“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV
I have always been a little bit jealous of Moses. I have longed to have my own “burning bush” moment when God spoke to me in such a powerful way that I couldn’t deny His presence, that I could say with one hundred percent certainty, That was the voice of God. After all, Moses wasn’t even seeking the Lord the day he encountered God. Sure the shepherd was curious about the flaming bush, but he had no idea that his life would be forever changed from that moment on. He wasn’t expecting God to work in his life and yet God showed up in a BIG way (Exodus 3:1-5)!
Recently, I had prayed for peace about a women’s conference I helped plan for our community and church. I was particularly nervous about delivering the introduction of the ministry team who would speak to the large crowd of ladies at our church event. That doesn’t sound like such a big deal to you, right? But to me, who is shy and hates public speaking, it’s a huge, fearful, dreadful deal! I love to express my ideas in written form but speaking in front of large groups is a different story.
So, for two weeks before the conference, I prayed to God for peace and guidance for just the right words to say. I prayed for boldness in my voice and calmness for my nerves. Each time I humbled myself before the Lord, the same verse from Philippians popped into mind, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Soon, this became my theme verse that I clung to with all my might. Each time I began to worry about the speech, I would recite the verse. When doubt would creep into my mind, I would recall the familiar words. They soothed my soul and reassured me that God was with me, no matter what. He would help me through this. Soon, my perspective began to change from feeling dread to honor to serve the Lord in this capacity.
Until the morning of the conference. At 4:00 AM, to be exact. I awoke in bed with the all too familiar anxiety swelling up inside my tired body. Unable to fall back asleep, I decided it was too early to start getting ready for the conference, so I decided to delve into my quiet time. I grabbed my devotion book, Bible, and highlighter, and settled down at the kitchen table. I silently bowed my head in prayer, asked the Lord to show me what He wanted me to learn from His Word, and to give me wisdom for my speech to come later in the morning. Then, I opened my devotional book to the date of February 4th and stared in amazement at the focus verse. There, like a hot, burnished orange, fiery bush, was the Philippians 4:13 verse that nearly ignited a fire within my heart!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
When I read the focus verse, my eyes immediately filled with tears of acknowledgment that everything was going to okay. It was as if God’s peace, love, and spirit somehow intertwined around my heart and soul, calming my apprehension and nerves. I have no doubt that I heard His voice in that moment, and I drew strength from it to overcome my fear.
There was my “burning bush”. Except God chose to send His voice not in a burning bush like Moses experienced, but through a quiet soul whisper. He chose to speak to me in a way that was totally special and unique to me, the way I needed to hear it. Now that I think about it, if God would’ve spoken to me through a bush or some other mighty source like that, I probably would’ve been too scared to listen to what He had to say. He knew how I needed to hear His voice, how it would be most effective.
The conference turned out beautifully. I was able to get through my introduction in front of 160 women. It may not have been a perfect speech but I completed it for God’s glory. And my spirit has been refreshed with the reminder that God is ever-present and listening to my prayers. I need only be observant and aware of how He is going to reveal Himself to me next.
Be encouraged that the Lord knows and deeply loves you. He knows your desires, your fears, your plans, your strengths, and weaknesses too. He is a communicator of burning bushes and soul whispers. Listen closely. Look for Him. He desires to communicate with you. But be assured that He will use ways that are best suited and unique to you, to really get your attention. No need to be jealous of Moses. God has something extraordinary planned especially for you!
Have a blessed week,