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During the month of June we’ve been looking at specific skills and support that each of us needs in our “suitcase” in order to be empowered as we move in the direction to which God has called us. We’ve received some great advice to pack: seek God faithfully, define your vision, make plans carefully, and move forward passionately. We’ve also learned about the skill of stepping into the cultural “shoes” of those we seek to serve in our work – that’s a great skill to have in our luggage. Finally, we’ve been advised to pack our spiritual armor, because when we’re following God and making a difference for Jesus in the world, we will inevitably face resistance.
Part of what we have in our suitcase for the journey is brand new, but other things we need for the trip are actually things we’ve already been given.
Consider the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Moses acquired new skills for the journey during his 40 years as a shepherd, and God also gave him some help to take along in the form of a spokesperson – his brother Aaron. But when Moses led the Israelites toward freedom and they ended up at the edge of the Red Sea with an angry army of Egyptians following them, he had that moment of panic where you think “I must have forgotten something!“
It was then that God reminded him of something he already had; a shepherd’s staff. Earlier in his journey when Moses was overcome with anxiety, God reminded him of what he’d been given. The conversation went like this:
Moses: “What if [the Israelites and the Egyptian authorities] won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?”
God: “What is that in your hand?”
Moses: “A shepherd’s staff”
And as the fear welled up and the tide tickled Moses toes there on the shores of the Red Sea, that shepherd’s staff was still in his hand – and God graciously told him how to use it:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.’”Exodus 14:15-16
Like Moses, God has already given us some of what we need for the journey, and God gives us new skills and provisions to take with us as we carry out our calling. So, what’s in your suitcase that’s brand new? And what’s in your hand already? It’s time to get moving.
Be sure to keep up with the blog and Community Group Discussions in July as we take time to evaluate how our journey is going. Our first conversation will be: What’s My Timetable.
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