Call · Free · Glorify · Serve · Strength · Sufficient · Weakness

burning bush…

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.

Exodus 3:1-2 NRSV

burning bush-God-Sufficient-Jeremiah's Menu[Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash]

God… appearing in a burning bush… blazing… yet the bush remained… unconsumed…

I never quite got the significance of this picture…

But recently through an audio-book… and a paperback book… I heard two different teachers teach about God revealing Himself as fire…

Fire is energy released through combustion of matter. It is a primary manifestation of God, who exists as unbounded, unfounded, everlasting energy, needing nothing to support him. Nothing at all.

— Dallas Willard, Life Without Lack

Self-sustaining… everlasting energy… absolute sufficiency… in and of Himself… 

The presence of God as fire in the unconsumed burning bush… is a perfect picture of His self-sustaining energy… in need of absolutely nothing…

The bush itself… is used by God for context… it’s the vehicle through which God’s glory is revealed… without being needed…

The appearance of God’s energy as fire… flames out of a bush… without the bush being needed to fuel the fire in anyway… and remaining in tact… highlights the ALL-SUFFICIENT nature of God…

Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God;

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

So said the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Her lament takes us back to that spellbinding encounter when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and issued a call to him that he might lead His people out of slavery into a land flowing with milk and honey. That epiphany, as Browning points out, was not for Moses’ culinary delight. No more, I might add, than the thunder and lightning on Sinai were so that the people could enjoy the glow of the landscape.

The dazzling, almost fearsome accompaniment of the elements in both these defining moments for His people pointed beyond the portents to the One who controlled those elements. God’s inexhaustible presence graced those occasions with brilliant and awesome splendor.

–Ravi Zacharis, Jesus Among Other Gods

Inexhaustible… awesome splendor…

He reveals His power… energy… in amazing ways… through natural objects… objects He created… without needing them to sustain Him… or fuel His fire…

I’ve been pondering this picture a couple of weeks now… and I had a bit of an epiphany this morning…

When He calls us to serve in His name… He supplies the power… His self-sustaining… inexhaustible power… to achieve His desire…

We… like unconsumed burning bushes… are vehicles for God to reveal His great glory….!

When this thought came to mind… O how I smiled…

All we have to do is show up…! just be…! allow Him space…

He’s not depending on our “power”… ability… or anything about us…!

In a way… it costs us nothing…

We… anything in and of ourselves… are not consumed…

And the weaker… less likely to be chosen… we are… the greater His glory will be revealed when He shines through…

It’s rather freeing… at least to me… to think of simply being a vehicle… for Him…

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

2Corinthians 4:6-10 ESV

jars of clay-fragile-Jeremiah's Menu-call-God[Photo by Oshin Khandelwal on Unsplash]

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