Welcome back! This lesson has been burning in my bones and if I don’t let it out soon, I may spontaneously combust! God’s presence is often manifested in fire in Scriptures. We are about to study the most famous blaze in history. I hope it fans the spark in you as it has me.
Remove your darlin’ little sandals, Girls. The place we are going is holy ground.
“Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law,the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side fo the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3:1-2
In this passage of scripture, forty years have passed for Moses in a life that looked nothing like he’d planned. However, we have learned from our previous lessons that he is decidedly content being married to Jethro’s daughter, tending to Jethro’s sheep and living in Jethro’s land. On this particular day a fire blazed forth in the desert in the sight of a man who needed it more than he had ever known. Moses was convinced that he ‘was’. Little did he know, he was about to meet I AM.
Girls, our God is one of present-tense. There is no situation where you have ever been, are in now, or are going any time in your future where He will not prove Himself to be a current solution. I believe sometimes we have the mindset that because our issues are rooted in our yesterdays, our past failures, our shameful histories, that God is unable to work a miracle in it today. Don’t let the enemy feed you that lie! God’s eyes are ever on you, even in the west side of the wilderness and for everything you are not – He IS. He can and will redeem a life not lived for Him and use it for His present glory but just like Moses, sometimes that calls for a cleansing.
Let’s look at a bit more scripture to explore this thought:
“When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am’. Then He said, ‘Do not come near here, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.'” Exodus 3:4-5
I am fascinated by the word ‘call’ that is used in this verse. It is not merely a shout or command, but when used with a name, is an establishment of authority over the one being called. The same concept is found with Adam in the Garden with his naming of the animals thereby establishing authority over them. God was in a sense beginning His commissioning of Moses by reminding him who was in charge. We’ll see in next week’s lesson how Moses tried to argue that point, but make no mistake, God allows dialogue but never disagreement where His will is concerned.
After God called to Moses, we find that he responded much like Abraham when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac. Whether in prosperity or pain, when God called the response was, “Here I am.” I pray that when my God comes looking for me that He doesn’t have to search for me in the bushes as He did Adam and Eve in the Garden. God did not call out because He didn’t know where they were. He wanted them to realize how far they had run from Him. It is a wise woman who constantly asks the question, “Where am I?” in her walk with the Father.
Moses is told not to come near because he is ‘standing on holy ground’. The terminology used in this phrase tells us the ground was consecrated and was in essence a place of cleansing. Though God used all those 40 years in Midian as preparation for Moses, he was living in past tense as an alien and stranger in a land not his own. God was extending an invitation to start over, be clean, and to be used of Him to work His wonders and spread His fame. It was time for Moses to lay aside the prince and the shepherd as well as any other pre-conceived idea of how he would bring about Israel’s rescue and become the God-defined deliverer he was born to be.
Girls, I have no way of knowing where you are in life. I simply know where I have been in mine. I have experienced difficult times in the past that I can look back on now as preparation periods for my ‘now’ ministry. When I have endured long times of waiting, it has always been followed by a time of an intense encounter with the Lord where He lit a fire to have me recognize to some extent the reason I had to go through that trial. That fire was not only for illumination but also for rejuvenation and restoration depending on what my state of mind was at the time. I know our lives would be so much easier if God would just show up in our azaleas and tell us audibly what He would have us do. But you know, He did that for the Israelites and they doubted Him nonetheless. I’ll take His written Word and Holy Spirit anyday. I can forget what a voice tells me. The power of it fades when hard times come however, I can never forget what a black and white word tells me day after day. What the Bible tells me is God loves mankind and He has chosen to reveal Himself to them through me and you. What will we do with that commissioning? God’s deliverance will come! I pray we will be a willing instrument through which He brings it. Let it be, Lord. And let it be me.
Let’s apply what we’ve studied with a few Discussion Questions.
1. How current is your God? Is he up to date on all your issues or do you have old hurts you still hold behind your back?
2. Has the enemy ever told you there are situations that are ‘old news’ that are better left stuffed down? Or perhaps because they were so long ago they can’t possibly be affecting you now?
3. In the matter of established authority, does God truly reign in your life? Where are you when He calls your name?
4. Do you ever feel God has forgotten you in your ‘west side of the wilderness’?
5. Have you ever experienced a time of cleansing where God has illuminated and rejuvenated you? If not, do you find you are in need of this now?
Please know I pray for each of you as we continue this study together. I appreciate your emails with your very personal responses to what God is doing in your life. When His Word falls on the fertile soil of our hearts, He promises it will bear fruit. Blessings on you!!!