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.”

Finish the sentence

Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

We’ve heard others use the Romans 8:28 reassurance so many times in the midst of tragedy or frustrating circumstances to basically say, everything is going to be okay. God will use all of our struggle for the good, eventually.

It’s “in the meantime” that threatens to defeat us.

When “we know that all things work together for the good” is not enough for our current suffering, finish the sentence.

This promise is for those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose.

When we are waiting for all things to work together for good, and the waiting is overwhelming, focus on these truths:

God loves you. His love never fails.
Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. We love because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:10, 19

Remember that God loved us first. He didn’t wait for us to get it together. He loved us so much, He stepped into this world to pay for our sins we hadn’t even yet committed and exchanged His life for ours. The only reason I can love is because He IS love and proved it. No matter what we are going through, His love is worth living for.

We are called on purpose and for His purpose.
As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have been called by Him. He has called and chosen me by name. He has called and chosen you by name. That wasn’t an accident. We are called according to His purpose. Don’t let the gravity and wonder of that statement leave you. Romans 8 goes on to say “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.”

Be encouraged by these Scriptures about our purpose:

If I walk into the thick of danger,
You will preserve my life
from the anger of my enemies.
You will extend Your hand;
Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.
Lord, Your love is eternal;
do not abandon the work of Your hands.
– Psalm 138:7-8

“I, Yahweh, have called You
for a righteous purpose,
and I will hold You by Your hand.
I will keep You and appoint You
to be a covenant for the people
and a light to the nations,
in order to open blind eyes,
to bring out prisoners from the dungeon,
and those sitting in darkness from the prison house.
– Isaiah 42:6-7

But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what you have seen and of what I will reveal to you.
– Acts 26:16

In fact, read all of Romans 8.

God is at work in “all things”. He wants us to experience His love and live out His calling, especially in the meantime.