Wouldn’t you love it if God would come to you in the form of a burning bush? We often wish we could discern God’s will for our lives more clearly.
Instead of envying Moses for the way God spoke to him, let’s look at his example and learn to expect God to speak to us. We can be encouraged by his experience that we will hear God and understand what He is saying.
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law … 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…” Exodus 3:1-3 (NIV)
God will get our attention. God has a plan for each of us that He will reveal in His perfect time. Moses was no exception. God would use him to deliver the children of Israel from slavery. When God’s timing was perfect, He came to Moses in the form of a burning bush. God may not send us a burning bush, but He can and will get our attention when He is ready to reveal His plan.
We should be listening for God’s voice at all times. We are His servants, and servants listen for and obey the voice of their master. God spoke to Moses as he was doing his daily task of taking care of sheep. Although we need a daily quiet time with God, we also need to listen for God’s instructions as we go about our daily routines. We will hear God speak if we are listening.
“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.” Exodus 3:4 (NIV)
God called, “Moses, Moses.” This form of greeting is referred to as repetition of endearment in which the one being spoken to was looked upon with affection by the speaker. Moses immediately knew that the one speaking to him did not wish him any harm. When we hear God’s voice, we can imagine Him calling us by name in this way. God loves us and wants to bless us. He also wants to reveal His will for our lives, so let’s listen for that still small voice calling our names. When we hear it, we should respond immediately. Moses said, “Here I am.” He was ready to hear and respond to God. Are we?
“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, 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.” Exodus 3:5-6 (NIV)
God’s first instruction to Moses was to take his sandals off his feet. This was a customary expectation in the presence of a superior. God also identified the ground as holy. The presence of God made it such. Anywhere God is becomes holy. When we encounter God, we must respond humbly. God is holy and can only be approached on His terms.
Moses was even afraid to look upon the face of God. Although we do not have to be afraid of God, we must give Him the respect He deserves. When we respond humbly, we show that we consider ourselves His servants and that we are ready to receive our instructions.
The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, … So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:7-8, 10 (NIV)
God was very specific about what He wanted Moses to do. Moses had no question in his mind who God was, why He had come, or what He wanted him to do. He was the God of his fathers. He had come because He had heard the cries of the Israelites. He wanted Moses to go to Pharaoh and bring the people out of Egypt. When God speaks to us, we will recognize His voice and know what He wants us to do. He will give us specific instructions. We should confidently expect to receive direction from God. When He speaks, we need to listen and obey.
When was the last time you encountered God?
I would love to hear how He spoke to you.
Please share your story to encourage others.