“Did you get my message?” We live in the information age and messages, IMs, instagrams, tags etc… are constantly being sent back and forth. A missed message could mean a loss of business or tyme. Wartyme stories abound of missed messages among commanders resulting in confusion and loss of life. But the worst “missed messages” are the ones we get from God and fail to grasp or heed.
What do I mean? I believe that God places in the path of His people certain messages, instructions, or encouragement to equip us to do His will. I illustrate this by using the scripture of Moses and his burning bush. I have always been intrigued with this passage. I have heard or read many messages on “The Burning Bush.” One of the best is by George Whitfield, in which he compares the bush to the church. It is truly a great message.
One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is the one of the burning bush. It’s an amazing story of God calling Moses to fulfill a plan and a purpose. But my interest in this story has been more toward God calling and equipping His servant for a specific task. There are many parallels with Moses and today’s Christian worker. As we examine this passage we find Moses in a difficult place in his life. He has felt the call to help his kinsmen in the flesh, the Jews, but he has made some mistakes. He tried to accomplish the work of God in the flesh and ended up killing an Egyptian and hiding his body in the sand. He fled Egypt and spent the next forty years “on the backside of the desert” in hiding. Such a scenario is enough to make most people quit on God. What a mess Moses had made of his ministry. Such was his condition, until he happened upon a certain “burning bush.”
The burning bush represents the specific, personal instruction from God to his servant. We are not alone in our service for God. God wants to lead and direct us in our Christian journey. I believe that our Heavenly Father sends us “burning bush” experiences today through the preaching, teaching and study of His Word. But even though God may not talk to us out loud through a literal burning bush, the truth is we all have a burning bush. The burning bush occurred in a moment when Moses wasn’t expecting it. He was just going about life, doing his thing which was to tend the sheep. He was probably doing what he was comfortable with, what he was skilled in. This may have been, in his eyes, the “perfect” job.
But suddenly his world is interrupted. He sees fire coming from this bush and is amazed at the fact that it doesn’t burn up. How can this be? He goes over to inspect it and that’s when God calls to him out of the burning bush. I have tried to put myself in the shoes of Moses. If I heard God calling my name out of a burning bush would I respond as he did? He answered, “Here I am.” It was as if he was saying; here I am God at Your service…ready to do your bidding. There seemed to be no hesitation that it was actually God talking and not some prankster.
God would begin to tell Moses how he would help lead the Israelites out of bondage and out of the hands of the Egyptians. Now of course the response Moses gave could be a whole different blog but for the purpose of this one, I just want to concentrate on the symbolism of the burning bush. It represented God’s plan for Moses life. He had something specific. He was calling Moses to do something that he had never planned for nor did he really want but it was God’s will for his life. Would it turn out to be something hard and difficult? Yes it most certainly did. Did God equip Moses? Yes He definitely did!
Pay very close attention here, it was not until Moses took the tyme to stop what he was doing and pay attention to the sign before him (a burning bush that was not burning out) that God spoke to him. God gave Moses something to pull his focus off his daily tasks and put full attention to God! As Moses we too must be aware of the “Burning Bush” that God sets before us. We must be prepared to see the indicators that God sets out for us to Stop what we are doing and focus our full attention on Him.
During these “Spiritual Off-Seasons” we must take the tyme to stop, look and listen to God! In my case God allowed catastrophe in order to force me to slow down and realize I was out of control. Do you feel like you’ve been in a dry place? Forgotten? Left alone? With all your hopes and dreams gone? Do you feel that no matter what you do nothing seems to change in your finances or your life? If so, it’s tyme for you to have a burning bush experience. Everything turned around for Moses in one day and God can and will do the same thing for you. God didn’t bring you this far to leave you. You’re coming out of Egypt (not enough). Through the wilderness (just enough) and you’re moving into the Promised Land (more than enough). You are just a few feet away from your burning bush experience. Here are seven practical keys to your burning bush experience.
