Warren’s challenge to pastors: ‘What has God put in your hands?’


by Michelle A Vu, US Correspondent
Posted: Friday, April 11, 2008, 7:26 (BST)

'What has God put in your hands?'

Best-selling author of ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ Pastor Rick Warren speaks at the 19th annual National Conference on Preaching in Woodbridge, Va., on Tuesday, April 8, 2008.
(Christian Today)

Internationally revered Pastor Rick Warren slipped into the conference hall unnoticed Tuesday night, comfortably mingling with the hundreds of pastors gathered at the 19th annual National Conference on Preaching, before stepping on stage to deliver a sermon that reminded the audience why Warren is one of the most popular pastors in the world.

In his sermon entitled “Growing Spiritually,” Warren recounted the runaway success of his book The Purpose Driven Life – the best-selling book in history behind the Bible – to the audience gathered at Woodbridge, Virginia, in the US. The sermon was based on the story in Exodus 4 about the scene where God tells Moses to throw his staff on the ground and it transforms into a snake.

“That question, ‘What is in your hand?’ is one of the most important questions in life. What is in your hand?” Warren asked his audience, citing God’s question to Moses in Exodus 4:2.

God tells Moses to throw the staff in his hand on the ground and “something that was dead comes alive”, Warren emphasised. The pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California then made two points: God never does miracles to show off and God never asks questions that he does not already know the answer. God asks questions for our benefit, said Warren.

He went on to explain the significance of the staff which represented Moses’ identity as a shepherd; symbolised his income because wealth was tied to livestock back in those days; and symbolised his influence – Moses used the staff to pull or push his sheep.

“‘Lay it down and it will come alive, but Moses every time you pick it up it’s going to die,’” said Warren. “That simple little experience was the turning point in the history of the world.”

After that scene in the Bible, it was never again referred to as Moses’ staff but always called the Rod of God. The Rod of God was used to part the Red Sea, to turn the Nile River into blood, to perform miracles in front of pharaoh and to make water come out of a rock.

“It was just a simple stick. There was nothing magical about it, but once Moses surrendered it to God, it became the Rod of God,” Warren noted. “Pastors, what is in your hands?” the speaker challenged.

Courtesy of Christian Today

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3 responses to “Warren’s challenge to pastors: ‘What has God put in your hands?’

  • TDW

    I am a 50 year old pastor of an evangelical church in middle America, struggling with a sense of destiny I’ve carried for years and the disappointing reality of my experience.

    I have a passion for God, an excellent theological education, and the ability to communicate God’s truth with grace and relevence. I’ve longed to be used as a strategic tool in His hand to influence many for Jesus Christ but I remain a servant in obscurity with an unfulfilled sense of calling.

    Thank you for the Rick Warren entry regarding laying down what’s in my hand. It was a good reminder to release and trust.

    Father, I choose to lay down my desire to serve You on a bigger stage. Because I can’t discern if my ‘sense of destiny’ is from You or simply an expression of my over inflated ego … I lay it down. If you have a strategic plan for me, I won’t miss it by releasing my desires to You. I trust you Father. I want my focus to be serving you! Not just serving You in the spotlight.

  • deepwaterwalker

    I stand with you in prayer, my friend! It was an amazing message! I’ve never read that passage in that light before. I also was touched and inspired by it.
    Bless you and thank you for reading my blog.

    Deep-

  • Duncan D. Aker, Jr.

    I must protest anything that is related to Rick Warren. This man has given himself over to Satan’s tactics. Mr. Warren does not understand that when you visit someone or have them speak at your church, you are lifting them up, supporting them and the public understands this for what it is. Rick Warren is increasingly being de-listed from genuine Christians who understand that he continues to support causes that are anti-Christ in nature.

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