Walking along the dusty, desert road, a man named Moses was caught off-guard. He saw a bush that was enflamed but not burning. Ablaze and lit up, it flickered with flecks of fire, but the bush, leaves, and stems were not consumed. Slowly, cautiously, Moses approached the burning bush—and everything changed.
Perhaps you’re like me and, to be honest, you’re slightly jealous that Moses had a clear conversation with God about what to do with his life. That burning-bush moment was like God’s telephone directly to Moses, revealing a clear mission of what he was supposed to do. How could we not be jealous of that?
Lay It Down
So many times I find myself walking in a proverbial desert, wanting desperately to hear from God. I find myself asking, What am I supposed to do with my life? Yet if we take a look at Moses’ encounter with God, we can see that what God requested of him may also be what he requests of us.
We are told in Exodus 3 that God spoke to Moses and called him to go to Pharaoh in order to lead God’s people out of Egypt. But then, after that, God asked Moses to do something specific: to lay down the staff in his hand (Exodus 4:1–3).
Laying down his staff. No big deal, right?
But we need to understand that God actually asked Moses to lay down a significant part of who he was. For Moses, that staff represented his identity, income, and influence. As a shepherd, his staff was his tool in caring for sheep, and it was a marker of identification. Today, it would be like seeing a guy wearing a stethoscope around his neck and safely assuming he’s a doctor. In the same way, Moses was identified as a shepherd by his staff.1