The Wrong End is the Right End

the story of Moses. God asked what was in his hand, then told him to lay it down, then told him to pick it back up. When we’ve laid down our staff (and our stuff) as Moses was instructed to do, God will have us pick it back up, but it will be different.

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so 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 4:1-5)

You don’t pick up a snake by the tail! That’s the wrong end unless you want to get killed. But God asked Moses to see the world differently. He told Moses to trust Him rather than trusting in the old, tired ways that Moses had lived.

The reason so many Christians lack passion is that they are trying to keep life manageable. They want a risk-free Christianity. So they call their “possessions”—their time, talent and treasure—their own. They think they are creating a secure environment for themselves and their families. But sometimes they wonder why their faith lacks passion and joy. They sing the songs and listen to the sermons, but they never really live a life that is totally dependent on God. They never really trust him.

Grab it by the tail. Experience what Rich Mullins called, “the reckless, raging fury that they call the love of God.”

“Give me all of you! I don't want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want youAll of you! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to kill it! No half measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.” — C. S. Lewis