How Moses Faced the Fear of Failure and How You Can Too

by Oct 26, 2017

Have You Ever Felt Like Your Failure Disqualified You? Or Felt Like the Task Before You Was Too Great?

You are in good company. The Lord isn’t distracted by physical limitations or even by sin.  He knows your heart and He has chosen you, no matter your age, appearance, or past.

What Is The Correct Question?

Moses, once prince of Egypt, believed he was a failure, especially because he couldn’t speak without a stutter.

Yet, the Lord chose Moses to be His instrument of righteousness and he became one of the greatest men who ever lived.  

As He commissioned Moses to lead His people to freedom, Moses tried to divert God by asking, “Who am I? I’m a nobody.”

“Wrong question, Moses. The question is not about who you are. It is WHO AM I?”  

I AM WHO I AM!  I AM!”  

When God speaks, listen.  The number of times He says something shows the weightiness He places upon it. If He says it twice – sit up and listen carefully.  When He says it 3 times – there is a powerful principle you need to grasp.

As Moses droned on about being useless, God said, “But I am sure the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go.” (Ex 3:19-20).

Warning: Hands Must Be Cleansed of Death

Moses was blind, caught in a lie he believed about himself. God patiently asked,  “What is in your hand, Moses?”  

“A staff.”  

“Throw it on the ground.”  Moses obeyed, then ran as the staff turned into a deadly serpent. Standing at a distance, his heart beat wildly.

“Moses, reach out your hand and pick it up.”

“God, you have to be joking, right?”  

“Pick it up by the tail.”

“The tail?  But God, it is poisonous.  It will kill me.“

“Pick it up by the tail!”

Trembling, Moses moved forward. As his hand grasped the tail, the serpent was transformed from a creature of death and destruction back into an ordinary staff.

Moses nearly collapsed with relief. Then like a child trying to escape an assignment, he said, “But God, my hands are dirty.”

“Moses, put your hand into your bosom.” Moses obeyed. When he removed it – his hand was leprous. This time he recoiled, not from his staff, but from his own hand.



“Put your hand back into your bosom.”  

Shuddering with revulsion, Moses obeyed. When he pulled his hand back out – the leprous flesh (symbolizing sin and defilement) had been made whole.  

In bewilderment, he stuttered,  “But…but… but God.  You ju…just don’t understand.”

“Moses,  If you need their attention, take water from the river. As you pour it on the ground, I will turn it to blood.”

The Lord  was in the process of turning Moses into a mighty warrior whose hand and staff were important. His staff was an ordinary shepherd’s staff acquired when Moses ran to hide in the desert from Pharaoh. In his own strength and wisdom, his staff had been used to protect his sheep.

The Lord gave him a word picture. When Moses operated in his own strength, his staff became a serpent. But when he chose obedience and by faith came under authority to the Lord, the Holy Spirit took what was symbolic of death and transformed it into an instrument to be used by the Living God.  

The staff no longer belonged to Moses – it belonged to the Lord, who allowed Moses to use it in the mighty name of I AM.

A Leprous Hand or a Hand Giving Life?

“Hand” is used 88 times in the book of Exodus referring to the hand of evil, the hand of Moses, and the hand of God.

Moses cared about his people. When he witnessed the cruelty of an Egyptian against an Israelite, he moved in soul power to take control. In anger, he raised his hand to murder. Though he meant to do good, his hand became joined with evil.


Murder brought a curse. The hand that took a life became leprous. Moses thought he was disqualified to serve the Lord because of a speech deficiency. But hidden behind the facade of his physical strength was self-will. Moses wanted to help Israel, but he had chosen to act in his own strength.

The leprous hand revealed the real deficiency was sin; it was not a stutter. As he depended on his own wisdom and strength, he chose independence from the Lord. When confronted by the wickedness of an evil man, he took things into his own hands. Having good intentions and thinking might makes right, he committed murder.

Hand of Deliverance

Each of us have lifted our hands in judgment and felt justified using our hands to do what felt right. Our hands have operated under our soul power. Independent and self-directed, our hands have engaged in sinful acts. Sin is like leprosy. We too have leprous hands.

First Moses had to recognize his hand was leprous. Symbolically, as he obeyed, his leprous hand was made new; it was cleansed. As he came under godly authority, transformation occurred. The arm and hand he had used to take a life, became a beautiful picture of the mighty arm of the Lord lifted to deliver His people from bondage.

What Is In Your Hands?

You may have done acts of violence. Used your hands to harm others or harm yourself.

The secret is to yield the self-will governing your hands to Him. Allow Him to have authority over all you touch. Surrender your fear of failure to Him.

The precious blood of Jesus will cleanse and break any curse on your hands. He will transform hands that once dishonored Him into instruments of blessing. But you have to choose life.


Heavenly Father, I often feel like a failure. I’m afraid of failure and I fear others seeing my failures. Fearing failure, I have used my hands to self-protect and do my own will. Please forgive me for my rebellion, pride, and self-will. Please cleanse me and my hands with the blood of the Lord Jesus.

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