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Leaning on the top of his staff.

There are some moments in life where you have to realise you are part of a bigger plan - God plan. Inspite of circumstance or challenge, accepting that God may want to use you in ways you don't want or can't imagine being used is a test for us all.

I had the privilege in 2015 to lead a morning devotion for some of revivalists that have been featured in the Transformation videos by George Otis Jr. We were in South Africa for a retreat and I felt humbled by the opporunity.

The premise of the devotion was to acknowledge this history and fingerprint of God in our lives. One time while visiting Israel, I went to a museum and saw a small brass buck in the corner with several wooden poles, intricately marked with symbols from the bottom to the top. I asked a curator what they were and with broken English he said, 'rods of testimony'. He signalled for another member of staff to come who could explain. What they shared between them brought a significant revelation of scripture into my own life.

They shared that as a child came to the 'age of understanding, they would be given a clean shaft of wood (about a meter long) and a knife'. The idea being that as they had significant encounters of God they would carve a symbol or sign into the wood from the bottom to the top. I was faced with the spiritual diary of some folk long dead. Each symbol representing something significant in their lives.

I kept them talking far longer than they wanted and left feeling I needed to have a really good look at any scripture which could back this talk up.

What unfolded then was months of investigation. Looking at Psalm 23 - 'Thy Rod and Staff comfort me'. Hebrews 11:21, Jacob leaning on the top of his staff. How in Numbers 17, Moses asked for each of the leaders of the tribes, to bring an unmarked staff into the tent of meeting, the successor of Israel's staff would bud Almonds - Aaron's staff was also placed into the Ark of the Covenant.

One account of the 84 references in scripture I found really jumped out at me. Moses in Exodus 14:16 was told by God to 'Lift up your Rod and stretch our your hand...' I had to ask why.

In that passage Moses - the reluctant deliverer had boldly proclaimed, stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord. The Jews had a sea infront of them, a desert on one side, mountains on the other and the Egyptians behind them

In the next verse after such a proclamation, God is asking Moses - 'Why are you crying'. The leader of Israel was bold but internally was full of fear and doubt.

The advice God gave Moses that day was to place the testimony of God's goodness between him and the problem - no doubt the rod of testimony obscured the circumstance and also built faith.

In our lives we so need to make an appointment with God and review all the times in our lives he has spoken to us, blessed us, answered our prayers. Even the times, He's been silent or the answer was not what we wanted, over time it still may have proved to be the best answer for us.

The video devotion below is less than 15 minutes and goes into more detail, I hope you enjoy it and know Testimony is your best defence against fear and doubt - Remember what God has done for you and project that faith to your future circumstance.


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