Moses was having a very ordinary day, tending sheep, minding his own business. And then, the unexpected happened. A bush caught fire. That would have grabbed his attention. In an area where wildfires can spread with devastating effect, one does not ignore a burning bush. Naturally Moses stepped aside to examine it.
Such a curious phenomenon! The bush was on fire and yet it was not harmed. God spoke to Moses from the midst of the burning bush.
God is a consuming fire, yet the bush was not burnt to ashes.
A green bush burns slowly, sending forth much smoke, but ultimately it is consumed and turns to ashes. A dried up bush burns quickly, and in no time is turned to ashes, but this bush did not burn out.
The bush that burned, and yet did not burn out is a very potent symbol of Christ indwelling our redeemed humanity. It is GOD who works in us both to will and do and work out His good pleasure.
Unfortunately we constantly are mobilising our own resources in His services and soon burnout. None of our talents or abilities is a substitute for God Himself.
The wonder of this bush lay not in the bush, but in the QUALITY OF THE FIRE, that it could burn without turning the bush to ashes. If the bush was looking to itself to sustain the flame, it would have burnt out very soon.
Very often we act as if everything depends upon us and nothing on God. And instead of committing ourselves to God, we commit ourselves to the need. We need to learn that God is a totally competent God, able to fulfil His eternal purposes. We need to become available to Him, for Him to do His will in His way.
Jesus invited us to abide in His love, and by abiding in Him our lives bear fruit. His life within us causes us to bear fruit: fruit that is a blessing, fruit that is not toxic or uneatable, but a blessing. But it comes from recognising how weak and empty we are, and how full and complete Christ is, and how completely He completes us.
He does not give me strength- He IS my strength. He does not give me victory- He IS my victory. He does not give me wisdom – He IS my wisdom. All that He is, He has given to me. He is the river that never runs dry. He is the consuming fire that burns without turning me to ashes… His is the love that takes the ashes of my life and makes something beautiful, something good out of it.