Posted by: bellissimanh | November 2, 2007

I AM – West Side of the Wilderness

This week’s lesson focused on Moses’ encounter with the LORD at the burning bush.

“So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.'” (Ex. 3:4)

Lisa pointed out that when the word “call” is used in conjunction with a name, it signifies an establishment of the authority over the one being called. God was reminding Moses that He was in charge, and that He would equip Him for whatever task He called him to. I love that!  If God has called me to do something, then if I’m to move forward, I must realize that I am under the umbrella of His authority, and He will give me whatever is necessary to complete the task. How can I lose?? 🙂

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. How current is your God? Is he up to date on all your issues or do you have old hurts you still hold behind your back?

I can honestly say that there is nothing I hold back from the Lord. I know that He knows me inside and out, and that even before I utter a word, He knows what’s in my heart. I learned a long time ago that nothing is hidden from Him, and to try to hold things back only makes things more difficult.

 I didn’t come to this realization easily. During a very difficult time in my life, I didn’t even know how to pray… what to pray for. Honestly I was confused about His plan, and angry over my circumstances. Prayer felt kind of futile to me, because although I knew my heart’s desire, I didn’t know if it was God’s will… and because I believe in His absolute sovereignty, I felt like praying was useless… because He was going to have His way anyway, and who was I to think I might change His mind with my requests? In time I came to realize that prayer is as much for me as it is for Him… and that since He knew all of my emotions and thoughts anyway, I might as well express them to Him. I found that more important than the actual words of my petition was the fact that I keep the lines of communication open. I truly understood the meaning of the Spirit’s intercession with groanings when I couldn’t find the words to pray. What a gift that was!

2. Has the enemy ever told you there are situations that are ‘old news’ that are better left stuffed down? Or perhaps because they were so long ago they can’t possibly be affecting you now?

While I know that the past affects us (it helps to create the women we are today), I am not a big fan of “reliving the past” or going back to try and analyze it. At least not if it’s a negative thing. Christ came that we might have life… abundantly. In His presence there is fullness of joy. If reliving the past means opening old wounds and rubbing salt in them, then I don’t see that as being biblical. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the question, but often I think Satan loves to keep us LIVING in the past, and he enjoys seeing us beat ourselves up over things there, or harbor resentment over wrongs done to us… anything to keep our focus off of what God is doing in our lives NOW. Nope. Not a fan of examining the “old stuff” too deeply.

3. In the matter of established authority, does God truly reign in your life? Where are you when He calls your name?

Hmmm. Good question. I try to let Him reign in my life. It’s my greatest ambition… to keep other gods off the throne and to let Him have full control. Some days I succeed… others I fail miserably. Where I am when He calls my name really depends on the day. My prayer is that when I hear His voice… regardless of where I am… I will come running to obey His command.

4. Do you ever feel God has forgotten you in your ‘west side of the wilderness’?

Not for years. He has proven Himself faithful and I know that even when He is quiet, He is still there. Always. He is, after all, “I AM.”

5. Have you ever experienced a time of cleansing where God has illuminated and rejuvenated you? If not, do you find you are in need of this now?

Yes, from time to time. Of course retreats are an awesome way to experience his cleansing and times of renewal… but I’ve found that some of the most powerful moments of refreshing have come when I least expect them.

I recall one time, a couple of years ago, that I was faithful in my quiet times with the Lord, but there was something missing. I was going through the motions out of obligation, but it seemed like drudgery. One day I finally cried out to the Lord, “You’ve got to help me! I can’t DO this!” It was like a light went on in my head. That’s what He had been waiting for. It was as if He spoke to me, “Ah, my child. Now you’re getting it! YOU can’t do anything! There’s your problem!” 

I’ve heard it said that faith is coming to the end of yourself and finding that there’s nothing there… and then turning to the Lord because HE is. I love that about Him… the weaker I am, the stronger He is! Every one of my inadequacies is simply a chance for Him to display His power and glory. Man… He must get an awesome showing in my life on some days, because I am woefully inadequate! I’m so thankful that He is “I Am” – Jehovah – Yahweh… The Self-Existant covenant keeping God!

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Responses

  1. “I recall one time, a couple of years ago, that I was faithful in my quiet times with the Lord, but there was something missing. I was going through the motions out of obligation, but it seemed like drudgery. One day I finally cried out to the Lord, “You’ve got to help me! I can’t DO this!” It was like a light went on in my head. That’s what He had been waiting for. It was as if He spoke to me, “Ah, my child. Now you’re getting it! YOU can’t do anything! There’s your problem!”

    I love this. Had a moment like that myself this week!

  2. Beautiful!
    Coming to the “end” of myself is so scary and wonderful all at once.
    It reminds me of the song by Rich Mullins, “sometimes the night is beautiful”

    Blessings,
    Sue

  3. One of the things I love about the burning bush passage is that Moses noticed the burning bush and felt curious enough to give it some attention… He said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight…”
    “So, when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him…”

    I don’t know why that recently caught my attention, but it did. There are days when even a burning bush probably wouldn’t get my undivided attention, and I surely wouldn’t “turn aside” to look. I get very focused sometimes. That Moses was a wise man. 🙂 God may have to do some pretty fancy things to get our attention sometimes, but He is ALWAYS a great sight, worth turning aside for…
    Now, if only I can manage to put my money where my mouth is!

    Hmm… I feel a post coming on! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. ‘I’ve heard it said that faith is coming to the end of yourself and finding that there’s nothing there… and then turning to the Lord because HE is.’

  5. and i left off my comment of

    “Amen, sister” :))


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