Flames in the bush 

We are weighed down with anxiety as fear dictates our every move. Indifference poisons our worship and complacency murders our callings. Doubt demoralizes our stance, while pride pulverizes our witness. Insecurity steals our courage and shame chains us to our past. Our flesh roars for gratification as deception convinces us to drink its poison. The lies of the enemy seem to drown out truth. All the while we become busybodies; ever moving, chasing after the wind.

 Fallen from glory..That’s us alright. 

Bankrupt, with nothing to offer but brokenness. Yet in the midst of all of this we see the scars from the battle as reminders that we survived, they become the mark of victories. All the scraped knees evidence of times when we got back up and continued our race. All the broken pieces of a once whole heart; proof that we loved, that we gave all we had. Tears that tell the story of a heart that cannot find the words to speak; The story of redemption, grace and the faithfulness of God.  

Fallen from glory? Yes. Restored to glory? Double yes.

Glory doesn’t always look glorious. It doesn’t always shine and sparkle. It goes unnoticed at times. It blends into the mediocre and so sometimes we miss it, we walk right by the bush aflame with the glory of God and trek on into the desert of duty, as delight is starved for lack of splendor.

We as Christians accept common much to easily. Yet, I bet if you looked deep, deep into the secret chambers of your heart, you would find a longing for glory. A desire to break the chains of normal. Our souls long for splendor. Something within us tells us there has to be more…it barks relentlessly within as we carry about our very common duties. Yet we have no idea where to find it so we settle. Settle for comfortable and safe. We weave our lives together with the thread of Complacency and it fits us well. Complacency always justifies itself. A surplus of excuses line up willing to serve it whenever the need arises. 

 How could Glory be here in this mess? That’s what we ask ourselves. Maybe the coldness of the world has effected us more than we care to admit. Maybe our outlook has grown hazy as the news and social media injects us with cynicism or maybe we have been lulled to sleep by the subtle winds of carnality. Countless tactics of the enemy blind us to the glory we so desperately want.

Moses was doing his daily job, he was doing what he was suppose to do just like he always did and glory found him. It found him right where he was.

Glory is often found right under our nose in the vessel of the ordinary.

“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire in the midst of a bush.”
Exodus 3:2

Flames and a bush; glory had taken over the ordinary.

 

Moses not only noticed it but he experienced it. All because complacency had not stolen his curiosity.

“Moses turned aside and said I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned up.”
Exodus 3:3

Why? It’s a question any mother of a young child hears relentlessly. They need to know…their little minds race with possibilities of the prospect of what could be. They need to know why because if they do not they may miss something. Miss something big and glourious and wonderful….

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Maybe we do not ask why because we think it shows a lack of faith. I’m not sure. But I believe that “Why” can be loaded with faith. Asking why in difficulties doesn’t constitute a heart of doubt, Jesus asked the Father “Why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 and David symbolizing the cry of the Messiah asked the same thing in Pslam 22:1.

Why is the door for revelation. 

I’ve learned that many times God stimulates a question in my mind so that He can be the answer. He stirs my heart and as a result I ask “Why Lord?” And then glory often comes…because He is the answer to all my why’s. No matter how deep or how shallow, how hard or how joyous…He is always the answer. 

Something tradgic has happened in the name of maturity; many of us have lost our spiritual curiosity, murdered by complacency, and so we miss the glory assigned to us. Our desire to know, to see Him has vanished. We miss an encounter with the Great I Am because the desire is gone, we do not care enough to ask why- and so we miss it….we miss Him! We miss what He had for us in that moment because our outlooks are too conservative. 

The Hebrew word for glory is kabod- heavy, weightiness, splendor

You see glory is the scales of Gods presence. It weighs Gods availability. It is what tells us when God has appeared, when He has invaded the ordinary. Some of us would be scared by that statement (Glory weighs Gods availability) because you can not think of the last time you saw His glory….so that must mean He’s not here. How could He be in our mess, in such darkness and despair, when we can’t see His glory? Complacency is fueled by the lie that says “God is not here, He does not care.” It’s easy to settle when we believe that. But that’s not the case, HE IS HERE, perhaps though we had mistaken His glory for ordinary. Perhaps, we have stopped looking but all the while there are flames in the bushes everywhere. It’s easy to stop looking for the Divine when the desire for divine has dried up.

He is here. Make no mistake about that one. Question is do you see Him?
But even more importantly- do you want to? 

Paul prayed that the believers in Ephesus would be strengthened according to the riches of glory so that they could comprehend the breadth, length, height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge so that they would be filled with the fullness of God. (Eph 3)

As Paul prayed for them to comprehend this four dimensional love, he was praying that they would take hold of it. The word in the Greek means more than merely acknowledging the love of God but actually taking possession of it for themselves.

Paul so wanted the believers in Ephesus to take hold of and experience the overflow of love that spills from the cross because he knew that’s where glory is found. “To be filled with the fullness of God…”, to be heavy with His splendor. In this day and age we carry around the weight of many things, what if instead we were weighed down with the glory of God? 
 So many thing weigh us down and these things will try and crush the glory given to you…just remember that “2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side,but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

The absolute Glory of God was revealed to us as a carpenters son from Nazareth, that Glory could not be extinguished by the hottest flames of hell, that Glory has been placed in us as the very Spirit of Christ. He was revealed so that through us His glory could be made known to the world….don’t miss it. Don’t allow the cruel guide of complacency to cause you walk by the flames in the bush.

Look around glory is burning bright. 

In the end complacency costs us more than we could ever realize, it costs us glory. Terrifying as it may be, the temptation is there for all of us; young, old, weak in our faith or strong, the mature and the babe, ministers wives, missionaries, lay people, Baptist, Church of Christ, Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominationalist…wherever we are on the spectrum, none are immune…NONE. Guard your passion, guard it relentlessly, for the enemy will come for it because he knows there’s nothing as tradgic as a Christian who forfeits their chance for glory. 
“But my people have exchanged their Glory…”  Jeremiah 2:11

O Father forgive us of our indifference. Help us love your glory. Let our hearts ache for you. Cause something within us to ignite so that we would be hot with your glory-for all the world to be slack jawed at your Son.

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