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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

a burning bush told me just the other day...

The Story about Moses and the burning bush is one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament. I am such a visual learner and I like to insert myself into the story imagining what it must have looked like on that mountain, or how Moses felt when God revealed Himself through a bush.  God uses whatever it takes to get our attention and sometimes we see Him in the rainbows that follow downpours, or sunsets or sunrises over mountains and beaches but when our circumstances are out of control we begin to grasp on to whatever it is that will make us feel better. For some its addictions, for some its the comfort of remaining where you are. For others it may be the fear of whatever it is you know you are called to do and because you feel that pressure you let go of that life long dream. After reading this passage of scripture I pulled out 4 things that I want to share with you.

Exodus 3: 1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God

1. God Positioned Moses in the midst of Chaos
Moses was centered in the middle of what I am sure felt like complete chaos. Keeping a flock of sheep together, making sure they were being protected because they weren't his sheep. They were his father in law's and that had to add even more pressure of doing a good job.  Isn't that a lot like our own lives. We may not have a bunch of sheep but we have busy lives, financial stress, tons of work among other pressures that bring chaos into our lives. Just like God strategically placed Moses on that mountain  I have to remind myself that the chaos that surrounds me isn't by mistake whether brought on by myself or by someone else. God will use that chaos to draw me in and I just have to be ready to respond.

2. God got his attention where he was.
There are days where I can hear God's voice loudly and there are days I am desperate for even a whisper. I look at Moses and in the middle of that chaos God chose to use a burning bush to get his attention. It wasn't in bible study, or in the temple or on his knees worshiping it was on the side of the mountain with a bunch of sheep.  I believe we miss so many opportunities meeting with God because we try and manipulate the very hand of God reducing His presence to Sundays or in small group time. God wants our attention at all times.  I thought to myself I wonder if Jethro his father in law would have ran if he had seen a fire taking place especially with all his sheep around.  Moses was intrigued and the angel of the Lord spoke.

3. Moses turned away from the chaos to see God.
When the Angel of the Lord appeared it said that Moses saw that the bush was not being consumed so he went over there and when the Lord saw that Moses had gone to look He called out to him. This gave me chills. I have spent so much time in the past trying to see God, hear His voice and yet my eyes and heart never left the chaos of my circumstance. Moses turned away from those sheep to lock eyes on this burning bush.  God saw Him and it wasn't the angel who called out to Him but it was God himself. Don't we long to hear our names being called out of where we are. Out of a job, out of a relationship, our out of financial ruin? God wants you to shift your eyes away from the Chaos and on to Him. 

4. Reverence happened
Reverence is defined; honor, respect that is felt or shown to someone or something. (Webster)
When God called out to Moses and he responded God asked him to remove his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. He showed reverence to a very holy God by taking off  his shoes. As I began to let that sink in I realized that just like Moses had to take something off to stand in the presence of God we are also called to holiness not perfection.  Our marriages are holy grounds and our attitudes, apathy and the way we choose to treat our spouses can be things that need to come off so we can gain a deeper intimacy with them.  Our friendships, work places, ministries, dreams, school and on an on are also areas that represents holy ground in our lives. Our response to those areas are how we seek out the holiness of God and His power is made known to those around us.  They see Jesus simply because you chose to remove something to gain a clearer picture of who God is.

In the Old Testament God's presence was in places like the temple or the ark of the covenant and when Jesus came that access to God's presence opened up a deeper level of intimacy with Him. As you stand in the middle of your chaos today what represents your sandals? What needs to come off in order for you to see God in a new way. I told you I like to insert myself into scripture because for someone reason it makes it more real to me.  I want to challenge you to do the same thing with this ...

When the Lord saw that HOLLY had gone over to look, God called to her from within the bush, “HOLLY! HOLLY!”
And  Holly said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your __FEAR_____, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

What would you insert? Pride? Sexual sin? Apathy? Disobedience? Fear? Insecurity?

Remember we serve a God that makes all things NEW and He will draw you into His presence in the craziest ways so keep your eyes open and be ready to SEE God in your own burning bush moment.

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