What was God’s larger message to Moses in that moment? Release your imagination for a few moments. It might have included some thoughts such as these: “Moses, forty years ago you were a fine looking bush, impressed with all your own foliage. You had long, strong branches and lush, green leaves. But when your bush started burning, it was gone in less than forty-eight hours. Your grand scheme went up in flames, charring your dreams and consuming your ambitions along with it. There was nothing left, was there? That was your life, Moses. And then you ran like a scared rabbit across the border to get away from the Egyptian lynch mob.
“You thought you were a choice, top-quality bush before that happened, and now you don’t think you’re worth much at all. Listen, man, any bush will do as long as I, the great God of all grace, am in the bush! I want to use you, Moses. Stand still, and let Me set you on fire!”
What does it take to qualify as a bush that God will use? You have to be dried up and thorny. Okay, I qualify. You have to be dusty and dirty. All right, I’m there. You’ve got to be ordinary. Right. That’s me all over. What else, Lord?
You have to be burnable. God is looking for flammable bushes. There are some good-looking bushes and shrubs out there in Christendom that won’t burn at all. They’re made out of asbestos. You couldn’t set ’em on fire with a welding torch. Napalm wouldn’t even do the job. These are beautiful replicas of beautiful plants, but they won’t burn. Which means they are of no use to God.
The truth is, any old bush will do as long as God is in the bush. That’s what He was saying to Moses. “I want you to burn for Me as no man has burned before. You’ve been dried out and well-seasoned in this howling wasteland through these years. I wanted you dried out! And I have pruned away from you all those things you used to hang on to and that meant so much to you. I have reduced you to a simple love for Me. That’s all you have to offer now, Moses, and that is all I want.”