How do you know God is trying to get your attention?
"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—why the bush does not burn up.'” (Exodus 3:2-3)
Moses’ life was in chaos when he encountered the burning bush. He had just committed murder, buried the man in the sand, and was on the run for his life out in the desert. Moses was on a major detour. This couldn’t have been his plan for his life. His people were enslaved back in Egypt, Pharaoh tried to kill him, and now he finds himself as a shepherd with a wife and child in Midian.
Moses was in a spiritual depression, a major life detour, out in a hopeless wilderness—prime real estate for God to show up.
These are the times when God loves to show up. It happens all throughout Scripture and it happens like that now too. When your soul is lost, when you are out in the margins, when you feel like you’re drowning in the deep end—these are the times God tries to get your attention. The simple fact that you are experiencing a detour is a clear indication that God is up to something. Have you ever planned for things to go a certain way and it couldn’t have turned out more the opposite? Did you make plans when you were younger to have a certain job or a certain home or a certain kind of spouse only to realize the uncertainty of it all? If your life has been exactly as you planned, then congrats, you’re either lying or you’re God. Truth is, most of the time our lives are full of unexplainable moments, surprising twists and unforseen detours.
The burning bush was an unexplainable moment. It was so unexplainable Moses had to go and check it out. When you hit a detour sign, do you think God put it there? Moses wasn’t sure, but unlike most of us who ignore these signs, he wanted to find out.
Fire is very significant in scripture, and it is not surprising God uses fire here with Moses. Fire is both friendly and fierce. You can’t change fire. It is comforting and inviting, but it can also be uncontrollable and dangerous. You can’t separate these two characteristics of fire, just like you can’t separate God’s holiness and His love. They are in perfect unison.
Burning bush moments are the times we experience the presence of God. They are sacred ground and whether you see a flicker, a flame, or a bonfire, God is trying to get your attention. He wants to show you who He is, what He is like, and what He wants for you. We need to open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Then, the hardest thing about really seeing and really hearing from God is when we have to respond to what we’ve seen and heard.
Have you had a burning bush moment? What encouragement would you give to someone who is on a major life detour and struggling to hear from God?