Your Burning Bush

Ever feel like God is calling out to you, in the middle of your daily life? 

I don’t mean on like the David Koresh level y’all (I have been catching up on the new mini-series Waco obviously) But in a way that only you would recognize? Maybe to get your attention or to remind you that you are noticed?

I was thinking on this as I read through Exodus 3 and 4 this week. Granted Moses got a burning bush and that would be pretty hard to miss, but it was done in the midst of Moses’ daily work. He was in the back of the desert, tending to his father-in-law’s flock of sheep. He wasn’t just in the middle of a desert, he was at the back of it. Doing the day in and day out of work, laboring for his family when God met him there.

burning_bush

But Moses had to take notice first. I love how intentional Scripture is in pointing this out, that Moses stated he would turn aside and see this great sight. He was able to take notice of God revealing Himself to him. But it came at a time that was pretty mundane-doing his work in the field, 40 years into his stay in Midian as an alien resident. He’d fled there as I wrote about earlier.

God is so intentional with us if we are willing and open to hear Him, to seek Him even in the desert, even in our every day lives. The things which we think are mundane? Well He will use us for. I often hear people talk about wanting their “burning bush” moments with God, where He acts in these large ways…but that moment was Moses taking notice of God in the middle of his day, doing his work as he had done for years upon years.

How do we take notice of God speaking to us in specific ways about what He would have us do? How do open our eyes, our hearts, our ears to Him speaking in our day-to-day lives? As we tend our own flocks? As we live out years upon years in a foreign land? As we find ourselves at the back of a desert?

He calls to us when we take notice of Him, His pursuit, His work in and through our lives. We have to be willing to turn aside and see the great sight of Him appearing to us in each moment, day, and way.

Where is it that God has lit a bush on fire specifically for you? Have you missed it? Would you turn aside to see it?

A Small Detail: Noticing God

I love details of a story. It’s something I have always been fascinated with, and often find myself giving details that probably no one else but me seems to care about. With the exception of a couple of friends. One in particular shares such detailed stories that I often pray they’ll turn them into a book someday. I become just entranced by the way they lay out the scene, develop the story and provide such context for the person who wasn’t there.

In my daily life though?

Well I tend to get bogged down in the details. I find myself in the weeds of the minutiae day in and day out to the point where I get frustrated and frazzled. I miss moments and find myself becoming a person I am none too happy with by day’s end.

I wonder if Moses was having one of those days, out in the desert, doing his job tending a flock on the far side of the wilderness nonetheless. He’s probably thinking about the new lamb born, where he’ll need to set up for the night, wondering if there are far worse things than the wilderness with just a flock of sheep to keep him company.

Then it happens.

He spots a bush on fire. It’s on fire but not being consumed. I like to think here Moses and I are alike, he says out loud that he should go see this sight up close. Yeah, get closer to that fire that’s unexplainable. That’s such a me thing to do.

It’s not until God sees that Moses notices and turns towards it that He speaks.

This week a friend pointed this out in a devotional I was reading. This small detail has me enamored with Moses right now. Because it showed the very real presence of God noticing us. God showing up, showing up big, but waiting for Moses to turn towards His sign, His call before He speaks. He longs to be noticed by us. He delights in sharing His words with us, if we but turn towards His sight.

He promises He is with us, giving us Immanuel in the flesh, putting His spirit within us. Yet we miss Him too often because we aren’t noticing. We aren’t turning to look. This detail of our lives is so important y’all that I am just in awe of how He desires us to notice.

It’s a turning from our own self-talk, pride, regret, hurt, anger, busyness, worry, lust, infatuation to simply notice God calling to our lives. Not only that but when we turn to notice, He speaks. He speaks, to us! He gives us words as we approach Him, we approach that moment, that place. Removing our shoes because this is holy. It’s what He wants to have with us, each and every moment of the day. He wants us to not miss His call for our lives, His designation of goodness for us, specific and fulfilling.

Instead we get wrapped up in a to-do list, a time constraint, our calendars, our expectations of our lives, and our assumptions of others. We miss it because we don’t notice. Alot of things turn our heads and our attention spans these days, I pray that I would be of the noticing lot. The ones who look like Moses in this instance, where we meet God at holy ground, hearing Him speak, desiring to be a part of the unexplainable He enacts in lives. I pray that’s you too.

That we be noticers of God, hearers of His speaking, and worshippers on holy ground of His truth.

Sandals, Bushes, and Obedience

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”  Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.  Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.  Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

If you grew up in the church, like I did, you may recall this flannel graph. Moses. The bush on fire. God’s call on Moses’ life to deliver the Israelites from slavery. Nestled in this story I have missed something all these years.

Maybe I was too preoccupied with the burning bush, removing the sandals on holy ground (I seriously love that part), and the precursor to the plagues in Egypt. If you keep reading through to the end you will see the slight shift. From reverent awe to selfish preoccupation.

The Creator God of all, who is present before you in the form of a burning bush, is calling you specifically to be the deliverance of an enslaved people. You respond with only weakness and excuses. Here’s the kicker for me. God doesn’t respond to Moses how you and I respond when others throw out false humility (cause we do, I know I do).

No, God responds only how God can. Pointing to Himself. That He is with Moses and that He is the Supreme God in I AM. Moses is insufficient, he is selfish and prideful, he is weak. As we all are. Yet God reminds him in the midst of his backtracking that He is with him, He is giving him a sign, and Moses will succeed because he will serve God on that very mountain. (Yeah I missed that when, not if, too in that last statement)

I don’t know about you but I often resemble Moses (we see him do this a couple more times) and Abraham and even my namesake, Sarah, more than I would like to admit. I backtrack when God calls me to something or someone. I point to my inefficiency and inability instead of resting in the presence of Him with me. Instead of trusting He knows far more than I do, and believing that He is at work in me and with me. I scoff at His plan simply out of a disobedient and prideful heart, even as I stand on holy ground watching Him at work.

Today, as we start a new week, dwell in what He has been calling you to or in. Maybe it’s a career change, or maybe it’s to remain right where you are. Maybe it’s to minister to the person you just cannot tolerate or maybe it’s the people in your own home. Instead of giving Him a list of why you can’t in response, today…in the moment, believe in the I AM. Trust that He is with you in it. When you have fulfilled it, know you will serve Him there. In that. With Him.