When I look at this picture of the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico, I see the fire in the sky revealing the Majesty and Creativity of our God. I remember being there in Naples, FL with my dear STFM more than a year ago.
Today this picture reminds me of Moses looking up to see a bush on fire, but realizing it was not being consumed by the fire. Then hearing God's voice from the fire calling his name... "Moses! Moses!" Exodus 3:4
This week in the continuation of Waiting for The Wind we're going to look at the life of Moses and some of his friends. I wonder if I'm the only one that often thinks of Moses' story as beginning here at the burning bush. Isn't this where God intercepted Moses' life, changed the trajectory of his path and gave him The Mission Impossible?
I think yes in that God definitely called Moses out of hiding in the shepherding lifestyle he had chosen for himself after escaping Pharaoh's wrath in Egypt.
However, I think we have to go back to the beginning. Go to the birth of Moses and remember what was happening during that part of history. We can see that God had His hand on Moses from before he was even born.
Waiting for The Wind of God to come and fill the sails on our boat so that we can move out into deep water of adventure and abundant living. I and my dear STFM - we're waiting. Sometimes we wonder if we missed The Wind. Did it pass and we weren't ready? Were we not paying attention? Or has God always known we would be right here?
Was Moses waiting for God to find him? Or did Moses feel he had blown any opportunity of being known by God or even known by his own people? Did he ever even think about being found?
I don't know the answer to most of these questions. But God knows every answer. He knows all of our worries, fears, & hang ups. He sees & hears all the ways we disqualify ourselves in an attempt to not be disappointed when life doesn't turn out as we hoped or as planned.
How about you? Are you waiting? Hiding? Escaping? Wondering if God sees you? Do you think He's always known you would be right here?
Please join me & Moses & friends this week. 🔥
If you’ve been following along with me this month, you might have noticed the boat in the picture is NOT a sailboat. No wind needed for this boat with a motor. A steady wind would be helpful to dissipate the fishing smells on a hot humid day, but wind is not necessary for this boat to get the job done.
If we jump into Moses’ story here at the burning bush conversation with God, we might find ourselves in agreement with Moses. Why would God choose a backwoods shepherd to boldly enter the palace of Pharaoh and demand that the Hebrew people be released from slavery?
Or in my life, me & STFM – “Who me? Us? We’re not sailboat people. We have a motor on our boat. And a plan. And a destination. Trade in our motor for Wind power? We don’t know how!!” And God’s voice breaks through all our questions, doubts, insecurities & objections to speak to us the same words He spoke to Moses, “I will be with you.”
Oh well, that settles it.
It does, but…
Moses had lot of questions and objections to God’s plan, and we’re leaning toward agreeing with Moses. However, if we go back to Exodus 1 & 2, we remember that Moses was born at a time when the king of Egypt had declared a death sentence on every Hebrew baby boy at birth. His life was spared by God with the intentional plan of his mother and sister to give him life in the house of Pharaoh. He was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and grew up in the palace of the king of Egypt.
I ponder on God’s intentions for Moses – even before he was born. Did God intend for Moses to be a defender/protector/deliverer of the Hebrew people as an inside agent much the way Joseph had been? Only God knows.
But we do know that Moses was familiar with Pharaoh. He had grown up in the palace as a brother. Boldly approaching Pharaoh on God’s behalf was not such a far-fetched idea, except that Moses had become a murderer. A traitor. But God, The Wind, promised to be with him.
Early in our relationship, STFM & me, hopped in our motor driven boat & set a course for our lives. We’ve navigated toward a mutually desirable destination hoping to arrive safely sooner rather than later. It’s the American way!
Both of us were raised to be responsible citizens, work, pay our bills & save a few bucks for a rainy day. We gave our best to raising our sons, and we’ve ardently fought for our marriage!
Storms and all, we’ve rocked along in the comfortably conservative motor boat of life together for 30+ years.
We’ve not stopped hoping & dreaming at this point, but many of our goals & plans appear to be overboard without a life jacket.
Six years ago, STFM was first diagnosed with PD as well as a degenerative spine issue. Four years ago his career ended. Two years ago, out of the clear blue sky one day, I heard the Lord speak to my spirit very definitively, “I’m teaching him how to sail.”
I could see the picture in my mind. Jesus was standing at the bow of what I then realized was a sailboat. He turned to me and said, “I’m teaching him (pointing at STFM) how to sail.”
What Jesus was really saying to me (at least what I’ve figured out so far) are these few things:
· I Am here in the boat with you.
· Have patience! I’ve replaced your self-propelled motor with a wind-dependent sail.
· Stay in the boat. Watch. Listen. Learn.
· Trust Me. I Am a Good Teacher.
· I know where WE are going.
A little more than a year ago, I believed Jesus was impressing on me the idea of “staying in the boat” by resigning from my job. It didn’t make sense to me, which caused me to think it really was Jesus’ idea.
I pulled a Moses. (Ex.3)
I argued. I expressed doubt & told Jesus my concerns, as if He didn’t know.
