Church On The Edge
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Church On The Edge

Broken Bicycles, Burning Bushes

I was counseling with the executive director of our church about one of our staff members, who was becoming a problem. The source of the problem was his pride, and the two of us were praying about what to do. We decided to leave it up to God. That’s when my executive director said something I’ll never forget: “Sometimes, God has to kick the spokes out of our bicycle to get our attention and make the changes He needs to make in our lives.”

God has definitely kicked several spokes out of my bicycle over the years! Let me hasten to add that He kicked every one of those spokes out with love, painful love. And I’m glad he did.

I have changed a lot since my early days as a pastor. In my book, “Masterpiece in the Making: Life Lessons for Spiritual Growth,” I share some of the things that God used to replace my prideful spokes with more humble ones. Looking back, I recognize those times as “burning bushes” in my life.

The story of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus, chapter three, is, in many ways, the story of a man who has had the spokes kicked out of his bicycle, and now stands before the Divine Bicycle Repairman to receive new spokes — actually, he’s about to get a brand new bike altogether.

It was Moses’ pride that forced him to flee Egypt. Thinking he could save his people in his own strength, and murdering an Egyptian overseer was an arrogant and prideful act. Forty years later, he is chasing sheep around the desert, far from his home in Midian. That’s when he encounters God in the burning bush.

Most of us are familiar with the story, but the bottom line is Moses is being sent back to Egypt to do things God’s way. It took forty years to get Moses ready for God’s calling and life purpose. Sadly, some people live entire lives and are never ready for what God has planned for them.

That brings me to a few questions I’d like to ask you — Are you wandering around in the desert? Are you missing some spokes on your bicycle? Most important of all, are you ready to experience a burning bush, receiving the great plans God has for your life while abandoning your own pride and your plans?

I’m not going to lie. It’s not easy to swallow our pride, submitting ourselves to God’s plans. If you don’t believe me, read the entire story of Moses and the burning bush — it’s a classic example of someone trying to avoid God’s purpose for his life.

If you are wandering in the wilderness, it is highly likely that there’s a bush on fire somewhere in your life. But until you decide, like Moses, to actually see and examine it, you won’t hear from God.

I thank God for the burning bushes I’ve experienced, but to be honest, I cannot think of a single one I’ve encountered somewhere other than the desert. But in every case, those bushes have led me out of the wilderness and into God’s blessings.

Burning bushes are sacred places, life-changing events. It may very well be that they are found in the desert for all of us. But the good news is they point the way out of the desert to the living water God has waiting for us.

In Christ,

Dan

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