Most of the time when people see something on fire, they run for a water bucket to put it out. That wasn’t the case when Moses was on the backside of the desert and saw a bush burning, but not catching fire.
No, he went over to check it out. It was unusual and he was curious. It caught Moses’ attention.
The phenomena lasted long enough for Moses to think about it, go over to where it was and see what was going on. It was there Moses heard God’s voice.
As I read this passage, I thought, “If God wanted to turn my life around, what would it take?” For a man who had been herding sheep in the desert for 40 years, it took something natural acting in an unnatural way, in a way that he had never seen before.
He is about to set Moses on a life-changing course, but one God had in mind for Moses from the day He placed him in Pharoh’s palace as a baby.
There have been many times God has had to get my attention. At times, I have listened. Others times, I have ignored Him. However, I believe He has always had the course I’m on right now in mind for me. It’s not new to God. It does feel very new to me, though.
My Burning Bush
Many of you who read my blog know my story. You know God told me through prayer and journaling that in order to take care of my weight gain I should stop eating sugar, stop eating so much bread and eat more lean meat, fruits and vegetables.
I wrote that conversation in my journal at least five times from 1977-2009. I ignored Him. Probably the first time I sensed those words coming from God, He was trying to get my attention with a bush on fire, but I chose to let it burn.
What really got my attention, though, was a sober alcoholic saying alcohol was liquid sugar. This was different. I’d never heard it put like that before. I’m just as bad as an alcoholic.
Fire engine sounds blazed around me. Smoke swirled. I felt faint. I could get free from sugar addiction, by laying it on the altar and giving it up. This had moved from a suggestion that might work to a mandate I couldn’t ignore. This became life-changing.
Moses Gave Excuses
What was so different about Moses’ burning bush that he couldn’t ignore it? For one thing, God chose to speak to him and yes, it was with an audible voice. “Don’t come any closer. Take off your shoes. This is Holy Ground.”1 That’s my paraphrase, but you understand.
Then God told Him, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”2 That’s when Moses knew he had encountered Someone beyond important. He fell face down.
God then talked to him about his mission and assignment.
Instead of jumping up and down in excitement, Moses expressed every excuse he could come up with to not do what God wanted Him to do. He poised excuses in form of questions, which God answered and finally Moses acquiesced to his assignment.
What If I Can’t Do It?
Even though I recognized my moment as life-changing, I, too, was afraid to move quickly to the place I needed to go. I knew what God was whispering in my soul. I knew it had to do with what He had shown me for years, that of giving up sugar
My excuse was, “What if I can’t do it?” God is patient with all of us and just as He was patient with Moses’ questions and gave Him options, He did for me, as well.
Instead of giving up processed sugar to begin with, I started by giving up candy. After being successful with that, I gave up processed sugar. After that, I gave up white flour, then wheat flour and then items with gluten.
Each step of the way, God illuminated the next step to me.
I like Moses because I identify with his reticence at following what He felt God was telling him to do. Always, a wall of fear seems to loom whenever I encounter a new direction and I need reassurance that indeed it is not something I have to do all by myself.
For some reason, I get the feeling I should do it on my own. I think I must do it on my own. I guess it’s a desire to prove to God I’m good enough, maybe to earn His favor, which of course, I already have.
God Is The “I Am”
The important thing Moses learned is, God is the “I am”. He was all Moses needed to complete the assignment. Moses didn’t have to do it by himself.
The reason the task seemed so impossible to Moses is because it was impossible without God. But with God, every detail was taken care of down to the Red Sea parting and the children of Israel walking through on dry ground.
In the final analysis, Moses was not equipped for the task, just as I am not equipped for the task I feel God is calling me to. I feel very unequipped.
In actuality, being unequipped may be the best qualification for the task. I believe it is one of the qualities that endeared Moses to the heart of God. It’s like God was saying, “I’ve got raw material here that I can work with.”
Usually, if I feel equipped, I will try to strike off on my own and get the task checked off my life. However, if not, I will rely completely on God’s strength.
If He really is the one calling me to any task, then He is the one who will provide every resource I need to get the job done.
Here’s the bottom line, “God does not care about your ability, He’s just looking for your availability,” Jeremy Risner, C2 pastor, Columbia, MO, said. “God says, ‘I am with you. I am sending you. Everything else is details I will take care of.’”
We are a “broken people who need to be broken from our broken-ness,” Risner added. What that means to me today is I have to rely on God to complete any assignment He gives.
God Has The Resources
Recently I got several messages from individuals telling me they were beginning to use Sweet Grace Study Guide in their small groups. I knew God lead me to write the study guide, but my thought process had not gone beyond that step.
That people would begin to use it in small groups, which is what it is designed for, was beyond me. Then, God began to deal with me about leading a group through the study. It happened to coincide with me leading a small group and trying to decide on what to study.
In addition, I’ve been praying about starting an online weight loss coaching program, but not knowing how to do it without great expenditure on my already over-taxed schedule. A big component is video taping segments for the coaching program
I prayed about it and left it all in God’s hands. He’s led me every step of the way with this book. It seemed at this juncture what He was leading me to do was way too difficult
How can I lead a small group, do an online coaching program, develop videos for the coaching program, promote Sweet Grace and the study guide and do all the other things I do including speaking, interviews, writing more books, doing editing, running a separate business and taking care of a household?
In seconds, God showed me a picture of the cattle on 1,000 hills and let me know the cattle didn’t represent just money, but all the resources I need to complete any assignment He gives me. Peace like a comforting blanket settled over me
In just three hours, every issue I was concerned about seemed to be answered. God provided a place for a study where I don’t have to do a thing but show up. Videotaping will be done during the study providing a source for ongoing videos to use for online coaching.
Putting it out on Facebook brought in individuals interested in doing the study. Seriously, when God has something in mind for you to do, He has the details all worked out.
All we have to do is be available.
So next time you see that burning bush, don’t run for the nearest water bucket. Stop. Listen. Pay attention and be willing to listen. There will be exciting things in store for you!
1 Exodus 3:5
2 Exodus 3:6
Sweet Grace Study will be held on Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m., starting March 6 in Columbia, MO. For more information, please send me an email. I will add you to the list to receive information.
You will need a copy of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. These are available by clicking on the links above or at the class the first night.
I am excited to share this venture with you! Please comment below if you are planning to join us!