When the Bush Doesn’t Burn
by Melissa Spoelstra
Recently I've had lots of conversations with women wondering - "how do I know for sure what God is calling me to do?" Sometimes in the midst of our busyness we wonder if we might be missing God's voice. An angel appeared to Gideon and gave him clear directions. Moses walked over to the burning bush to inspect it and the text says, "When the Lord saw that He had caught Moses attention, God called to him from the bush, 'Moses! Moses!'" (Exodus 3:4)
Even though God's instructions were difficult; Moses didn't feel qualified; and he wasn't really excited to back to Egypt against all kinds of opposition, he knew what God was asking him to do. God said to him, "I promise to rescue you from the oppression of the Egyptians. I will lead you to the land now occupied." (3:17) It was a long, difficult journey, but the instructions were pretty clear.
Now I have never had an angel tell me what God wants me to do or heard God speak to me from a burning bush. I want to follow God's plan for my life, but sometimes struggle to know which direction I should be going. As we discussed this topic at Bible study yesterday, I remembered some words my pastor spoke in high school that really helped me.
I was approaching a lot of decisions at the time - where to go to college, what to study, who to hang out with, dating, etc. I remember thinking, "what if I miss God's will for my life by accident?" Twenty+ years later, these doubts can creep back up.
So here is what my pastor said:
"If you do God's will, you can't help but find God's will."
He explained that the Bible is full of things we know are God's will:
· Study His Word
· Seek the Holy Spirit's help in applying that Word
· Be a part of a church community
· Serve the poor
· Find wisdom in a multitude of counselors
The list could go on and on. The reality is that I often neglect the things I know God has called me to do, and then worry that I won't find my way in the decisions of life. If we walk closely with God (Micah 6:8), we won't miss His will. As we walk humbly with Him while trusting in Him, He directs our paths in big and small ways.
While He has never used a burning bush in my life, He has used His Word, the counsel of others, experiences, opportunities, the peace of His Spirit or the lack thereof to guide me.
So if you aren't sure what to do today - start here:
Micah 6:8 "No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."
Looking back, I can see God's faithfulness. He always showed me which way to go - sometimes with much asking, seeking, knocking, and waiting. But ultimately, His path always became clear. So today I'm starting at the top of my list above. I'm gonna pray about the roads that seem uncertain. I hope you'll join me!
Melissa is first and foremost a Christ-follower. She is madly in love with Jesus and addicted to the study of His Word. You can connect with Melissa at www.melissaspoelstra.com.