Hey Everyone! I had the incredible honor of preaching at a church in Kerala during our time there last month. I found it a little ironic that I was asked to share because let’s face it, I have much to learn from my fellow Indian believers. Their devotion to God, their discipline in prayer and fasting, and their servant hearts are admirable. But I’ve learned not to let my inadequacy get in the way of a God-given opportunity. Anything good in me comes from the Father anyway.
I thought I’d share the message here with you. It’s a little long, so I’ll be posting it in 3 or 4 parts. I hope it blesses you!
When was the last time you turned aside?
Exodus 3:1-4 (ESV)
“Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
God was trying to get Moses’ attention with this magnificent sight, but he did not call to him until he saw that Moses turned aside.
I don’t know too much about the desert. Perhaps bushes burn in the dry heat all the time. But this one was not consumed and Moses’ curiosity was piqued.
He was busy. He was in the middle of tending sheep. He had responsibilities. These were his father-in-law’s sheep, after all. What if something happened to them? I’m sure there were hired hands, but he could have thought, if something happens while I turn aside, I don’t want problems with my father-in-law. He could have just stared at the burning bush from a distance and pondered the mystery.
But, no. Moses did not let this rare sight pass him by. He was not indifferent to the presence of God. This is why he was able to behold His glory.
And so my question to you today is, when was the last time you turned aside?
When was the last time we stopped and asked, like David did: Search me O God, and see if there be any wicked way in me? (Psalm 139:22-24) What do we do with God’s response…?
We can come to church Sunday after Sunday, Friday after Friday and take for granted God’s presence. God could be knocking on the door of your heart, saying “Son, there is something you are doing that is not pleasing to me. Will you turn aside?”
“Daughter, there is something I am requiring of you. I know you made certain plans, but will you turn them aside, for Me?”
“Child, I know you were saving that money for something, but would you invest it in my Kingdom instead?”
God is looking for people who are willing to turn aside everything that they are and everything that they have, for His glory.
It will be inconvenient. And it will cost everything. But when we recognize who God is, when we finally realize how mind-boggling it is that the Great I AM wants to be in relationship with us, we will be willing to pay the price.
Because turning aside means giving up what you originally intended.
The Christian walk is a continual turning aside. Continually saying, ‘Not my will, but Thy will be done, God”. It’s saying, “Let YOUR kingdom come, your will be done.” That means our will and our kingdoms must go.
Are you willing to turn aside?