Tag Archives: Zechariah

Exodus 3:1-3 – Small Signs, Big God

In Scripture when God gives a sign it is often of Biblical proportion! Here’s a few examples.  Israel crossing the Red Sea and the Jordan River, God’s graffiti in Daniel and the dove descending on Jesus in front of crowds by the Jordan.  Other signs were on a more personal scale, Gideon’s fleeces, Jesus turning water into wine and the Burning Bush.

‘Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.  Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.”‘ (Exodus 3:1-3 NRSV)

Just in case any one is not sure, a sign is a physical occurrence that has spiritual significance.  A sign is also prophetic because it is a way that God can use to speak to us.

The Burning Bush was a sign for Moses, and for Moses alone.  He was, as it says in the KJV in ‘the backside of the desert’, you couldn’t get more obscure than that!  He was in the back of beyond, he was living in obscurity anyway, and now he was in an even more obscure place than normal!

This is an encouragement to anyone who has ever felt that they have been passed over, or have escaped into obscurity when things have got too much, and have never left it.  God can meet you even there, in fact it can be the best place to hear him, as there are fewer distractions!

The Burning Bush was a sign to Moses, God got his attention through it, but it also had a meaning beyond that.  It was a picture of Moses’ own life from that time on, he was to experience the presence of God in a way that very few people experience without being burnt up because of their unholiness.

But what about us in our normal lives?  Very few Christians have ever seen God write on a wall, if any!  More Christians have laid a fleece that God answered, but in general most Christians have had only small signs that reveal how big God is!

Has God ever given you a sign about something that seems trivial when you mention it to anyone else.  Even if it seems trivial to them, it is not to God, and it should not be for you.  Let me explain from my own experience.

Just over 20 years ago I went to a two-day conference to pray for London as a financial centre, it was led by Clifford Hill and Kjell Sjoberg, and one of its main foci was to see finance released for the Kingdom from the shaking of the nations.  It was attended by around 200 prayer warriors, and was a very significant time.

On the second day we went out in groups to pray for various financial institutions, I went with a group to pray for the Bank of England.  As we could not go into the Bank of England we prayed in front of it and walked around it three times, if I remember correctly.

Regardless of the number of times we went round it, on the last time, when we had almost walked all the way round I picked up a 5p piece from the road, that had not been there on the previous circuits.  I felt that God was saying from this that he was releasing  money for his Kingdom.

For nearly 20 years I have periodically picked up 5ps from the ground.  Some have been very significant, others not, but all have kept that promise alive, and at times it has been rather an ‘in joke’ between myself and God!  About a month ago God first gave me 1p after specifically asking for one, and a few days later gave me £5 that was on the floor, 100x more than before, this was significant it upped my faith and was on the way to what happened yesterday when I was walking past a cash-point at a bank and it spewed out £50 and a till receipt, so I took it straight back into the bank so they could put it back into the account from which it came.  This was 1000x more than ever before!

This is very significant, God is growing my faith for financial provision both personally and primarily for his Kingdom work.

God has grown a small insignificant sign into one of greater importance, there is work underway in the Kingdom that will require much gifting of finance, of resources or of both.  Because God has used this trivial sign and built my faith over time, it is no longer a trivial sign!  What will I see in the future, I look forward to see.  But I know this, God is in control and that we should not despise ‘the day of small things’ (Zechariah 4:10 NRSV).

Father God, help us to see with eyes of faith and recognise a sign from you, no matter how trivial it may seem to others.  Help us to respond in faith and to grow in faith and in our walk with you, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

The Lord’s Prayer #9 – Holy Father.

‘Our Father in heaven,
     hallowed be your name.’ (Matthew 6:9 NRSV)

This is the first of the four parts of The Lord’s Prayer that we shall be looking at.  This prayer is also known as the Paternoster (from the Latin) and its English equivalent the ‘Our Father’ by Roman Catholics.

In this section we are looking at the fact that God is our Holy Father and how we should respond to that.

If you are a Roman Catholic reading this, then you will be saying but that is the Pope’s title.  I would challenge that!  That title should belong to God alone.

Jesus said, ‘call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father – the one in heaven.’ (Matthew 23:9 NRSV). And elsewhere we read that God is ‘Holy, holy, holy’ (Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8 NRSV), we see this here by two things that ‘Our Father’ is ‘in heaven’, and that our response is to hallow his name, that is to treat it as holy.

Let’s unpack this section in a bit more detail.

The first thing that we should notice is that we pray in , the prayer starts with ‘Our Father’, not ‘My Father’.  Even when we pray alone we always pray as part of the Body of Christ.  In fact we never can pray alone! Jesus could, but when we pray all the Trinity is involved, we pray to the Father, through the Holy Spirit and in the name and power of Jesus.

So we pray in community, but we are also praying as part of the family, this is unique to Christianity.  Under the Old Covenant Abraham was a friend of God, and John was the last and greatest prophet under that Old Covenant, but Jesus said that, ‘the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he’ (Matthew 11:11 NRSV).  There are two reasons for this, firstly because John was not filled with the Holy Spirit, and secondly because under the New Covenant we are children of God which John was not under the Old Covenant.

We are praying to ‘Our Father’ who is ‘in heaven’.  Scripturally there are three heavens. The physical heavens, the spiritual realm, and heaven where God dwells (I shall look at this in another post).  It is the third of those that is being referred to here, where God dwells.  Here there is nothing unholy, because God is absolutely HOLY.

This is why our response must be, ‘hallowed be your name’.  Our response to God’s holiness must be to recognise that holiness, and ask him to help us to live all of our lives in the light of that.  God’s heart is that everything will be ‘Holy to the LORD’ (Zechariah 14:20 NRSV) from horse bells to common cooking pots.  It is not about retreating from the world, but being so filled with God that all we do is touched by God and can be used to glorify him alone.

Holy Father, help me to live my life in light of who you are.  To worship you alone, and to live my whole life dedicated only to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.