NEW Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Cami King who serves as associate pastor at Remnant Church in Manhattan. Cami is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“We Need to Hear from God”
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 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. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 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.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] 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. 7 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. 8 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—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
“In the progress of God’s redemptive work, communication advances into communion, and communion into union. When the progression is complete we can truly say, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20) . . .”
– Dallas Willard, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God)
Whether we want to acknowledge it or not – our society is still in the middle of a crisis (the pandemic isn’t over just because we’ve decided we are tired of being inside and want to go to the beach). We find ourselves in the midst of a critical, chaotic, and catalytic moment. Long-standing race-based violence and discrimination is front and center in public discourse. For many, the precarious and contingent nature of our life feels palpable as the ever evolving and painfully persistent COVID19 pandemic drudges on. Folks are angry, grieved, fearful, frustrated, indignant, and even apathetic as many of us remain home bound and largely isolated.
Our lives have been profoundly interrupted and things, to put it mildly, are not as they should be. Many are scrambling to re-assemble furloughed careers while others are aching for the healing of wounded hearts. Still others, eager to make right the world’s sin-sick structures, are allied with those choosing to resist and wondering how in the world are we to imagine and make manifest a new way of life together. These are hard realities. And, yes, things are a mess. But as people who worship a God who sits high and looks low and holds the whole world in Divine hands, we can take comfort in knowing that God is on the scene and God is at work – right here and right now. And we need to hear from God.
When Moses saw that things were not as they should be – a bush ablaze yet unconsumed – he made a critical choice: He turned aside. Instead of resenting the interruption and insisting on “getting back to normal life” (whatever that means), Moses stopped in his tracks and turned all his attention to what was before him. As he did, he walked into one of the greatest God-encounters recorded in the Biblical text and was invited to partner with God in one of the greatest redemptive moves on this side of heaven (the Exodus).
If we want to hear from God, we have to be interruptible. If we want to partner with God, we have to be willing to turn aside, discerning God’s voice and following God’s lead. Only then did God call Moses by name and invite him into relational intimacy and ultimately into world-transforming partnership. And only then will we hear from God and have the privilege of partnering with God in the holy work of redemption in our day.
God is always busy at the work of restoration and redemption all around us. Will we join? Will we choose God today in the midst of interruption – fixing our eyes on all that should-not-be around us (learning and engaging) and listening for God’s voice (discerning and partnering) in the midst of it all?
Prayer: God, give me the courage to turn aside and look to You today. Interrupt my plans this day and draw me into Your presence. As you do, may the flows of my life that are not aligned with Your redemptive work in the world also be interrupted. May Your heart become my heart and Your work become my Work. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Romans 13
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 63:1-5: You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Question to Consider
- In v. 1, how does the psalmist describe his hunger for God? How does this align with how you imagine your own need for God each day?
- Why is it important that the psalmist talks about ways he’s experienced God in vv.2-3? What are some ways you’ve experienced God presence, power, and glory?
- What commitments does the psalmist make in these verses? Why are these important? In what ways might God be calling you to make your own commitments and walk therein?
- The psalmist describes his hunger as deep desperation and dependence.
- In the midst of difficult times, it’s easy to forget the things God has already done. But it’s those very things that give us the courage to trust in God and hope for God’s deliverance. Because we have seen what God can do, we are more confident in what God will do.
- The psalmist commits to praise and worship of God. He also commits to being satisfied by God. Instead of committing only to doing things for God, the psalmist commits also and first to relational intimacy with God. Our doing for God must flow out of our being with God.
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1).
Spend a few moments meditating again on the verse above. Do these words reflect the desires of your heart? If not, why do you think not? If yes, how are you responding (i.e. how are you seeking and communing with God?) Discuss these things with God.