This is the transcript of my Going Deeper devotions for our Circuit today.
Beginning with Psalm 121
11 Since all these things will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people should you be? Your lives should be holy and dedicated to God, 12 as you wait for the Day of God and do your best to make it come soon—the Day when the heavens will burn up and be destroyed, and the heavenly bodies will be melted by the heat. 13 But we wait for what God has promised: new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will be at home.
There is not much to today’s reading, just two verses… but I guess what there is to say is important!
What is life all about? What does a life well lived look like? It looks Holy and dedicated to God.
As we spend these moments each day ‘Going Deeper’ that is our aim – to become more holy, more like God. That’s not ‘holier than thou’!, but dedicated to God. Our every action being God’s, living his ways, which may be different to our gut reaction. Pausing and considering, what is God’s way in this? And doing it.
As we wait for God’s promise of a new heaven and a new earth (which may well look similar to the vision in Psalm 121…) this is how we are called to live – for God.
Lord, may everything I think, do, and say be your way, reflecting you and your love.
Lord, I long to be holy, work your holy way in me.
The song that immediately came into my mind with this passage was Refiners Fire: “My heart’s one desire, is to be holy, set apart for you, Lord. I CHOOSE to be holy” Let’s pray that as we sing it today.
And may God bless us as we seek to live dedicated to him.
In the wilderness far from anywhere, when out of the corner of my eye I catch sight of something.
A bush on fire, not that unusual in the blazing desert heat, but there was something odd about this. It was well ablaze, but not actually turning to ash, it was still intact, despite the flames.
This needed investigating.
As I turned aside to look, when God saw my full attention captured, God spoke. My interest had been piqued and now God could say what I needed to hear.
God called to me, by my name. I was to come no closer, for this was holy ground, a special place where God and I were going to meet. I took off my shoes, for this was an occasion for standing on solid, feeling the earth beneath my feet.
And God revealed Godself. The God of my ancestors, all those people so special to me.
I hid my face for I was afraid to look God in the eye.
God knew. God saw the way we were being treated, how Egypt has made us suffer. God has heard our cry to be rescued.
Now God is going to rescue us, to bring us to a good place, somewhere rich, fertile and free.
But God is going to do this via me!
Has God gone mad? Does God think I am someone else? Is God confused? I am a nobody, how can I go and speak to the king, never mind lead a departure from the land.
Who am I, that I could do that?
God assured me there was no mistake, I was the one, we would do it together. God is with me I am not alone in this.
But when I go to my people they will want to know what this is all about, who has told me, in whose strength are we going. What shall I say?
I am, it is I, the God of all that has gone before. That is what to call me, how I shall be known. I am the God who has been with generations past and I am the God who will go forward with you now.
Thank you Lord, that you call me, but do not call me to go alone.
Thank you that the God who has always been with us, is still with us in this part of the journey.
Thank you that as you call me, you equip me. I do nothing in my strength, poor as it is, but everything in your power.
I stand on the Holy Ground of your presence as you equip me, fill me and guide me, us on.
God Calls Moses
3 One day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, he led the flock across the desert and came to Sinai, the holy mountain. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a flame coming from the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but that it was not burning up. 3 “This is strange,” he thought. “Why isn’t the bush burning up? I will go closer and see.”
4 When the Lord saw that Moses was coming closer, he called to him from the middle of the bush and said, “Moses! Moses!”
He answered, “Yes, here I am.”
5 God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” So Moses covered his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 Then the Lord said, “I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to be rescued from their slave drivers. I know all about their sufferings, 8 and so I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of Egypt to a spacious land, one which is rich and fertile and in which the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites now live. 9 I have indeed heard the cry of my people, and I see how the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Now I am sending you to the king of Egypt so that you can lead my people out of his country.”
11 But Moses said to God, “I am nobody. How can I go to the king and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 God answered, “I will be with you, and when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will worship me on this mountain. That will be the proof that I have sent you.”
13 But Moses replied, “When I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ So what can I tell them?”
14 God said, “I am who I am. You must tell them: ‘The one who is called I Am has sent me to you.’ 15 Tell the Israelites that I, the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, have sent you to them. This is my name forever; this is what all future generations are to call me.
10 Jacob left Beersheba and started toward Haran. 11 At sunset he came to a holy place and camped there. He lay down to sleep, resting his head on a stone. 12 He dreamed that he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven, with angels going up and coming down on it. 13 And there was the Lord standing beside him. “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham and Isaac,” he said. “I will give to you and to your descendants this land on which you are lying. 14 They will be as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth. They will extend their territory in all directions, and through you and your descendants I will bless all the nations.[c]15 Remember, I will be with you and protect you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done all that I have promised you.”
16 Jacob woke up and said, “The Lord is here! He is in this place, and I didn’t know it!” 17 He was afraid and said, “What a terrifying place this is! It must be the house of God; it must be the gate that opens into heaven.”
18 Jacob got up early next morning, took the stone that was under his head, and set it up as a memorial. Then he poured olive oil on it to dedicate it to God. 19 He named the place Bethel.
This place, not a place of my choosing, a part of a journey.
A place on the way to find my future, my inheritance, a blessing, not the one I stole.
Running from the anger and retribution I deserve.
Here I rest my head, enough for today.
And there is God, standing beside me, promising his blessing, this place, an abundant future and his protection.
I thought this was just a place, barren, lonely, just where I was
but now I discover that God is here, this is God’s place, a holy place.
You will be my God and I will worship you.
I place the foundations of my life here in you.
Bless me Lord, Bless us. In this place, here.
Where maybe I didn’t expect to find you, in this place of running and resting, in the wilderness, the barren place that turns out to be a holy place.
May this be a place of beginning again of true inheritance, of discovering you, of worship, of foundation.
I offer it to you and pray that we may dwell here together.