by Pastor E.A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
“In the story of Ugly Duckling, when did the Ugly Duckling stop feeling Ugly? When he realized that he was a Swan. Each of us has something Special, a swan of some sort, hidden inside somewhere. But until we recognize that it’s there, what can we do but splash around, treading water? The Wise are Who They Are. They work with what they’ve got and do what they can do.” – Benjamin HoffForward Thinkers, we have looked at the life of Moses from a 21st century perspective as Moses was born against the odds and called to serve God against severe opposition but today, Forward Thinkers, we will look at Moses as he deals with himself: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Forward Thinkers, often we are the biggest negative factor in our lives and today I challenge you to get out of your own way.

When a man is a poor appraiser of his self worth he can’t find inner peace anywhere” – Pastor E A Deckard

Exodus 4:10-12

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Forward Thinkers, when you don’t know who you are, it becomes very difficult to see yourself the way God sees you. Forward Thinkers, Moses can’t even see himself being better after experiencing a personal encounter with God. Forward Thinkers, the devil takes great pride in beating you down with you.

Exodus 4:17

17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”

Forward Thinkers, God will always put something in your hand that will connect you to your greatness. God promised your gift would make a way for you, therefore; I believe every man is born with a gift in his hand. There is a story in the bible in the New Testament about three men thus, the bible says one man had five talents, another man had two talents and the last man had one talent. Forward Thinkers, the men with five and two talents used their talents to increase their lives but the man with one talent did nothing because he didn’t know or see his true value. Forward Thinkers, the story says when the master came back he blessed the two men who used their talents and he cursed the man who sat on his talent. Whatever God has blessed you with it’s enough for you to “win” this season. Forward Thinkers, take another long look at what’s in your hand and trust that God can do more with it than you can ask, think, or imagine.

Forward Thinkers, a hammer in the hands of a carpenter can produce new houses and build communities filled with peace and prosperity. A paint brush in an artist’s hand can produce pictures worth millions and cancel the financial debts of his family. A pen in a writer’s hand can produce a novel for all to read and become empowered to win.

Forward Thinkers, notice God asked Moses, “What’s in YOUR HAND and not in the hand of Pharaoh.” Forward Thinkers, a true card player does not focus on what’s in the oppositions hand but what’s in their hand. Forward Thinkers, as men and women of faith it’s time to stop focusing on what someone else has and start maximizing what’s in your hand.

Forward Thinkers, you were created to be you and to do you. There is nobody on the planet earth that can be a better you than you. This season get out of your own way and use what you have in your hand to do what you’ve never been able to do before.

Exodus 14:15-16

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.

Forward Thinkers, God tells Moses to quit all the crying and MOVE ON. Today I challenge you to quit all that crying and “MOVE ON” to your victory in Jesus Christ.

Forward Thinkers, notice God tells Moses to stretch out his hand. This season you must be stretched; it’s time to leave your comfort zone and seek your destiny. Nobody can reach higher without stretching. Forward Thinkers, I’ll never forget after I broke a bone in my shoulder and the doctor ordered me to do stretching exercises to regain my mobility, although the stretching exercises were painful I needed to stretch in order to reach new heights. Forward Thinkers, are you ready to be stretched?

Forward Thinkers, Moses always had the staff in his hand but nothing great happened until Moses changed what was in his head. What “You” think about will directly affect what “You” will accomplish in life.

Exodus 17:5

5 The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.

Forward Thinkers, this season to get where God intends you to be, you must leave the group and walk ahead. Remember, until you are spiritually mature enough to walk ahead, you will remain stuck in the crowd.

Forward Thinkers, notice God tells Moses to take some Elders with him; the Elders represent wisdom, experience, and they also serve as accountability partners because, when you are walking out-front you become a moving target.

Forward Thinkers, again, God gives Moses instructions to take the staff that’s in his hand and do something great with it. God is still able to do something great with what’s in your hand, Forward Thinkers.

Forward Thinkers, God now tells Moses to strike the rock and get water; everybody knows you can’t get water from a rock but this season “You Can” because, God says you can. Remember, obeying God always produces a field of brand new possibilities.

Numbers 20:11-12

11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”

Forward Thinkers, Moses forfeited his future because he allowed his past to control his today. Dr. Creflo Dollar states, “every problem has a root cause” and today I discovered Moses’ problem was not the complaining people but the internal hidden issue of his low self esteem.

Forward Thinkers, for years I blamed the people, but today, I realize it is not the people’s fault that Moses stroked the rock. God told Moses to speak to the rock but Moses had never overcome his past issues with his speech, his fear and self-doubt thus, causing him to disobey God. Forward Thinkers, old dormant issues will pop up at the worst of times.


Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, 16711 Ella Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77090. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at or the church website

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