Burning Bush

52102358051108wsp0461Where were you when God called you? Can you remember that instant when you knew that you knew that God had a design, a plan, and a purpose for you? Realization has come to me in stages, yet in my soul I always knew. I think most of us are like that if we care to admit it. Did you question God when He called you? Did you wonder if it was really the Lord calling you? I ask these questions because I have been walking with Moses recently and his actions started my present line of thought.

Moses was tending a flock of sheep and as he led them to the back of the desert, he came to Horeb, the mountain of God. Moses was pretty much minding his own business when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him as a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses turned aside to get a better look, after all you don’t see a burning bush every day. Let me try to paint the complete picture for you.

Moses is standing barefoot in front of a burning bush, barefoot because the bush has told him that the ground is holy. The flame in the bush is the Angel of the Lord. The bush is burning, yet not consumed by the flame. The bush is talking to him and he is talking to the bush. The bush tells Moses that it is God and says in so many words, “Moses, my man, I have a job for you,” and Moses immediately starts arguing with the bush, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” Do you suppose the Lord felt like he was reasoning with a bush? Tell me, what did you say when the Lord called you?52656607051121wsp0122

I remember thinking, Moses, what do you expect God to say, that He was having a bad day and he must have been mistaken? Do you expect God to see the wisdom of your reasoning and intellect, the God of heaven and earth? I could hardly keep silent any longer and just as I was about to cry out that God had never asked him to move in his own power, the Lord glanced my way, and in that instant I knew that we all have a little Moses in us. It is always so easy to see the mistakes of others and ignore our own, isn’t it? The glance from the Lord said it all and I wondered, why is the Lord always so gentle with me? 

I kept my peace and my concealment and watched as the Lord patiently overcame all the objections that Moses could muster. I recalled my own objections when the Lord called me. What about you, have you answered the call or are you still in the objecting stage? Well, that is between you and the Lord, but remember, he has brought you here to show you something.

Looking back, I doubt if Moses had any idea of the adventure that was to unfold in his life. I followed the man on and off from a distance for many years and I tell you, I have never seen a tougher man. Would you stand up to Pharaoh time after time? After all the plagues that wasted most of what Pharaoh held dear, would you have the guts to walk up to him and say, by the way Mr. Pharaoh, there is more to come if you don’t do what the most high God wants done? 

Would you baby-sit that unruly mob for forty years? What would you do when even your own relatives turned against you? Would you pray for them and ask God to heal them? If you had to spend forty years in the desert with “children” what would you do? What will we do when we realize that we have a lot in common with the “children?” 

For forty years they whined, complained and refused to obey the Lord. Is that really much different from what you and I do? I wish I could say yes. I watched Moses walk the desert at night, just him and the stars and God. I could hear him talk to God but I stayed far enough away so I couldn’t make out the words. A man should have privacy when he is with his Creator. I would watch him come back from those walks and his face would be at ease, all the tension gone. After many of those walks the children would try to intercept him before he could find the safety of his tent. I noticed that he became more resourceful at avoiding them as the years passed.

Do you walk with God in the cool of the day and talk with Him? It is a two-way conversation, God so desires to have a relationship with you. Many of us spend our time murmuring and complaining instead of doing what we are called to do. The Lord never told us to talk the problem, don’t you think He knows the problem? Speak the solution and God will honor your words.53277967051204109

One lesson I learned as I walked with Moses that stands out in my mind is that God never honors murmuring. He will at times respond to murmuring, manna is a good example. Can you imagine eating the same food for three meals a day for forty years? Oh, you can call it heavenly food if you like, but you haven’t a clue of the meaning of monotony until you dine on the same food for years and years. On top of that their women had to wear the same clothes for forty years, what a life that was in the tents. I won’t even tell you of the standard conversation that I would hear, but suffice it to say, it is no wonder they were such an ugly bunch. The children murmuring to the women, the women murmuring to the men, the men murmuring to each other and to Moses and to God, well, you get the picture. What do you think that calliope sounded like to God?

I wondered how they could have lived if they would have repented and asked God, in faith too bless them. On those nights when I was keeping my distance from Moses as he talked to God I wondered how things would have been if Adam had not blamed the snake and the woman. It is to late for them to change but you and I could start fresh right now if we wanted. 

The times I enjoyed the most is when Moses would go on retreat with the Lord. I wasn’t allowed to get as close as Moses, they were talking God to leader, so I would set up camp some distance away. The peace and serenity of the Lord is something that I carry with me to this day. As a observer I have heard on more than one occasion that the day will come when all of mankind can enter into the secret place of the most high. What a day that will be! I can see a time when people will never murmur again, although I wonder, knowing man as I do. Yet I am a dreamer so I chose to dream of a time when murmuring will end once and for all. 

Lately I have been watching Moses writing and when I asked him what he was doing, he told me he was writing books. Not a book like I would write of dates, people, and facts, but books written under the power of the Lord. I should tell you this, Moses glows, at times he is so bright he has to cover himself. He has let me read some of his writing and I can tell you the man is very good, his work has a glow of it’s own.

I have learned many things from Moses and his people through the years, the following three stand out above the rest. The first is if everyone around you is murmuring, whether it is a few or millions, you don’t have to join in. God will honor your faith and he will go around millions of people if necessary to move on your faith. One man can keep the faith and be a light to the world if he desires and God can make you that light. Can you see yourself glowing with the presence of God? 

I recall the day of the thunder and lightning. It seemed like the earth would shake itself apart. The mountain smoked and the wind was heavy on my flesh. The darkness was thick with the presence of the Lord. Moses drew near but the people were full of fear. They told Moses to talk to God and then tell them what the Lord said. That is why Moses was chosen to lead the people, he drew near. I remembered the burning bush and how he turned and drew near to the Lord that day. Don’t stand far off from God like the children did that day. They never did grow up, they remained children until they died, spiritual babies that had seen God’s power but rejected it and thereby sealed their fate.556779210602010292

One other thing that often comes to mind is courage of conviction. Joshua and Caleb were men of valor, when the Lord said they could take the promised land they believed God and not the circumstance. For forty years Joshua held fast his confession of faith. He watched all the children die in the desert because of disobedience and when the fullness of time came he was well able to lead his people. I recall times in my life when I wouldn’t hold fast to my confession for more than a hour. What an encouragement and example Joshua is to me.

Well, my friend, I have enjoyed writing you this letter and bringing you up to date on what I have witnessed lately. I pray that it is an encouragement to you and your faith. If you should happen to see a burning bush or a shaking mountain heavy with the Lord’s power, I encourage you to draw near. Please write soon so I know all is well with you. I must return to my book and finish the story of the desert. The Lord has some others that I am to watch and write about, if possible I will visit you shortly. 

 

by Pat Worrell

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