January 10th, 2023 - The Burning Bush

The Burning Bush

Happy Tuesday and welcome back! I want to invite you to join me in asking The Lord to meet with us here as we seek His presence together. A beautiful part of the christian life is that no matter where we are or what we are doing we can always ask The Lord to step into our mundane moments with us.

So whether you are driving to work, washing the dishes, or taking a walk I want to invite you to take a moment to take a few long deep breaths. As you breathe in, invite the Holy Spirit to come and speak to you. Welcome Him into your space. As you breathe out, surrender what weighs heavy on your mind and heart at this time. Expect for Him to speak.

Holy Spirit, You are welcome in this space no matter how mundane it might be. As we breathe in your presence we ask that you would breathe new life in us today.

One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro,[a] the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai,[b] the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”
4 When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.
5 “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father[c]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
7 Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own
 fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. 9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

Exodus 3:1-12

Have you ever felt like you weren’t up for the job? Like you weren’t qualified for the task ahead? This was certainly the case in Moses’ life when God met Him in an unexpected way in the wilderness on Mt.Sinai. The Bible tells us that Moses is the incredible leader that led God’s people out of slavery in Egypt, through the Red Sea, through wilderness to Mt.Sinai to receive God’s law, and then to the borders of the promised land. He would go toe to toe with Pharaoh;  He would be God’s mouthpiece to the nation of Israel. Yet, Moses' story doesn’t begin as you might expect mighty leaders’ should. And His background does not suggest one that God might choose to carry the yoke of responsibility.

In Exodus 2 we learn Moses is born during a time of great tragedy among the Hebrews. As Pharaoh makes a decree that all male Hebrew children under 2 are to be thrown into the Nile river, Moses’ parents attempt to save his life by placing him in a basket and putting him in the river. Providentially, He is drawn out of the water and adopted by Pharaoh's daughter. He is raised in the palace, as royalty, but all the while never really belonging to the Egyptian household. After all, he was still Hebrew born and His people were still enslaved. We also learn that when he grows up, in an act of unbridled justice he kills an Egyptian slave driver after witnessing him beating a Hebrew slave. He tries to cover it up thinking no one had seen, but the next day He is accused by a fellow Hebrew of trying to rule over them. He then runs away in fear of Pharaoh’s judgment against him for killing the Egyptian slave driver.

Abandoned. Adopted. Murderer. Run Away. Never really belonging to the Egyptians. Never really accepted by his own people. Now, 40 years later we find him, shepherding his father in laws sheep, in isolation in the wilderness. But this is exactly the position God met him, drew him, spoke to him, and called Him.

One of the most incredible parts of this story is that God met with Moses seemingly mundane circumstances. He was just doing his job. He wasn’t the boss, he wasn’t royalty, he wasn’t what one might consider “chosen”. In fact when God calls him to deliver his people he asks “ who am I to lead”. Often we can allow the voice of our past to discount the voice of God in our present and discredit the future God could call us into.

The way God responds to this question is critical for us to understand how He qualifies us. He says “ I will be with you…” It’s God’s presence with Moses that qualifies him for delivering His people and shepherding them out of slavery. It’s God’s presence that qualifies us for adventure ahead. The success of God’s mission for Moses does not hinge on who Moses is or what he has done, but on the very nature and presence of God in His life. In the same way, the success of our journey with God is not up to who we are, but in God with us.

Consider asking yourself if you have allowed the details of your past to discredit the voice of God in your present? Do you  make room for His presence in the mundane moments of your life? What step is God asking you to take in your journey with Him?

Are you available to be used by God?

Spend some moments considering the elements of your past. Ask The Lord to bring to mind how you might be allowing those elements to hinder you from a flourishing relationship with your heavenly Father or from a fruitful calling.

Pray: Jesus. You are Emmanuel. God with us. It is your presence that calls us and strengthens us into the depths of the ministry of the mundane. We thank you for the fact that the success of our lives is not measured by who we are or what we have done, but by your character and might. Today I confess that I am available to you. I know that you are with me. Use me how you desire. .