Thankful: God makes His presence known

Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but was not consumed. So Moses thought: I must go over and look at this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up?

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

“Here I am,” he answered.

– Exodus 3:2-3

Today I am thankful that God makes His presence known to me.

Moses was a man on the run, looking to escape his past and a death sentence. His flight led him to the land of Midian, where he attempted to start a new life, under the radar. Moses shook off all vestiges of his formal royal position, and spent his time in the wilderness watching over sheep.

As hard as he tried to sidestep his identity and cover up his sins, God saw it all. God had chosen Moses, and was working to reveal Himself and His redemptive plan, for Moses and for the Hebrew people.

So, while Moses was out shepherding, God set a bush on fire to get his attention. The flames radiated within the bush but did not consume it. Moses was drawn to this remarkable and miraculous sight and set out for a closer look. When he was within hearing distance, God spoke, calling out to Moses by name.

God meets us where we are. He reaches into our situations, and our escape plans, to make His presence known. He shows up at our jobs, in our homes and in our cars to help us change course and follow Him. God knows our hidden thoughts and fears and pain, and steps in to get our attention.

Just as God set a bush on fire, he also uses events and circumstances to draw our eyes toward Him. He wants to share words of hope and promise. God is doing what is necessary to draw our gaze and cause us to take another step toward Him. He is speaking our name, calling out for us to come.

Moses found himself on holy ground, conversing with the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.

God not only works to make His presence known, He intends for us to live IN His presence. God wants us to grasp hold of who we are in Him, and live out our calling in His strength.

We just have to start with “Here I am.”

Thankful: God is the lawgiver

When He finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.

– Exodus 31:18

Today I am thankful that God is the lawgiver.

When God set apart and called out the Israelites as His own special possession, it was God who established their laws. God redefined their way of life and methods of worship. He became their center, and their success, survival and satisfaction radiated out from God’s presence.

God led the people to Mount Sinai, where He literally spoke His commands for all to hear. Exodus 20:18 records, “All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance.” God’s awesome power was overwhelming to the people, and so Moses went alone up the mountain, where God personally met with him and gave His law.

God is our ultimate authority. He IS truth, and is the only One worthy to establish justice and order. Man’s rules will always have weaknesses because we are imperfect. God is holy and without blemish. His standards highlight our need for Him.

I may not always like God’s rules. I may not understand His commands. I might struggle with how to live out His instructions in a culture that has drifted so far from God’s standard. But, I am not God! I did not create the universe. I did not send my Son to redeem mankind. I do not determine eternity. My agreement with God’s laws has nothing to do with it. HE is God. He sets the rules. I am to obey.

My life is not determined by those around me. My life is found in Jesus Christ. He is both the lawgiver and the fulfillment of the law. I will choose to trust and follow Him.