Dan PuckettWe have all heard the challenge, "Think outside the box"; that is, stretch your possibilities beyond what you can see. That is good advice. But for most of us, the first thing we need is for someone to define the "box."

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The Rev. Dan Puckett: Think inside the box

Published 12:27pm Friday, June 18, 2010

The box is who we are, what we have and what we know. It is the world we live in even if we have retreated there.

There is no doubt we need to be stirred up and challenged to engage. Paul told Timothy, in 2 Timothy 1:6, to “stir up the gift of God which is in you.” Paul did not tell Timothy to go off and seek something else, but use what he already had.

We have all we need to do what God wants us to do. We need to recognize the mighty power of God and His plan to multiply whatever we bring to the table.

In the Old Testament book of Exodus, God’s people were slaves in Egypt. God had always planned to deliver His people from bondage and give a message to the world as He did it. It was time for God to move, time to get His people out of the clutches of Egypt.

God chose a man for the job, a man whose resume had little to offer. The man’s name was Moses. He was a murderer (Exodus 2:11-12). He was a fugitive (Exodus 2:15).

Moses had settled into a safe life. He was herding sheep. It was not too demanding; it required little more of Moses that just “showing up” every day.

Conventional wisdom would say if you have a big job to do, find somebody who is moving and getting things done. God says find somebody who can be challenged to trust in the mighty power of God. God was willing to take what Moses had in “his box” and do mighty things.

God spoke to Moses while Moses was engaged in sheep herding. Moses responded and God proceeded to explain the mission. Moses was reluctant to step up and told God all of his inadequacies. God did not offer to send Moses off to some school for more training. God did not challenge Moses to “think outside the box.” God asked Moses one question, “What is that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2). What is in your box, Moses? You have enough to work with Me to deliver My people.

Moses answered, “A staff.” It was what Moses had; it was what he used every day. It was enough. God did some mighty things with the staff that Moses carried. The staff was just a piece of wood in the hands of Moses, but with God, the staff became a mighty instrument that literally brought the nation of Egypt to its knees and delivered up the people of Israel as a nation.

What do we have? What needs to be done? If we think outside the box, we might end up stymied by all the “If only’s” or “What if . . . ?”

We have all we need to do what we see needs to be done by the leadership and enabling of God. Look in the box, think in the box, and determine to do all you can with what you have.

The Rev. Dan Puckett is a minister with Life Action Ministries.

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