A Talking Bush
“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh (near) hither (here): put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Exodus 3:2-5
I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit many times in my life, and although the voice was not audible, it was quite real to me. I have been at youth camp where I felt God pulling at my heart and convicting me of the sin that was in my life. It was if He had a spotlight from heaven shine right on me. My heart would began to race, and my mouth would become dry. I felt as if everyone in the congregation knew the sins I was committing, and I was even scared to look up at the preacher for fear that he would call me out on them. God was working in my heart and shining His light on the areas that I tried to hide from Him. I was a fool to think I could hide anything from God, and He used these messages to reveal sin in my life.
When God speaks to you, there is no denying it, and as God told Paul in Acts 9:5, “...it is hard to kick against the pricks.” I could not wait for the preaching to end, but the Holy Spirit's conviction only intensified the closer we got to the end of the message. The preacher would end his message and the pianist would start to play the song, “I Surrender All”, and my heart would melt like butter. The more I tried to quiet God’s voice, the louder it grew and the harder my heart pounded. I could no longer resist God’s calling, and I quickly went to the altar and surrendered to God the areas in my life that needed to be changed. There is no relief like the relief that comes when you listen to God's voice and fully surrender to Him.
God still speaks to me through His Word, even when I am not expecting Him to. I recently heard a message that God used in my life to convict me of things I needed to change. I am grateful for His voice, and I am grateful that He is a loving Father who still speaks to me. We must be like Samuel in I Samuel 3:10, “And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.” We must carefully listen when God speaks and we must be ready for His appearing.
God often appears to us at times when we are not looking and in places where we would least expect Him, although He is everywhere at all times. I have lived in Arizona for most of my life and it gets pretty hot here in the valley. I have never seen a bush on fire that was not consumed, and I have not heard God audibly call my name. I cannot imagine what Moses thought as he saw the bush burning and the fear that came across his body when he realized it was God speaking to him personally.
What is God saying to you today? Are you listening to what He is trying to tell you? Have you ignored Him for so long that you don’t even hear His voice anymore? Has His voice grown dim in your ears? How long has it been since you have heard Him speak to you? God may not come to you in a burning bush, but He is always speaking if we will listen. We have access to His Holy Word which is His message to us, and He has given us preachers and teachers to proclaim His Word to us. Will you surrender to His voice? Will you change what He will have you to change? May we listen for His voice, and may we so closely walk with God that we recognize the voice of our good Shepherd.
Stay in the fight!
Keith & Kristyn Getty