The Lord said “What is that in your hand?" Moses replied , "A rod." And He said, "Cast it on the ground." So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail" (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand”(Exodus 4:2-4).
Moses looked down at the old shepherds stick he held in his hand and felt a twinge of shame. Moses thought it was only a shepherd’s rod; but worse, he felt it was a symbol of the 40 years spent in the wilderness and all the mistakes he’d made in the past. It reminded him of the time he lost his temper and made some serious mistakes. It represented all his failures and all his worst moments.
When God said to take the rod and cast it away from him onto the ground, God was helping Moses get some perspective. ” Stand back, get some perspective and see it as the serpent that it is. It is not you; it is separate from you. Your past is not you, it just happened to you. Failure is never a person but only an event”
The enemy had spoken lies to Moses for 40 years. “You are useless, you blew it, your pathetic, your no use to God and no use to the Hebrews” and it had crippled Moses with regret and shame ever since.
It is never the things that happen to us that become the problem but it is always the lies that Satan attaches to those events and failures that affect us most. God wants us to see that the past is not our identity and wants us to be free from every lie of the devil.
Finally God said “Take the snake by the tail it will become a sign of your authority from me.” As Moses tentatively picked up the serpent, it became a rod which he took with him on his mission to Egypt.
Friend, our past is not our identity. Once free from our past, it can become a great ministry tool to those you are called to reach. Take up your rod today. God is about to turn the mess of yesterday into your message of freedom tomorrow.