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“This is the covenant that I will make….I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor or say to one another Know the Lord, because they will all know Me.” Jeremiah 31:33,34

“So Moses thought: ‘I will go over and see this strange site – why the bush does not burn up.’ When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from the bush.” Exodus 3:3,4

“But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you.” John 16:13,15

Whew, we have so much stuff to contend with today. We have so many options to choose from. We have so many voices telling us what is right and wrong, which way to go to be happy and successful. Even within the church, we have this was this but now this is that and now this is who Christ is and this is the path we must tread.

What should I do for work? Who is proper to fall in love with? Can this person really be a Christian? Should I only eat this and skip that? What if my child asks me this question, or wants to be this person; how do I answer them? I just went to 10 different Christian internet sites and they told me 10 completely different things. Wow, I sure could use a burning bush; right? It sure would help for me to hear the booming voice of God come from a pillar of smoke or fire; then, I’d know what to do, think or say. And by God you know I would do it!

Ok, so first of all, we do need teachers of the Word. The New Testament is clear, that there will be those who spread the word; who “Feed my Sheep”, as Christ called upon Peter to do. It may even be possible that a blog post, like this one, might be of some slight value. So I’m not about everyone going their own way in some individualistic faith sort of way.

Yet there are times, not infrequently, when I speak with fellow travelers of faith who are facing choices in life, different possible paths to walk down, especially if the choice is a momentous or agonizing one; that they long for and are at times frustrated by a seemingly lack of guidance from the Lord. Their frustration often is cited in terms of God did this or that sort of thing, burning bush, pillar of fire, loud thundering voice and/or sending angels with answers in the past. Why is God leaving me twisting in the wind today? Oh, if He would only come and speak to me in some dramatic way; I’d listen and obey. Instead I’m left on my own.

First Dear Sisters and Brothers, it is crucial we understand the difference in circumstances and times. We must realize it is not that God loves us less or that we are somehow less deserving; in fact, we have a circumstance that not even Moses had. When Moses, Abraham, Noah, David, Jeremiah, David and all those other persons in the Word who heard directly, in person, from God, Jesus Christ had not come to earth.

Jesus Christ’s coming to earth, dying for our sins and being resurrected, is the seminal act in our present relationship with our Heavenly Father. No longer is our access to God through a covenant that requires another human being in the person of Prophet or High Priest. Upon His death, the veil of the Holy of Holies was torn asunder, forever ending the forced separation from God to All His people.

Jeremiah, one of those Prophets, prophesied his own obsolescence, when he spoke of a new covenant. The new covenant, where each of us would have the “law” of God written on our hearts allowing us direct access to God. A new covenant where the internet of all things would not be our go to answer place, but the Creator of Things will show us the way.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, it is not a burning bush we need to hear from, but the burning Holy Spirit that is within our own hearts, who will make, “all things clear”. That Spirit speaks of the things of Jesus Christ who is one in the Father.

Yet to come to the Father, through the Son given Spirit takes several things. First, it takes a humble faith. It is the opposite of humility to arrogantly demand that God put on a show for us in answering our appeal. If You, God don’t show up in some dramatic way then I won’t, I can’t believe. No, we have to faithfully humble ourselves, acknowledging the Spirit we have within us and asking for, not only for that Spirit to speak in us, but also that we will have the strength to faithfully move in the direction that Spirit guides us to go.

Another factor which aids in the discernment of Spirit leading, is to have a more common language and core thought process. That language and process comes from taking time to delve deep into God’s Word. The Spirit’s answers are going to be rooted in the Love and Being of our Heavenly Father. To have a concept of that loving nature is gleaned from time spent studying the resource God, Himself has given to us for just that purpose.

Finally, it is virtually impossible to have a true relationship with someone through a third party. It would be the height of error for me to believe or proclaim that I know Tiger Woods, or some other celebrity well, because I spoke to someone who knows them well. Yes, speak to a pastor for help certainly, read a blog (he says humbly). However, don’t let those discussions or readings supplant or replace the direct contact that we all have available to us through prayer.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, let us turn from looking outside, for signs and wonders or turning to and relying on the opinions of others. Instead, let us turn inward, to where the Spirit resides, going directly to the source on a regular, daily basis asking our most pressing questions and being fully, faithfully anticipating of receiving the perfect response.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we are so grateful that the Perfect Creator has seen fit to, not only even take notice of His creation and our imperfections, but to go the furthest mile to sacrifice everything to place a part of You in us through the Holy Spirit. Forgive us when we either demand of You some sort of additional sign or worse yet turn to human wisdom and institutions to provide us the guidance You freely offer to supply. Through Your Spirit, help us to be humble and build our faith that we would come to You with our life’s most pressing issues. Through the Spirit provide us with clarity of action and peace of spirit that will allow us to joyfully carry out Your Will in our lives. That following the brightness and burning of Your Spirit within us, we might bring love to a needful world and praise to Your Most Holy Name. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

“An 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.”  Exodus 3: 2

“Then Moses said to the Lord: ‘Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since…..but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue”  Exodus 4:10

So many choices these days, so many voices.  We hear we are to do the will of God.  We also hear when something happens that must have been the will of God.  Yet sometimes the voices are divided.  “Do this as it is the will of God”, we hear from one side.  “No! this is what you should do to fulfill His will!”, we hear from another.  Boy if I could just see a burning bush!  It sure would be great if my shrubbery would talk to me.

