I read the story of the Burning Bush with new eyes the other day… Did you know it is like an instruction manual to recognize and answer God’s call for your life?
Yeah, me neither… Until now.
Usually when a story from the Old Testament comes up, I think of it as “just a story”, a prequel to the more metaphorical, parable-esque, meaningful, and applicable New Testament. But, lately I am realizing how much I have missed out on because of this point of view. I couldn’t believe how clear to me it all seemed as I re-read the all too familiar story again. At least 9 crystal clear steps on how to clearly recognize and courageously answer God’s call in our life practically jumped off the page, begging to be written down…. so I share them with you now.
How to Recognize and Answer God’s Call – 9 Lessons in Courage and Clarity from the Burning Bush
1 – God IS
Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” – Exodus 3:2-3
First off, God IS. He shows himself in quietness – but fire. He is silent, yet visible, standing out from the surroundings. He is patient and waits for us to seek Him, even if it is only out of curiosity.
2 – Particularly CALLED
We are particularly, uniquely, and individually called. We are called by name –
“Moses, Moses” – Exodus 3:4
and then He waits for us to answer.
3 – Acknowledgement
“Here I am” – Exodus 3:4
Our first active step in this process is to not turn a deaf ear. God respects our freedom and waits for us to acknowledge His voice.
4 – Recognition
We must recognize Who is calling and the sacredness of it all.
“Do not come any nearer, and remove the sandals from your feet for the place on which you stand is holy ground”. – Exodus 3:5
5 – Revelation and Overwhelm
He begins to reveal Himself to you
“I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…” – Exodus 3:6
but our natural reaction is to get overwhelmed
“Moses hid his face for He was afraid to look at God…” – Exodus 3:6
6 – God ignores our fear and calls anyway
“Now, go! I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt” – Exodus 3:10
His call always comes from a place of compassion for souls He loves who are hurting, which He is fully willing to explain without our even asking
“I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry against their taskmasters, so I know well what they are suffering…” – Exodus 3:7-9
7 – Doubt
We doubt our abilities partly out of fear and/or disbelief, but mostly out of not wanting to leave our comfort zone to do something big
“Who am I to do this great thing?” – Exodus 3:11
From an outsiders perspective, it seems that a former Prince of Egypt and Israelite by birth would be the OBVIOUS choice, but whatever, we like to make our excuses. I’m sure from God’s perspective, we are the obvious choice for our call too, even if we can’t see it…YET!
8 – Procrastination
Usually, we lose the battle with self-doubt quickly so we start asking pointless questions to stall for time.
“Who shall I say sends me?” – Exodus 3:13
Uh, didn’t God just explain that before He called you?
But God answers anyway, and finishes with a reiteration of the call, with even more specifics
“Go and gather the elders of the Israelites, and tell them…” – Exodus 3:15
assuaging all our doubts
“They will listen to you… And yet I know pharaoh will not let you leave so I will stretch out my hand and do wondrous deeds in Egypt…” – Exodus 3:18-20
He even details all the miracles Moses will show in Egypt to make the Egyptians believe him and gives him the staff with which he was to preform them. And STILL Moses tries to make excuses
“but I don’t speak well…” Exodus 4:10
And God re-answers his doubts – even though He already had – “They will listen to you…” and even offers him the assistance of Aaron until Moses has nothing left to say.
And yet Moses still tries to get out if it:
“Please, Lord, choose someone else”. – Exodus 4:13
Only then does God start to get angry with Moses (talk about patience – the conversation is almost 2 chapters long at this point!).
There is nothing left to say.
9 – Choose
To follow or not to follow?
At this point Moses finally has to choose.
Should he go back to Egypt or should He ignore God and stay comfortable caring for his sheep?
Will you choose to go or will you stay comfortable?
Clarity and Courage to Answer God’s Call
We are drawn to the fire without knowing, like a moth to flame, but when we seek Him out we will be called.
Do not fear the call, this call makes you make sense. It gives meaning to your past and purpose to your future.
Your excuses and your abilities mean nothing, for it is God who will smite your Egyptians, you just have to go to them.
Be brave, for you do not walk alone.
- Will God’s Will Make Me Happy?
- How to Live your Life as a Calling
- How to Follow God’s Will – Even if you don’t know what it is