Pastor Andrew Brown, assistant Pastor of Covenant Community Church, shared a revealing word this past Sunday that I will not soon forget. His text for the sermon was from the well-known story of Moses and the burning bush in the book of Exodus. “God will use what already has your attention to get your attention”, he said. Pastor Brown shared how he had questions about the burning bush and how peculiar a choice this “attention grabber” was for God. Surely, God could have chosen anything. I thought, “if that already had the attention of Moses then how?” Sitting among the congregation, I realized it wasn’t so much the bush as it was what had Moses’ attention. The bush just happened to be in the area of Moses’ attention. Moses had consumed himself with the job of a sheep herder probably thinking he had avoided his past. In fact, he was wandering carefree in the back of the desert when he stumbled upon this bush. I would venture to say that God realized it was time to let Moses know he couldn’t avoid HIM any longer. I believe God used the bush because Moses’ occupation had his attention. I could relate to Moses in that moment Pastor Brown explained the choice of the bush. I briefly took a job as a tax preparer when I left the U.S. Navy. It was okay work. My husband was deployed, our oldest child was less than two years old and I thought this was a good idea. I found out that God didn’t think it was a good idea. For three years in a row, something happened as a result of me taking that job. It affected me and my family adversely. The first year I was there, they got rid of all first year tax professionals within the first three weeks of the tax season. I still went back the next year. Then, co-workers had accidents that caused me to take longer shifts. The kicker was when my young son of 8 months got sick at daycare and had to be hospitalized. He had swallowed a coin and it had to be surgically removed. I put him in home-based care after the ordeal and that didn’t work out either. So, I finally left the job. In my over-occupation with what was not the will of God for my life, my family suffered. Looking back on it now, I assess that getting my attention wasn’t really my problem. It was difficult to keep my attention because what I wanted become more important than what God wanted for me.
But God has a way of using things that will keep your attention.
I woke up yesterday morning to learn that the country had elected Donald J. Trump to the office of President and I knew immediately that the President-Elect is “the burning bush” but there is not the voice of God coming out of this one. This burning bush represents the government of which we have taken such an extreme interest. It reminds me of the story of 1 Samuel 8 when the prophet Samuel went to God on the behalf of the people who asked for a king to rule over them. Although Samuel had reminded them that, as God’s people, they had God and therefore no need for a king to fight for them. The people had their eyes on the things of other nations and not the things of God. They replaced God with worldly occupation. God gave them exactly what they wanted but he used that very king to keep their attention. I submit to you that since that day, government has represented the replacement of God with worldly occupation. No matter how much we put IN GOD WE TRUST on our money or our courthouses. History has repeatedly proven how people replace the things of God with the things of the world. Our recent national history repeatedly shows how God uses that very thing you replaced Him with to keep your attention. It will be with Donald J. Trump. It has been with Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama. I strongly believe it would have been no different with Al Gore, John McCain, or Mitt Romney. And yes, it would have been no different with Hillary Clinton. Sadly though, we haven’t realized it yet. But thanks to Pastor Brown, I can say I see it now Lord. I can say this now because I voted in every last one of these past elections and I couldn’t understand how in each one the decision became more and more difficult and less appealing. But I do now. You have my attention now God. In fact, you have the attention of the whole world. The world is watching the United States of America.
Moses asks the question in Exodus 3:3 “How is it that this bush does not burn?” Moses turned aside toward the bush and then God spoke to Him. It is time to turn America. There is a burning bush blazing in a great flame right now. I recommend we give God our undivided attention. What is important to God must become important to us. Be careful that we are not consumed.