I apologize for being a little flippant because the question is an important one; maybe the most important one.  How do I know what I’m supposed to do?  Where can I go to get Our Heavenly Father’s answer?  Why isn’t he showing me a sign?  First, I think that it is important to understand how much Our Heavenly Father knows about us; even more than we know ourselves.  We might say to ourselves (I know I have) but wow, if I could only have a burning bush message, I’d be all in.  I’d do exactly what I heard!  Come on God! let me have it!

Let’s take a look at a few actual human reactions to signs from God.  Moses and the burning bush for example.   It is impossible to portray the divine on a worldly stage but I Youtubed how Hollywood portrayed this interaction in the epic movie: The Ten Commandments.  Charlton Heston is a pretty amazing Moses, but the interaction does not seem to fit the emotion of the interaction between the Angel of the Lord and Moses. For Moses does first ask why me, and then he proceeds to dispute with God that He has chosen wisely.  Moses tries to make the points that the Israelite People will not know who sent him, won’t believe that he was sent, that Moses is not talented enough to be the right person.  The fact that this is all coming from the miracle of bush on fire but not consumed does not seem to have had an overwhelming impact on Moses.

How about the Israelite People themselves.  First they have seen the power of God in the plagues sent against Egypt, including the “Passover”.  They have been freed from Egypt leaving with loads of riches; gold and silver.  They have been spared from attack by the Egyptians by miraculously crossing through the Red Sea.  They are being led and protected, night and day, by God Himself, in the guise of a pillar of fire at night and pillar of smoke during the day.  How can it be that they would miss the will of God in these signs.  Yet time after time, they miss the Will of God and complain to Moses:  “You led us here to die of thirst!  You led us here to starve to death! Would that we have stayed in Egypt.  Hey, I’ve got a good idea, let us make a golden calf to bow down and worship!”  Doesn’t appear that God’s signs had an overwhelming impact here either.  There are many other times miraculous signs were not initially heeded; a talking donkey a dry or dew soaked fleece.  And lest we forget, the miracle after miracle performed by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that were completely dismissed.

Thus it is vital that we be honest with ourselves.  If God sent us a miraculous sign today.  If we were confronted with an indisputable direction to be taken.  And, if that direction was not one we thought we could succeed at, or if it was not a direction that we had planned to go; would we drop to our knees praising God and declaring that yes we will leave and do immediately? Or, would we question God’s sign, question God Himself and the wisdom of the course He has laid out for us?

Here’s one of the miraculous things to me in all of this; God’s Mercy and Patience.  Here is the Creator, giving a task to His created. And the created is replying:  Creator, I’m not so sure about this, not just once but several times.  Remembering the Power of the Creator in all things, one might expect He would judge His creation unworthy, bring destruction down and find another.  What did He do for Moses; gave him Aaron to accompany him.  What about the people of Israel when they complained about starving; sent manna and quail.  When the people denied Jesus and His miracles, Christ died for them and us.

So if a bush is not going to do it for us; what will?  As it was in the beginning and ever shall be; God will.  God has given us the reference material to His Will.  He has given us His Word to read and study that clearly outlines what He wants.  And He didn’t stop there; for if a picture is worth a thousand words, then an action, an example must be worth a hundred times that.  So God gave us the deeds of Himself in loving action with us and then when we needed The Perfect Example, Our Heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to show us the way.  And He is not done giving.  For to provide us with insight we are incapable of through worldly logic or discernment, God has given us the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and touch our souls with the Wisdom and Love of God.

A burning bush?  A pillar of fire?  What are those examples compared to the Resurrected Christ!?  In Him we truly have all that we need.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, ever since the Garden of Eden, we have been trying to figure things out through our own devices.  You have sent us signs, prophets and even Your Only Son Jesus Christ.  Yet we confess, we struggle against those signs trying to interject our own.  Forgive us Most Merciful Father we pray.  Pour out Your Heavenly Strength that we might put aside all worldly logic and thought and humble ourselves and our will to the service of Your Will.  Through the Holy Spirit bring us to an understanding and willingness to follow what You would have us do.  That in following Your Will, we would bring glory, honor and praise to Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen

 

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