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Pay attention!

April 14, 2008

Last Thursday, during my devotions I read Exodus 3:1-6 where Moses encounters a burning bush.

What I’ve learned I’m learning is this:

1. Moses was living life, doing what he would normally be doing. He was working – tending his father-in-law’s sheep. His work environment involved the outdoors, a dry climate (the wilderness or desert). A burning bush would catch Moses’ attention. Fire in the desert would is cause for alarm. (Fire and dry vegetation could create an out of control fire rather quickly.) Moses wouldn’t overlook a burning bush – it could threaten the herd he was entrusted to care for.

2. Moses watched & observed that something extraordinary was going on and headed over to check out what was going on. The fire didn’t spread and that was (probably) a relief for Moses, but as he watched, he observed that the bush didn’t burn up, it kept burning. That was the extraordinary thing. Moses took the time to observe what was going on, then identified what was extraordinary about it.

3. Once Moses made a move toward the attention-getting bush, God made His move. (Prodigal John has a great post relating to this.) Moses could have chosen to go back to what he was doing before the bush started burning. After all, that is what he was supposed to do, but he took the time to investigate further. I think that is significant. God didn’t say “Hey Moses, come over here” and then Moses moved toward the bush. God revealed Himself to Moses after Moses moved toward the bush.

So here are my aha’s:

Until today, I’ve looked at the burning bush as something really out-of-the-ordinary. Like, “there is no way I could miss this”, out-of-the-ordinary thing. The burning bush was essentially two ordinary things (fire and vegetation) combined. Had they ever been combined before? Yes. Have they been combined since? Yes. The out-of-the-ordinary thing was not the fire and vegetation or even what was the happening to the bush. What was out-of-the-ordinary was what was not happening to the bush.

When God wants my attention, He may use something extraordinary.

When God wants my attention, He may use something ordinary.

When God wants my attention, He may do something extraordinary with something ordinary.

When God wants my attention, He may do something ordinary with something ordinary.

God will get my attention however He chooses to get my attention – He’s God!

When God wants my attention, He may require me to:

  • stop what I am doing
  • observe what is happening
  • observe what is not happening
  • change my direction
  • make a move
  • stand still

What are you learning about paying attention to God?

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