Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Setting an ambush for God



"When the Lord saw that [Moses] turned aside. God called to him from the bush." (Exodus 3:4)  Moses' relationship with God was powerfully changed when he took time to wait on Him at the burning bush. The verse implies that God spoke to Moses, because he turned aside...chose to make time for God. We don't know what might have happened had Moses strolled by, giving the burning bush a casual, "Hmmm that's weird" and kept going. But he didn't. He stopped what he was doing, turning from his shepherdly duties in order to give his complete focus to the supernatural fire. God always provides glimpses of Himself, but only those who turn aside to wait for Him will see more than that. Relationship with God is what you were made for, and waiting is a way of drawing near so He will in turn draw near to you.

There are several Hebrew words for waiting. Qavah is an interesting one, translated 'to eagerly wait for with anticipation,' but it also means 'lying in wait, as in ambush.'  We're accustomed to thinking of waiting as killing time until something meaningful happens...like waiting for an appointment at the doctor's office. But waiting for God is different. A hunter must go where he thinks the deer might be and watch and wait attentively. He doesn't expect a deer to wander through the living room while he's watching his shows. This waiting is active. It takes focus and intention to still myself, quiet my mind, set aside my to-do list and anticipate God drawing near and communing with me.

So because I know this, my spiritual walk must be one continuous high, right? One moving encounter after another. Probably have to wear a veil to keep the reflected glory from blinding folks over at the Walmart.

Sorry. Had to pick myself up from the floor where I lay, hysterically laughing. As with most of the Christian life, it's one thing to know something and quite another to do it. So I'm grateful that our life of faith is a long distance journey. And the longer I travel, the more I realize that I will be a beginner all my life. I am once again learning to wait; setting aside times to spend with Him, just as I would a friend with skin on. I am reading the Bible and asking Him to illuminate my reading; allowing His lovely, living words to reorder my thinking along biblical lines. I am playing worship music and singing the words as prayer to Him. When I pray, I purpose to put thanks and worship at the beginning, saving my list of needs and wants for the end. I am taking time for silence, so there is room for Him to speak to me. I am shushing my busy, anxious, caffeinated brain, which is way harder than just shutting my mouth. And I am cutting myself major slack. Giving myself grace is often the hardest thing I do, for I fail so often it can seem impossible to have faith to begin again.

The hardest part of any journey is the beginning, when the road stretches endlessly before you and the destination is unseen. That's when you're tempted to give up, because nothing seems to be happening. But knowing that appearances can be deceiving and the devil is a liar, I keep moving forward, trusting in the love and character of Jesus—and isn’t that what faith is? Intimacy with Jesus grows bit by bit, nurtured by all the little steps you take in the dark; then finding that He was there waiting to make Himself known to you all along. While your encounters may not be the audible voice of God from flaming shrubbery sort, I guarantee that they will be life changing. Because encounters with the Fiery One cannot be otherwise. Ambush God and be changed.

"Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" Luke 24:32


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