“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-why the bush does not burn up.” 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.” “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 3:2-6
Imagine this. You’re driving along to the mall and, Voila! A burning bush right in front of you! Not only is it burning, it’s not even being consumed by the fire! Such a sight would certainly get our attention. The same was true for Moses.
When Moses saw this astonishing thing, he went over to check it out up close and personal. Little did he know that he was walking into the most life-changing encounter he would ever have. Moses stumbled upon the Lord’s Presence.
The circumstances may be different, but God still works like that with us today. His Presence can take us unawares at any moment, in any place of His choosing. It can be frightening. It can be comforting. It can be quiet and reverent. It can be joyous and exhilarating. But however He gets us there, whether we stand in awe, delight, or abject fear before Him, we are shaken out of the ordinariness of our lives into something quite “extra-ordinary”. And we know it is a moment when we cannot fail to give Him our complete attention.
“Take off your sandals, Moses, you are standing on holy ground”, said the Lord. “Uh, ok. Absolutely. Done!” Wouldn’t we respond in the same way? “Whatever You say, Lord! Right away!” An overwhelming sense of awe and reverence ushers us into the place of perfect obedience. It’s so much easier to follow directions when you get them firsthand from Someone who holds your life in His hands, Someone you love and respect and would do anything to please.
Moses was ambushed (pun intended) by the Lord’s Presence that day on the mountainside. Sometimes that’s the way it happens with us, too, but it doesn’t have to be like that. The Word tells us that we can take the initiative – we can seek Him and He will be found by us! We have access to His Presence at the throne of grace anytime we have need. The only condition is that we want this with all our heart. I pray that daily each of us will want this experience with Him. I pray that we will seek Him, find Him, fall before Him in awestruck worship, listen carefully to what He would tell us to do, and then go do it! Instead of a burning bush, Lord, give us burning hearts for You.