By Benjamin H. Liles
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.
Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” ~ Exodus 3:1-5
It will always depend on our faith. Moses, when he was called by God, didn't believe he was qualified for the vision God had for his life: bringing Israel out of Egypt. But Moses had faith. When he first saw the burning bush in the area of Midian (some scholars place it in the north of Arabia, next to the Sinai peninsula), without it being consumed, Moses knew he had to check it out. This was God getting Moses' attention.
We all have some level of faith that God exists. This is the same God who not only called Israel out of Egypt, He's the same God David wrote about, having said, "And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Deliver me from all my transgressions; Do not make me the reproach of the foolish" (Psalm 39:7-8). When our faith is in God, He upholds us more so every day by His mighty hand than if we had no hope in Him.
The writer of Hebrews says, "By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward" (Hebrews 11:24-26).
We can know what God's plans are: to eventually send His Son, Jesus Christ, to set us free from sin and death. This is God's faithfulness towards us, in spite of our hostility towards Him. But what about our faith towards Him? To what level and end does our faith say about how we see Him? Paul tells us about having a deep abiding faith in God, "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, so that I may somehow attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:10-11, Berean Study).
So, it seems when God calls us out, at the level of faith we have in and for Him, at the moment He calls us, He does a couple of things:
1) He sets us apart from death, giving us life. Paul tells us, "Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12, New American Standard).
2) He enables us, by accepting Him, to leave the sinful life. Again, Paul tells us, "You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires" (Ephesians 4:22, Holman Christian Standard).
3) Our reliance upon and in Him sustains us. Once more Paul tells us, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13, Berean Study).
4) Over time our faith helps us to endure and to keep close to God. We have a deeper resolve to know Him and to let others know of Him and His works. Peter writes, "But resist him (talking about being firm in our faith against Satan and his deeds), firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world" (1 Peter 5:9).
We see an interesting things, then. God not only calls those who are already expressing faith in Him, but He makes it known in His faith towards us we are His. Let me explain this point. If you read my post recently about the Prodigal coming home, God is the Father in that parable. He watches from afar, waiting for the glimpse that we are on our way back to Him from the sty we once lived in. He is apprehensive. but not in the way we are. He keeps a solemn watch, knowing, "Any minute now ________ will come around that corner. _________ is on the way back home to me." He anticipates receiving us back into His home, His arms.
Therefore, it is His faithfulness towards us first, which enables us--in our walks, to remain steadfast and resolute in our walks to be forever used and remain in and with Him. Just as it's said in a song: "He is jealous for me, | Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree, | Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. | When all of a sudden, | I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, |
And I realize just how beautiful You are, | And how great Your affections are for me" (How He Loves, John Mark McMillan). His love towards us is unending. Maybe it's time we come home to Him.
Father, You are full of surprises every day. Just when i think I have a bead on You, and feel I understand what You are doing, and how You work, you throw me a curve ball. It's a good thing for sure as it keeps me on my toes in seeing just how much You love and want me to love as well. Your mercies and grace are ever new and far-reaching. It's humbling to know You place such an importance not just on me, but on others as well. But there are times, and I need to be honest, where I feel I am unworthy of You and Your grace. I still sin. I hate that fact, but You know how to deal with it as long as I keep close to You. In Your faithfulness towards me I see how I need to return that favor to You. It helps me to see I need to be made more in Your image. "I want to be more like You, in the likeness of You. Let me awake forever in Your likeness." I want Your grace to so shine in my life it brings and compels others to come home to You, Lord. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.