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For each of us it begins in the crib.  How tightly we hold things like a pacifier or toy or “blankie”.  Sometimes our first two words are “no” and “mine!”

As we grow through each stage and phase of life, we find ourselves gripping a new object: a baseball ball bat, keys to a ca or home, our wallet, a job, a ministry, a relationship and even our independence. It seems the objects we grasp are endless.

For those who follow Christ, will experience His gentle but firm lessons of showing us anything we are holding tightly that is detrimental to our lives and His purpose.

He does not do this to be mean but be gracious. He knows what we need to relax our grip. He also knows the great things that happen when we release anything that has become more important to us than Him.

Moses’ Grip

Gripped in the hand of Moses was a simple shepherd’s staff. It was all he had, but it was his. But God knew what Moses didn’t. if Moses would relax his grip on his last object of independence, it could become a powerful tool in the hands of God.

The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail”—so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—“that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you” (Exodus 4:2-5 NASB).

In Moses’ hand, the staff was only a stick. But it was his stick.

When Moses let go of the staff he was gripping in his hand, what he was holding became something powerful.

Something that could be used of God to deliver people and show the world God’s glory.

Something that could be used instead for a greater good.

In fact, the rod of man now became the rod of God. As Moses and God held it now together, it became a mighty instrument that even separated a sea for God’s people to cross.

So, Moses with his wife and his sons mounted on a donkey, returned to the land of Egypt. Moses also took the staff of God in his hand (v. 20).

What’s In Your Hand?

Is there anything you are unwilling to surrender to God, to give to His control? A job?

A relationship? Possessions? Health? Comfort? Popularity? A favorite habit or sin?

Remember, God is not out to take from you, but to use to its proper purpose all that you have. It would be good to stop right now and look down at your heart and hands. Ask the Lord to show you what you are gripping more tightly than you should.

If you surrender it to Christ’s control, you will find new power and purpose for your life.

The things in your life will become united with His plan.

But if you vainly hold on, you will discover one day that all you have is a stick.

Lord, let me cooperate with You as You mold and make me into the person You have planned for me to be. Help me to hold everything in this life with a loose hand—to quickly release anything You call for, knowing that when it is surrendered to You, it always becomes something better…and even more useful!

Written by Stan Ponz
Dr. Stan Ponz is founder and president of Make It Clear Ministries (a national ministry that began in 1973 to help people take the Gospel and the Word of God into every person's world!). Stan also serves as President of Clarity Christian College. and is married to his high school sweetheart Carol, who led him to the Lord in 1966.