In most cases, when these events occur, they are witnessed by people who were not even looking for them. They happen at a time when these people are going about their normal business. We will be looking at examples of people who in the ordinary course of their lives, had an encounter with God
Moses: (Exodus 3)
Moses had run away from Egypt after killing one of the Egyptians who was beating up on a Hebrew slave. He had gone to Midian and settled there. His occupation was to tend the sheep of his Father-in-law, Jethro. Going back to Egypt was the furthest thing in His mind - in fact, it was never going to happen.
Then suddenly, one day as he was going about his business, he saw a strange sight. What was strange was not the fire in itself as it was not unusual then for bushes to be set on fire. What was strange was the fact that a fire was burning and the bushes remained intact.
Like any of us would do if we saw a strange thing happening, Moses told himself, “I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up” (Exodus 3:3)
When God saw that Moses drew near to ‘Look’, then God called Him from out of the fire. At that moment, Moses got the call that led to his being sent back to Egypt with the mission to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.
Paul (Acts 9)
Saul was a Pharisee as were his parents. The Law and the Torah was his compass. He was so zealous about the law of Moses that when he heard about the people who were called ‘Christians’ spreading a teaching which did not seem to line up with what he had been taught and groomed to believe from childhood, he took it upon himself as service to God, to exterminate this group of people. He set out to obtain letters from the High Priests authorizing him to arrest Christians in Damascus and bring them with him to Jerusalem.
As he got close to Damascus, a light from heaven flashed around him and a voice called out, ‘Saul, Saul why do you persecute me? Immediately, Paul knew this was no ordinary event. He recognised the voice of the Lord and from that day, He received instructions which led to him becoming one of the greatest of all the Apostles.
In the busyness of our lives, sometimes God allows certain things to happen, to get our attention. How we react to those events will determine whether hear what God is saying or not. These things often happen when we think that we have everything figured out. The occurrence of these events sometimes threatens the very foundation of our logic and the most natural thing is for us to explain it away or reject the authenticity of the event.
The Magi (Matthew 2) – They saw the star in the east and followed it until it led them to Jerusalem to encounter the Christ. They recognized that there was something different about this particular star. They stopped whatever they were doing, they looked at the cross and followed. When God spoke to them not to go back to Herod, they listened and they obeyed.
What do we learn from the examples of them men and woman who were called by God through these unusual events?
- They stopped (Exodus 3:3, Acts 9:3)
- They looked
- They listened
- They obeyed
Not all events that happen are as attractive as a fire burning in the bush or an unusual star in the sky. Some events may be things that we would rather not happen to us. God wants us to see and recognize his acts as well as His voice.
Are we hearing God’s voice in the midst of events in our lives?
Are we seeing the things that the Lord wants us to see even when others can’t see it?
Are we hearing the message that God is sending us though the events that are happening to us?
Having received the message, are we willing to obey?
God wants our attention and sometimes he reaches out to us through extra-ordinary events. May we receive the grace to respond to Him and do what He wants us to do.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, email@example.com