Transformation Meditations: 11. He disturbs our ‘peace’
Ex 3:2,3 Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
The process of us being brought to the Lord and then transformed, that is what this is all about. In the previous two studies we remembered the life of Jacob that stands out as a good example of why we need the Lord, and then that of Abram, to see that anything that takes place in our lives to do with God is initiated by God who comes to us and speaks and calls us to leave the old life to enter into a new world with Him.
But there is something else that I have observed through the years as I have watched my own life and the lives of people around me, and it is the way the Lord comes and disturbs our life in some way to catch our attention so that we will listen to Him.
Moses at the burning bush is a classic example of this. For forty years he has become settled in the life of a nomadic shepherd in the desert and wilderness areas of Midian on the Sinai Peninsula, and now God sees it is time to start His strategy to release Israel out of Egypt and He wants Moses to be His figurehead to achieve that. But the problem is that Moses is stuck in his way of thinking – a lifetime ago he had been a Prince of Egypt, but he had thrown that away in one rash moment when he struck and killed an Egyptian taskmaster. Now he was a nobody and was almost certainly set in that thought, and God had to break into that, so He sets a bush on fire but in such a way that the bush is not destroyed. Moses sees it, pauses up and goes and has a look and it at that moment that the Lord speaks to Him.
Now I am not going to list all the various ways that the Lord does this with us, but perhaps just suggest one or two of the most common ones: our job gets terminated and our comfortable life style is put under threat, or an illness strikes and for a moment at least our life is under threat, or a longstanding relationship starts going sour. Sometimes He just puts things of interest into our minds that result in questions or circumstances arising that lead on to us hearing Him.
In my case I was interested in communication on one hand and interested in going out with a particular girl on the other. The communicator-interest had led me to a Billy Graham Crusade in 1966 to see what made this mass communicator tick, but I had left unscathed. When he came back to London in 1967 I saw this as an opportunity to take out this Christian girl who had steadfastly resisted my advances. We went together and, as they say, the rest is history! God spoke, I heard, repented, believed, prayed and was transformed.
If you want to become a people watcher for God, watch the lives of people around you and watch out for their comfortable, cozy lives being disturbed by something or someone. Sometimes the Lord uses us as His ‘burning bush’. People see our lives and we stand out as different and the Holy Spirit uses us to bug them. When people start asking questions, it’s a sign that He is disturbing their peace and getting ready to present the challenge to them. It’s all part of the process of transformation. Hallelujah!