Deep within each of us is a longing to fulfill our purpose—our God-given purpose. We know we are created for “something more.”
But how do we find out what that is?
It is actually within us–but we must do some intentional things to find it. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end (Ecc 3:11 ESV).
It is said many children up to around 4 years of age test at a genius level. Creatives with the ability to dream without limitation, imagine and connect with God.
And then life happens.
Slowly but surely either experience or people tell them differently until slowly we all scale back our expectations, dreams and desires afraid of disappointment. Continued tests show the number at “genius” level reduces significantly as children age until we hit adulthood.
But that was never God’s plan. We each have a call and purpose if we are willing to “turn aside” with Him. It takes more than simply asking God, “What is my purpose.” It takes intentionality.
We Need to “Turn Aside.”
What does that mean? Let’s look at one in the Bible who stepped into his purpose by that intentional act—Moses.
SEE ALSO: When You Are in the Place of “In-Between”
As Moses began to emerge from his forty-year stint on the back side of the desert. Not just the desert but the BACK SIDE…God presented an invitation.
“There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up” (Ex 3:2-3 NIV).
Moses saw the burning bush. He saw it was not consumed.
At that point he made a decision to “turn aside” and find out why.
We each have invitations such as these in our lives. We can either look at them briefly and acknowledge God is doing something—trying to get our attention OR we can simply move on blessed by the moment.
They are actually invitations to turn aside and go deeper. To find out what God is saying and doing. It takes an intentional act.
The word “turn aside” is the Hebrew word sûrwûr which means to “turn off.” Such as to turn off a road onto another one. It describes an decision and action to go a different way. In that moment, Moses determined to do something different and take the time to understand.
Ex 3:4 NIV says, “When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
Once Moses took the action to look, God responded by calling to him.
Moses’ curiosity/hunger activated the unfolding of God’s plan and purpose for him. It makes us wonder, had God simply been waiting for Moses to emerge all that time? Is He simply waiting for us to “turn aside” and look deeper?
I believe God the answer to that is–yes.
He shows us something and then waits on us to turn aside and say, “What are you trying to show me?” He desires for us to take the time to spend with Him to unlock more of our destiny.
If we sit with Him and don’t hear anything—then we need to sit longer. God will and does speak, but we are often just too busy to really listen.
But there was more to the equation in Moses’ preparation to move into his destiny:
1. He was told to remove his sandals “for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Ex 3:5 NASB). This required another intentional act—one of obedience to humble himself before the Lord.
Removing his sandals signified removing that which is of the flesh to enter a holy place and conversation with God. It was another invitation that Moses could either accept or refuse.
2. As he obeyed, it allowed Moses to go deeper into his understanding of God. Moses “hid his face” overcome by reverence/the fear of the Lord. Reverence of the holy is another aspect that must be present for God to use us and take us deeper.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Without this deep reverence and fearful respect for who God is, we remain stuck in place circling in frustration because our understanding is limited until we allow the wisdom and knowledge of God to flood us. That will only come as we walk in humility and obedience to Him.
Once Moses was in position, God began to download His plan.
I’ve heard people say that God is judging America and there is no hope because we deserve it. It is true that America deserves judgment. But it is not true that there is no hope. To believe that is a lack of understanding of God’s nature.
Yes, He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Yes, He destroyed all life outside the ark in the flood. Yes, Ananias and Saphira were struck down for lying to God. But in each of those cases what must be seen is God’s long-suffering prior to those incidents where He did give time for repentance. He gave the invitation to turn and repent.
What we also see is His faithful protection over those who were His own.
Regarding Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), I believe we are nearing a time when we will see the fear of the Lord return to that same degree. During that time in history, there was a mighty move of God taking place in the land. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, knew that and had been part of it. Yet they were more concerned about how they appeared to others than the fear of the Lord. Why was their lie different than other lies told throughout the Bible? I believe because it was due the glory and outpouring of the Spirit that was present at that time.
God’s nature requires holiness. But He is also long-suffering. We see in Exodus 3 that He responded to the cry of His people. If he did then, then He will now. He doesn’t change.
The Remnant in America and around the globe are crying out to Him now in just the same way.
He would have to go against His nature to not respond.
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The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey was the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. (Ex 3:7-8 NIV).
God has not changed.
The situation of His people in Egypt then, mirrors the situation of His people now all over the world. Whether that is America, China, Africa, Australia… In America we may be in this position of our own making, and yet as people are crying out to God for deliverance, how can we believe that He will not answer?
The Israelites were in Egypt of their own sin. Just as we are now in deepening slavery in America to debt, to perversion, to tyranny, of our own sin—and yet just as God was concerned with their suffering then—He is concerned with our suffering now.
God uses such situations to bring us to a place of repentance so that He can move.
The land God had purposed for them from the beginning had been stolen from them. He was determined to return it to them. He had simply been waiting on them. How?
God was looking for one who was willing to be courageous and lead.
That’s what He is always seeking.
Perhaps you say, “Well, I’m not a leader!” Moses didn’t think he was one either. God was simply asking him to step into a realm beyond his comfort zone and surrender himself to whatever God was sending him to do.
That is the place in which we begin to enter our truest destiny.
When we are willing to step out of what we can do into what He has called us to do. That which is far beyond our own ability acknowledging it is His ability.
God delivered His people from Egypt by showing His miracles. I believe He will do it again. Are we ready? And while those miracles didn’t seem so wonderful to Pharaoh, God protected His people from the destruction.
“And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not” (Malachi 3:18 NIV).
God will grant you favor with those who oppose you and have been your enemies.
When we are willing to “turn aside” to do something different and seek His face, we put into motion His purpose and destiny for our lives in which He said He will deliver us, raise us up, provide for us and give us favor.
“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed (Ex 3:21 NASB 1995).
The burning bush was simply an invitation. It wasn’t just to be a one-and-done experience.
It was an invitation to a lifestyle of communication with God, seeing His miracles and going deeper.
Moses took the time to say, “Yes.” Will we?
Thank you-I needed to hear/read this article to make a decision about moving ahead.
Thank You Karen for the article that pricks my heart! Yes May we fulfill His purposes in all our lives! God bless you!