I was the only one with a job & benefits. We were already making ends meet with our savings.
I told Him I would be seen as irresponsible. I stayed in my job for another year and I was miserable.
Dear Moses! He gets such a bum rap about giving God excuses & complaining to God. With only sermons & commentaries I would think Moses was one wimp of a dude – whiny, disrespectful & insecure.
Even as I read again through Exodus chapters 1-7, I get the feeling Moses must have really pushed God’s patience. It seems like God and Moses conversed in never-ending circles. Chapter after chapter God told Moses what to do, how to do it and in God’s own name as his seal of approval. We all want to yell out, “Moses, put on your big boy pants & go already!”
Again and again, Moses on repeat expressed his doubts, insecurities, & all the what-ifs. Ultimately he told God to please find someone else for the job. Reading it, I was getting annoyed too, UNTIL I read the words of Exodus 7:6-7 “Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.”
LIGHT BULB MOMENT!
The first 7 chapters of Exodus cover 80 years of Moses’ life. This truth changes my whole perspective on the text. I go back and realize Moses was 40 years old when he fled Egypt for Midian.
The more I chew on these thoughts and place Moses’ story on a more realistic timeline I realize I’m reading snippets of Moses’ intimate talks with God. Approximately 40 years he was in training with God. He was being taught the true identity of the God of Moses’ father, the Levite. God was teaching Moses’ to trust, to listen and to obey Him. Over years God was revealing His grand plan to Moses. Helping him to GO at just the right time.
I wonder how my 55 years of life would read in 7 chapters. What if others could read my private conversations with my Heavenly Father? Moses & I might be kindred spirits.
Ponder? How would your ___ years read in 7 chapters? How does this change your perspective on Moses? On God’s Father heart? God’s patience? Receiving God’s call on your life?
Almost ten years ago these words of Moses in Exodus 14:14 landed on my broken heart and stuck.
I remember thinking… it’s a good thing I only have to be still because I can’t move. In fact four months went by in which I barely moved from my quiet time chair. During this season of broken-heartedness I was invited to a prayer class. The leaders offered an opportunity to receive inner healing through prayer & ultimately to be able to share these prayers with other hurting people.
God knew where to find me. He called my name. It was my own burning bush encounter. And just like He did for Moses, He started out teaching me His true identity.
In Exodus 3 we see that from the moment Moses said, “Here I am”, God’s first priority was to introduce Himself to Moses.
God lovingly warned Moses, “Don’t come any closer. Take off your sandals. You are standing on holy ground.” Then, God spoke His true identity, which He knew Moses would recognize. “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 3:6.
In this intimate encounter in Exodus God reveals the truth of the Gospel:
· God pursues us.
· Even while we are unclean & rebellious, He calls our name.
· God identifies Himself & declares His Holiness.
· He invites us to bend our knee in allegiance.
· At our yes, He begins to unfold His plan & invite us to participate.
My heart was sealed for eternity many years ago by simple faith in Jesus.
This was a different encounter for me. It was the time I bent my knees & pledged my whole-hearted allegiance to Him – regardless!
Since then, He’s been unfolding His plan & continually invites me to participate.
Has this been your experience? Are you needing to cling to the words of Moses today? “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” What does Holy God want to say to you in your stillness?
I love it when I read scriptures I’ve read many times before & suddenly particular words pop off the page as if they’ve been found in a hide & go seek game. That very thing happened to me today as I read these words in Exodus 12:35-36,
“The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.”
Stop. Wait. I read these same words earlier in the week. As I flipped back pages, I found these words in Exodus 3:21-22. These were the instructions of God to Moses way back at the beginning of his training.
“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”
Go check it for yourself.
Do you get what this means to me while I learn to sail & wait on The Wind? To you? To anyone who is scratching their head & wondering if that calling – that promise was just their imagination?
*** God keeps His promises. God does what He says He’s going to do. And if He’s asked you to do something, do it. He’s right there next to you fulfilling those words. ***
I knew God was telling me to leave my job along with the security of a paycheck & benefits. I hesitated. I stalled a whole year. But now that I’ve taken steps forward in faith, I see He’s with me and He’s bringing to pass the things He promised. Provision. JOY. Protection. Faith muscles. Trust. Peace!
Go ahead & flip over to the New Testament - Luke 19:28-35. It’s right there too. Jesus told them details. They found it all just as He told them.
Are you encouraged? In what way? Please share.
Thank you for joining me on the #write31days2018 journey through which I am writing Waiting for The Wind.
I appreciate your participation as we’ve now spent four weeks pondering the lives of David, Abraham, Job & Moses in the waiting. I hope you will stay with me as we next look at _______ the mystery person, the identity of whom I feel sure the Lord will reveal any day now. =)
May the Lord encourage your heart and bless you through and through. May you see Him in your life at every turn and may you rejoice greatly in His goodness!
Eyes on Jesus and SHINE, friends!