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Daily Devotional with Pastor Jon

May 23

And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

Exodus 4:3–5

You may be an accountant, a carpenter, or a surgeon. God says, “Throw down your occupation, your profession and see what it is in and of itself: it’s a snake. If you’re living for it, if you’re all caught up in it, if you’re depending on it, you will be bitten by it.” The same holds true - maybe especially true - with regard to ministry. Moses had been a faithful shepherd for forty years. Here, God makes it clear that nothing could compare to an empty hand lifted and open to Him. It’s as if, at the outset of the monumental ministry to which He was calling Moses, God said, “I must be your passion, not your service for Me, not your talents or abilities, not your spiritual gifts. Nothing must take the place of an open hand, an open heart to embrace Me personally.”

Maybe you’ve been forced to throw down some skill, some calling, some position you were good at or gifted for. Don’t despise this, for now you can say, “Lord, now that I don’t have that in my hand anymore, I’m rediscovering it’s not doing something for You that I crave, but it is simply You. I’m not looking for an opportunity to exercise my gift or to be used in ministry. I’m just looking for more intimacy with You. No wonder it had to be pried out of my hand. I get it. It’s a snake.” And once you understand this, you’re in a position to pick it up once again.

To avoid getting bit, the wisest thing to do is to grab a snake by the back of the head. God, however, tells Moses to grab it by the tail as if to say, “Now that you see that ministry is not the priority, pick it up again, only this time by the tail. It’s not going to have priority in your life. It’s not going to be the thing that drives you.” There is no stopping the man or woman who puts ministry in its rightful position - as the tail - thus allowing God to take His rightful position as Head.

This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Pillar By Day" by Pastor Jon. "A Pillar By Day" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the Old Testament books of Genesis through Deuteronomy. If you would like your own copy of "A Pillar By Day" you can order one from the SearchLight Store.

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