In Exodus 3:2 Moses says almost casually, “I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”
The moments that change our lives profoundly are like burning bushes from which God calls. Burning Bush moments are those times when God gets our attention using something that has the potential to harm us and yet we are not burned by it. In the story, not only wasn't the bush consumed by the fire, God gave instructions to Moses so he would not be consumed either. "Keep your distance," God said. This is holy ground.
The fire of God -- so dangerous and yet so wondrous -- has the potential to change my life or destroy it. That's why it is so critical that I pay careful attention when God speaks. It isn't enough to say, "That's beautiful" and go on my way. I need to listen carefully when I become aware that this moment is different. Moses had seen fire before many times. This fire was different. God was in this fire.
Have you ever had a profound moment of clarity like that? God is in this place and I didn't know it? How did you respond? How did that response change your life?
In Deuteronomy 26:1-11, we see a people on the verge of a long promised gift from God. A land of their own. A long awaited gift. Are you waiting for the promises of God? Are you waiting to get from God before you can respond to Him? The promise of God is that He gives, and He give on His own timeline in His own ways and part of our faith is recognizing the ways He has given, but that He will give. Look at these verses from this passage...
Verse 1 - “Lord your God is giving you (the Land) for an inheritance”
Verse 2 - “harvest from your land that the Lord your God is giving you”
Verse 3 - “go to the place that the Lord your God will choose”
Verse 7 - “the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction”
Verse 8 - “And the Lord brought us out of Egypt
Verse 9 - “And he brought us into this place and gave us this land”
Verse 10 - “the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me”
Verse 11 - “And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you”
The Lord gives, and what does He ask of us, to respond. He asks us to remember. What are the ways you are thankful to the giver of Life today? Share with each other those good gifts that God has given you.
Exodus 34:29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.
A lot of people find prayer difficult. Most of us can come up with things to ask God for. That's why a lot of our prayers are "petitions" (sounds like we're trying to get a government agency to give us something). When we're together with other Christians praise isn't that difficult (sounds like we're at a rock concert or sporting event). But conversation with God? That's hard!
The obvious reason is that we're talking to someone who isn't likely to talk back. Moses was lucky! He could go up the mountain and literally have a conversation with God. Jesus was called "Immanuel" -- God with us. Can I have an ongoing conversation with the God who is with me?
At the end of last Sunday's teaching I said, "I’m going to spend the period from now until Easter making offers to each and every one of you to spend time talking with God." Today, the day before Lent begins, I'm making the first offer. Let me know you listened or read. Write back or simply call and tell me you'd like to get together with me sometime in the next 40 days and have a conversation with God. That'll start the process going.
Love in Christ to you all,