It Pays to Pay Attention
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the burning bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet is was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him … Ex 3:2-3 That got Moses’ attention.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus were so busy and focused on the events of the Passover/Crucifixion weekend that they could not listen to the stranger walking with them. When they stopped to reflect, they finally saw that stranger as Jesus. Unlike Moses, these disciples did not engage in a dialogue with the Lord about their next assignment during the encounter. It was after the walk was over that these disciples noticed the inner stirring—they had experienced Christ. “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was taking to us on the road?”
Notice, however, in the era of the New Covenant, the Law is written on our hearts (Jer 31:33-34), the burning is not external. It is internal.
But for many of us, like with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, events in our life make no sense. The things of God often don’t add up for us. Life’s tests are mundane, not momentous. They may seem relatively inconsequential until we learn to pay attention and listen for what is being communicated. For, you see, under the terms of the New Covenant, the tests are already within us.
God’s will for us, his direction for us, is generally more to do with
• what gives us life,
• what energizes us,
• what gives us delight.
That means the fire within us is extinguished by those things that de-energize us. The principle is we are strengthened by our strengths and weakened, burned out, by our weaknesses. Paying attention to our strengths is paying attention. Using our strengths for Him, we are freed to accomplish His objectives. That is real freedom.
Take time to reflect and turn to Lord in the bush in your surroundings. As in the case of Moses, begin to reflect His glory. We become transformed in our thinking as our agenda is conformed to His agenda. This is not limiting. It is expanding. It is being transformed from one degree of glory to another.
Go ahead and risk giving your life–your agenda–to Him. See what can be accomplished if you are not fearful, but faithful to let Him work in you and through you for His good pleasure. One way to make that happen is to register or login to MissionNext to see what adventure awaits.
Founder, Chief Innovation Officer
Nelson is the generic Evangelical baby-boomer. Born in 1946, raised in the C&MA, he attended Urbana ’67 in college. He holds an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in R&D positions in American industry for 33 years. Nelson is an inventor with formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) and served in many leadership capacities of what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext. Locally he attends a Torah study and is chairman of the sewer commission to serve among unchurched leaders.