Crossroads: Paying Attention

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Exodus 3:1-15

Your Story

Has there been a time in your life when God used something to speak to you and because you were paying attention, you knew you had heard from God?

My Story and the Bible Story

A friend of mine found her calling as a kindergarten teacher when she was reading her Bible. She saw the word kindergarten in big letters as she was reading one day and she knew that that was what she was supposed to do. Later on, she tried to find the page where it said kindergarten. She wanted to show everyone how she found her calling. But she couldn’t find it. There didn’t seem to be anywhere in her Bible where kindergarten was written in big letters. After a few months, she stumbled across the word kindergarten in one of the devotions in her Bible. It was in small letters, letters that were the same size as everything else. But because she was paying attention that day, God used a devotion in her Bible to show her what God wanted her to do.

Read Exodus 3:1-15. From the NIV: 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. 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. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 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.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 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. 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. 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. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.

Moses could’ve easily walked on by. After all, a burning bush probably wasn’t that unusual. But when Moses looked at it, he noticed something. The bush was burning but it wasn’t burning up. So he went over and the Lord spoke to him. Moses was paying attention. He may not have been waiting for God to speak to him, but he paid attention to what was going on around him. He was open to hearing God speak. In this passage, we also see that God is paying attention. God has seen what is happening to his people. He knows that they are suffering and God is going to help them. Our God pays attention. God knows every detail of our lives. God knows when you trip and fall. God knows when you fall off your bicycle and when you score the winning goal in soccer. God knows when you study as much as you can for a test and get the best grade in the class, and when you study hard but still don’t do well. God knows everything about our lives. God pays attention to us.

Because God pays attention, God sees our potential. God sees the best person you can be. God knows what you can do. But in order for you to be the best person you can be, you have to be paying attention too. Yes, you need to pay attention to your parents and your teachers. But it’s also important to pay attention to God. It’s important to be open to hearing from God and to listen for God. God may not speak out loud, but God makes Godself known. Moses was paying attention. He could’ve walked past that burning bush and God would have found someone else to lead the people. But Moses noticed. He was listening for God and he saw the sign God sent him. We may not get a burning bush like Moses did, but God still speaks to us. If only we are paying attention.

Discussion and Action

• Has God ever spoken to you? How?
• Talk about ways that God speaks to us (through other people, through the Bible, through music, through prayer, etc.).
• Talk a walk around your neighborhood and tell everyone in your family to pay close attention to your surroundings. Then talk about things you may not have noticed before.

Prayer

Thank God for speaking to us. Ask for help in paying attention.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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