This is a topic that many men don’t want to discuss, accountability. We are ruggedly independent and often run from any outside accountability to others. We like being our own boss, at work, at home and in our private lives as well. This just might be the reason for the downfall of so many men today. If we are not accountable to another man who will get in our face when we go astray, we will likely find ourselves in a hole that keeps getting deeper and deeper.
We will look toward God and understand that we must be accountable to Him, knowing that one day we will all give an account for what we have done with the life He has given to us (Matthew 12:36, Luke 16:2, Romans 14:12, Hebrews 13:17). But that will usually not transfer to an earthly relationship. Our spiritual lives (or lack of one) can be hidden from others.
I was reminded of a story in the life of Moses and Joshua that encourages accountability between men. In the next few posts, I want to address various lessons we can learn from this interesting passage of Scripture.
“Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands'” (Exodus 17:9).
Moses’ staff represented his vocation as a shepherd. When God first met Moses in the desert at the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), he told him that he was going to use his staff to perform miracles and bring a people out of slavery (Exodus 4:17). God related to Moses through his vocation as a shepherd. Think about how God uses your vocation to allow you to bring glory to Him. There are things you can do, and people you will meet, that no one else can do. God has uniquely positioned you where you are to work through you, no matter what your vocation happens to be.
Moses later faced one of his enemies in the new land, the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-16). Isn’t it just like real life to run into an old enemy not too long after a great victory (like the Hebrews leaving Egypt just two chapters earlier, Exodus 15:21). Back to the Amalekites, God told Moses to go to the top of the mountain and hold his staff up to heaven. As long as his staff was outstretched to heaven, Israel would win the battle. But if it was not uplifted, they would suffer defeat (Exodus 17:11).
Isn’t this an interesting picture? When we raise our “staff” up to the Lord, He becomes our protector. He is our defender. As long we offer up our staff before the Lord, He can work through it. He works on our behalf. When we lower it, we lose the blessing of God.
When God told Moses He was going to use his staff to bring a people out of bondage, he first had to lay his staff down on the ground (Exodus 4:3). God changed it into a snake and then God told Moses to pick it up by the tail. God was telling Moses to take authority over the snake. When Moses picked up the staff, the scripture tells us it is no longer Moses’ staff, but it is now the staff of God (Exodus 4:20, 17:9).
The lesson for us is to continually offer up our work lives to the Lord and see His protection and blessing upon us as we continually raise our work to the Lord for His use. You are not in your current place of employment or in your vocation for no reason. You are in the place where you can influence others for the kingdom’s sake, if we all look at that vocation as God’s opportunity for service toward others. Once we change our perspective on the work we do, we just might find better purpose, meaning, joy and significance in the task. Be accountable to God, and use the “staff of God” to live life victoriously.