Part 1: “What’s your Burning Bush?”

One of life’s most frequently asked questions is, “Lord, what do you want me to do with my life?”  The following questions usually ensue: “Are these ideas from you Lord, or from me?  What are my giftings and where do I fit in with the scheme of doing ‘great things’ for God?”

A decade ago a good friend of mine asked me the question: “What’s your burning-bush?” The context for this question is Exodus 3:1-4; here we find Moses tending a flock of sheep (not even his own) when he comes upon the burning bush.

1Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 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. 3So 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!

Factors Surrounding the BushFlames
Moses saw the “bush” and through that encounter received his calling for the rest of his life—40 more years.  Here are some factors surrounding this event that I hope will speak to you, challenge you, and encourage you.

1. God knew who Moses was.
Moses was called by name, twice. Think about this… did Moses know God at this moment?  Unlikely. Raised as an Egyptian, fled from his own people, married the daughter of a (most likely at the time) pagan priest. 40 years later… 80-year old Moses encounters the bush
Did God know Moses? Absolutely. He called Him by name twice.

2. God knew where Moses was.
He knew his physical location on the mountain (He knew where to find him). He knew his age, He knew his fears, He knew his history and testimony, his successes and failures (He was aware of his identity questions.

3. God knew how to get Moses’ attention!
For Moses it was a bush that was burning, without burning up.

4. It was Moses’ response, that drew a response from God.
Read the first part of verse 4…  “Moses saw it and then turned aside.  When God saw this…”

Forget Moses… What About You?!
My point is this:  What is YOUR burning bush?  What is it that you notice as you go to work, to school, to church, when you lie in bed at night dreaming?  What is in your make-up and design that is attracted to specific things?  Do you want to heal the sick and lame that you see—in body, mind or spirit?  Is it a word of knowledge to reach someone?  Is it the homeless, or the elderly, or the children, who always seem so obvious to you, yet not to others?  Do you find yourself thinking about new businesses or new ministry opportunities before they exist?

Don’t assume that everyone else notices the things that you notice: they don’t!  You may walk the same street as another person yet see completely different things.  In fact, this is a strategy I often use with my own outreach teams or during ministry to help reveal gifts, calling and God-inspired opportunities.  God could be trying to get your attention in a way specific to you, so stop trying to find Him the way other people have; turn aside to what He is showing you Himself.  For example, He probably won’t bring you to a plant that is on fire yet not burning up!

3 Questions to Consider:

  1. Do you recognize what it could be that God is using to get your attention?  Your heart, your vision, your desire, passion, or those ‘unique-to-you’ ideas?
  2. Are you looking for it?
  3. Will you turn aside to investigate?

One final word… Even 80 years isn’t too late.  Moses was 80 years old when he saw his burning bush, and he had been through a lot of “stuff”.  It’s never too late for anyone with God; He hasn’t forgotten your name.

What is your burning bush?

Read Part 2 HERE.

Jeremy West has been on staff with Youth With A Mission since 1995.  He teaches and runs training programs globally in the fields of discipleship and leadership development.