Ignoring the burning bush

Daily Readings: Exodus 3-4

“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you.”

-Exodus 3:10-12

Throughout our readings in Exodus today we see Moses continually push back against God’s will for his life. God spoke directly to Moses from a burning bush. God laid out for Moses exactly how the plan would go. When Moses was still nervous that the Israelites would not follow him, God demonstrated for Moses that he would be there to help him perform multiple miracles in the sight of the Israelites if they needed additional convincing. After all of this, surely Moses would be inspired and motivated to go liberate his people! Moses was God’s chosen one to bring his people out of bondage! What an amazing calling!

And yet that was not the response Moses had…

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses.

-Exodus 4:11-14

How often in life are we like Moses? I know in my own life it is typically not a burning bush, but rather a combination of circumstances that seem to be God guiding me down a certain path where my life experience, God given strengths, and skills developed over time, can be used in a powerful way to further his kingdom.

This has occurred for me multiple times in regards to career choices as well as ministry opportunities. Many times, I have chosen to jump at God’s calling. In these instances God has always shown up in a powerful way when I have gone full speed down the path he has placed me on. However other times, I have responded like Moses.

“God, you have the wrong guy.”

“What if this doesn’t go well?”

“I am really not excited to take this on.”

Sometimes it has simply been, “I just don’t want to.”

The danger I have seen over and over again in my own life and in the lives of people I have had the opportunity to mentor, is wanting to project God’s will onto our own emotions. If we “aren’t feeling it” towards a particular vocation, ministry, relationship, etc. it is extremely easy to fall back on, “I think God is leading me towards…” We want to believe that our will for our own life must be God given, and therefore his will as well.

Sometimes that is absolutely correct and those feelings of nervousness, frustration, fatigue, etc. are from God and his way of pointing us in another direction. Frequently, however, it is just us trying to run from the task God has put in front of us. We want God’s will in our lives to match our will for our own lives! The key is never being afraid to ask ourselves, “Am I having a Moses moment? Is this simply me pushing back against God’s will in my life?”

There is no place in scripture that says we are going to going to feel constant excitement, passion, and desire to follow the path God has laid out for us. In fact there are many examples beyond just Moses where the opposite is true. Frequently, the people God uses the most throughout his story push back. They say, “Nope. This is not what you built me for. This isn’t what I want. Clearly you must have a different plan for my life. I need to follow my own heart and my own gut feeling.”

God says, “I will be with you.”

So the next time you are about to “go with your gut” or “follow your heart” on a decision that doesn’t seem to really line up with the gifts, abilities, and life circumstances God has brought you through, lift it up to God in prayer. Ask advice from Godly people in your life. Take some real time to ask yourself, “Is this a Moses moment?” in my life? Am I trying to avoid what God has clearly put in my path?

When opportunities in life seem to big, too challenging, too risky, or too stressful; we would always prefer to say, “God, you have the wrong person!”

God is always there to respond, “I will be there with you!”

Thought to ponder

Where in my past have I potentially had a Moses moment towards God’s will in my life? What is an area in my life currently where I might be saying, “God, you have the wrong person?”

As always, thank you for reading! Your comments are a great source of encouragement. If you think this post could be helpful for someone you know, feel free to share it!

6 thoughts on “Ignoring the burning bush

Add yours

  1. Aaron – great words! Do you think there are any principles we can follow to determine if we are having a Moses moment or not? Thanks!


    1. John, thank you for reading! There are several things that I try to do when thinking through big life decisions to discern God’s will and sort out my own emotions.

      1. Look at my own gifts, skills, and life experience and ask, “Where can God use me the most?”
      2. Seek advice from Godly people that I have in my life and ask their sincere opinion about what I am feeling and if it is simply me trying to avoid something hard and scary or is God potentially pointing me in another direction.
      3. Honestly assess what might be contributing to any hesitations, nervousness, or stress I am having towards this decision and turning to the Bible to see what scripture has to say about these various emotions.

      All of this needs to start by removing the question of “What do I want?” from the equation and replacing it with the question “What does God want from my life?” Every time I have followed that prompting even when unsure or fearful in the moment, God has always shown up!


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