When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." (Exodus 3:4 NIV)
A God encounter always starts with…well…God. God calls out to us in many places, times and ways. Often times we don’t notice. A sunrise or sunset is just the beginning or end of another day. We don’t see God. The breath we take is just another breath. We don’t stop to realize that it was a gift from God. Even though we miss many of the “burning bushes” in our lives, every once in awhile we see God. It is at that moment that God finally has our attention.
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." (Exodus 3:5 NIV)
God encounters always start out by drawing near to God. It is one thing to think about God when we see a sunset. It’s another step altogether to be ready to have a conversation with God. Moses was willing to begin that conversation, so God makes sure he will keep Moses’ attention. It’s a little difficult to run after a straying sheep when you’re barefoot. Moses is told to stop paying attention to his job. Instead, he gives his full attention to God.
Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:6 NIV)
How about you? Do you notice God in the burning bushes of your normal day? Do you take the time to draw near to God when you notice Him? Do you make all other priorities less important than Him? Does it overwhelm you enough to bow down or hide your face? Do you draw near to God?