3 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro,[a] the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai,[b] the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” 4 When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. 5 “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.
God’s first words to Moses, before God shares His plan with Moses, are personal; He calls Moses by name and then He reveals part of His character to Moses, His Holiness, (v.5) “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground”. God is more interested in the relationship, knowing us, and us getting to know Him, than just following a plan. Sometimes we are more interested in knowing the plan than the planner! Yet God reveals Himself and His character first and His plans second! Who God is should always be the driving force in our relationship with Him not what He can do for us, why? Because who He is, is what changes everything around Him. Everything becomes conformed to Him, God is holy so the ground changes and becomes holy. Are you taking on His character? Because of God’s holiness Moses also has to change and remove his sandals. What needs to be removed in your life? We often come to God trying to get Him to conform to our wishes and our plans but it doesn’t work that way. Is your time alone with God changing you? For Moses everything changes at this point because his encounter with God is a revelation of God himself.
Not only was Moses and the ground changed but so was the bush, everything changed because of God’s presence. This bush should have been destroyed in less than 10 seconds; instead the blazing fire that sets the bush aflame does not harm the bush it changes and shines through it. This ordinary bush becomes different from all the others around it, and because the bush changed, it catches Moses eye and draws him into a relationship with God. The fire kept burning and consumed the bush but didn’t destroy it, the miracle here is not the bush, it’s the fire. I think this is a picture of what God wants to do through us and his church today, He wants to set his church on fire; he wants His Holy Spirit to blaze through every area of our lives. He wants to burn within us a fresh passion for Jesus, to consume us with his fiery presence so we shine with his glory so that the world may be drawn into a relationship with God.
The fire of God kept burning and burning, it was an inexhaustible fire, and it did not need the bush as a source of fuel! I think so often we try to burn for Jesus in our own strength and the only burn is burn out. Our God is a God of fire and he wants his people to be set ablaze with his glory but that only comes as we spend time alone with God. Moses encountered the God of fire and it was the fire that distinguished the bush from the thousands of bushes around. Is your time alone with God changing you is it distinguishing you? Is it time to get alone with God?