“The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, yet was not consumed.”
I realize you’re probably super spiritual . . . but let’s get real. How would you feel if you’re on the side of a mountain. . . one where you’ve walked for over 40 years. . .then all of a sudden you see a bush burning. . .but not being consumed. You might be tempted to say, “What the what . . .”
Exodus 3:3 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”
I would say you’re willingness to answer curiosity . . . definitely moves you outside your comfort zone or what was familiar to you.
2. Be willing to seek God. Let’s be honest! You’re standing in amazement watching a bush burn continually when a voice in the bush calls out your name. At that point, I’d probably be calling out God’s name to protect me from whatever I’d gotten myself into.
Exodus 3:4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses! And he said, Here am I.”
Without hesitation Moses said, “Here am I.”
In the midst of every circumstance. . .good, bad or indifferent. . .your automatic response must be to seek God.
3. Give Him the reverence He’s due. Exodus 3:6 in the Amplified Bible says;
“Also 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 at God.”
Our reverence for God should be a 24/7 experience. He’s not a spare tire to be rolled out when we have a flat on the highway of life. He deserves better.
When we enter into His presence we should always enter with reverence and thanksgiving.
4. Obey your instructions. Over the last few months, I’ve repeatedly taught seven words that are the key to success and experiencing the God kind of life. Those words are:
“Read your Bible do what it says.” There will be tymes when it seems that our Holy Spirit inspired instructions are not logical and they’re not at least to a natural mind. However, we need to do what He says when He says regardless of how we feel it may look.
Exodus 3:5 in the Amplified Bible says:
“God said, Do not come near; put your shoes off your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.
The only way you can do what He says is to know what He’s saying. That type of revelation comes from being in His Word and His Presence.
5. Don’t question your direction. Exodus 3:10-11 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
“And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Now let me get this straight you’ve been talking to a Voice in a burning bush that has not turned to ashes and you question His instructions. That should show you how out of touch you can become. I heard it said years ago, that God’s calling is His enabling.
If God gives you a vision He will also give you the ability and opportunity to achieve it.
6. Know you’re not alone. Exodus 3:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“God said, I will surely be with you; and this shall be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain [Horeb, or Sinai].”
Before we’re so quick to question, mock or condemn Moses’ lack of faith let’s examine our attitudes. God tells us that He will go with us wherever we go but yet sometymes we don’t act like or seemingly have confidence in His Word because we want to ‘play it safe anyway.’
What God spoke to Moses His Word speaks to us. I could give you a dozen or more verses to emphasize this point however, I’m only going to give you the last half of Hebrews 13:5 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“. . .for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]”
7. Recognize your power. Exodus 3:19-20 in the New Living Translation says:
“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go.”
There’s an old Pentecostal song entitled “You’ve Got The Power.” Moses had the power. . .but are you ready for the good news. . .so do you.
Acts 1:8 says:
“… ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you … (then) ye shall become witnesses … .”
“You shall receive the ability after the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and you will be able to witness of me simultaneously in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
Now let’s look at Dunamis as it appears in Luke 10:19 where God has given to us total power over the devil.
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
The first word in this verse that is translated power is the Greek word Exousia. It means “delegated power” or better said “authority.” The second word translated power is the Greek word Dunamis which as we’ve just learned means “ability.” So notice carefully what God is actually saying. “I give you authority over all the ability of the devil.”
Are you getting a hold of all of this? You have total authority over all the ability of the enemy. Remember, “nothing shall by any means hurt you” Luke 10:19.
The Bible literally says nothing shall hurt you. It also says you have total power (authority) over the devil. You never have to lose again. You can always conquer and always triumph in all things. As I think back over these seven keys. I just have one question for you. Are you ready for your burning bush experience?
Now my question to you is what is your burning bush? What is God calling you to do? How will you respond?
* Resources: Harold Herring, Robert L. Cobb & Stephanie Romero