SPOON FED to us in whatever portion, size, shape, color, or avenue we desire. But you’ve gotta go out and grab it!! Somebody put that in the comments! I’ve gotta grab it!
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. I can take you to a buffet but I can’t make you eat. What you need is within your reach but I can’t make you get up out your chair and grab it for yourself! Wisdom is there, but you’ve gotta grab it. Joy is there, but you’ve gotta grab it. The promises of God about your situation are there, but you’ve gotta grab it. You’re harvest is ready but you’ve gotta go out and grab it!
Everything that you need is within your reach. Don’t we get caught up in what we don’t have? This is what the Lord is teaching me. Success is much less about what you have, but more about how you handle what you have.
I was reading a story recently about one of athletes I looked up to as a young man, loved this guy, hockey player for the Detroit red wings. Incredible athlete. Tremendously talented. Reached the pinnacle of success for many years, made millions and millions of dollars in his career right.
When he retired, he was bankrupt, lost everything, lost his family, became addicted to drugs, ruined his life. Somebody say it’s not what you have, it’s about how you handle what you have. I’ve met rich people that are further behind than people I know that live conservatively.
It’s not the spouse that you married but how you handle the spouse that you married that determines whether you get the marriage that you want. It’s about how you are HANDLING it. Now of course the selection process is important… LOL.. you can cook better with good ingredients.. but listen, someone else might be able to take the ingredients of your life and make something delicious (can I get an amen!).. simply because of how they handle it.. c’mon somebody
It’s not what you have.. it’s how you handle what you have.
It’s not about the stress that you have in your life, it about how you handle the stress in your life. I believe you could probably accomplish a whole lot more if you handled some things differently.
The things that are stressing you out are probably not really the things that are stressing you out. There’s things that you are mishandling in your work that causing you to hate your job. Or there’s things that you are mishandling in your job that make you hate your life at home. So now you come home and take out your frustration from there on them, because you didn’t handle it here, so now it’s showing up over there.
You keep asking God to take the weight off of your life but FAITH doesn’t take the weight off y’all, it shows you.. HOW TO HANDLE IT.
How many of you have a situation in your life today and you want God to show you how to handle it?
Exodus 3:7 – God told Moses, I have heard the cries of my people, and I’m going to handle it.
Now before you get all excited, remember that God has a unique way of handling things. You’ll see a crowd of 5,000 people that need to eat with no available food, and you’ll think you need to send them all away and God will take a young boy’s lunch and tell you to break it up into baskets.
You’ll be standing outside the walls of Jericho asking God for a wrecking ball and he’ll give you a trumpet. You’ll tell God that you have more debt that you know what to do with and no possible way to pay it off and he’ll show you what you do have, a single jar of oil, then he’ll tell you to go borrow some empty jars from your neighbors, then he’ll tell you to start pouring and watch him deliver you from your situation in a way that you could never even imagined. God has a strange way of handling things.
Someone of y’all are in dire situations today, but I believe God is HANDLING IT and you don’t even know it. I believe so strongly in God’s plan! He’s a good father. He’s a good gardener. He knows when to prep. He knows when to plant. He knows when to wait. And He knows when to call in the harvest. He knows what he’s doing!
Your setback is a setup! When God asked Moses what he had in his hand he knew that he was going to turn it into a serpent. He knew Moses would be afraid, but he would teach him how to step toward his fear and HANDLE IT. The thing he would be most afraid of at that time would be the source of his greatest achievement in his future.
I’m going to leave you with this y’all, I believe that often times the things that we are most afraid of are in direct correlation to the greatest callings on our lives.
At a young age and all through my young adult years I had a paralyzing fear of speaking in public. I would completely freeze, couldn’t form my words, I was terrified. But over the years God put me in positions and under the influence of the right leaders who would eventually show me how to handle that fear.
Now, public speaking is my life, my career, my ministry and my greatest influence. Everything you have, is everything you need. The Lord just wants to show you how to handle it.
That’s what I’ve got for you today Crew! If you enjoyed that one I would love to ask you to smash that like button and drop me a comment down below. I love hearing your thoughts, and would really love to know how my content has impacted your life.
Take care and God bless guys, and I will see you around the web! ~ JC
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