We All Need A Burning Bush!
- Have you ever imagined that an encounter with a ‘burning bush’ would be so important?
Do you remember the story of the burning bush in the book of Exodus? Let me remind you. Moses, the man who miraculously survived Pharaoh’s evil quest to destroy all the Israelite males, was raised as an Egyptian prince. Interestingly, Moses knew that he was an Israelite all along, and when he found an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew, one of his people, he killed him. Later on, when he found two Hebrew men fighting, he attempted to intervene, only for them to accuse him of the Egyptian’s murder. At this point, Moses fled to Midian where he started a ‘new’ life, married a Midianite woman, and tried to hide from his heritage. God had other plans, though.
One day, as Moses was tending his flocks, he saw a burning bush! Now the way this bush was burning was interesting because it was burning but not being burnt up! Moses, in his curiosity, went to take a closer look at the bush, only to hear the voice of God calling him from within the flames! What a shocker! The same God who Moses had worked so hard to hide from for so many years had come looking for him in Midian!
Why would the Lord go to so much trouble to ‘smoke’ Moses out of his hiding place? Well, because he wanted to reestablish a relationship with him, and use him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses is one of the few people in the Bible of whom such words are penned.
Exodus 33:11a “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.“(NLT)
If Moses had not gone to the burning bush where he was able to listen to and reestablish his relationship with God, he would not have enjoyed the close fellowship that is referred to in Exodus 33.
I believe we all need that burning bush – that moment where God seeks us out in the wilderness and speaks to us, drawing us back to him.
How, then, should you and I react when we encounter a burning bush?
- Listen to God
God uses burning bushes to get our attention when he wants to tell us something. I am sure you know and agree that when in the wilderness, focusing on and listening to God is a challenge. When you see that burning bush, however, know that it is God who wants to speak to you.
Exodus 3:4 “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.’ (NLT)
As you can probably discern from the verse above, God used the burning bush to get Moses’ undivided attention! Is there a ‘burning bush’ around you that God is using to get your attention? If so, maybe it is time to stop trying to quench the fire in the bush and open your ears to hear what God is saying.
Isaiah 55:3a “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life.” (NLT)
- Open your heart to God
Here’s the thing – the main reason God puts that burning bush in front of you is that he wants to get your attention. He probably wants to rebuild a relationship with you, one that you had in the past that has since been forgotten. When you see that burning bush, therefore, open your heart to the Lord and talk to him. Let him know what you have gone through and how you feel, and ask all the questions you need to. After you are done ranting, crying and praying, listen to him once again. You never know – he might just answer all your questions!
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (NIV)
Many times, we turn away from God because there are things that happen to us that we don’t understand. I suspect that is why Moses ran away – he could not fathom what his role in the world was! If we talk to God honestly, and in turn listen to what he has to say, the burning bush will gradually disappear.
- Study God’s word
The Bible is God’s voice – it speaks words of comfort, direction, warning and encouragement – all that we need as Christians. There are however instances when we drift away and forget how important the Word of God is. The next time you see that burning bush, therefore, turn back to his word, through which he will speak to you and draw you back to himself. Let’s have a quick look at what the Psalmist says about God’s word.
Psalm 119: 103-105 “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (NIV)
Wow- sweeter than honey! Imagine that! This precious word of God gives us understanding, direction, and so many other things! Through this word, we get to know more about God and understand what he expects of us. The burning bush directs us to the best life manual there is – the Bible!
Though I do not enjoy the ‘burning bush’ moments, I appreciate them because they remind me that God values my relationship with him, and will do all he can to restore it. If you are in a burning bush situation right now, be encouraged. All you need to do is listen to him, pour out your heart to him and get back into his word, and the fire in the bush will die down.