Burning; Not Yet Consumed

When I was thirteen, I began writing to cope with a difficult existence. Some of it was the throes of teenage hormones, but I also lived with alcoholism, poverty, and food insecurity. Times were tough, and writing helped me express myself in a healthy way. Many of my friends turned to self-harm to deal with the hurt in their life, others turned to a local church youth group, and I turned to writing . One day, however, I ceased to write; I guess I didn’t need the therapy anymore.

In my personal blog, I wrote why I recently returned to writing:

Most of all, I want God to be glorified through this endeavor and every endeavor of my life.

However, as I sit down to write my first post for a shared blog, I am crushed by fear. I am the youngest in age, have the least amount of education, and I am less experienced as a writer. Furthermore, I’ve only been a Christian for about a year.

In my daily reading, I came across Exodus 3. Exodus 3 tells the story of Moses seeing a burning bush that was not consumed by the fire. God speaks to Moses from that burning bush and tells him who He is and why He is communicating to him. God saw the extended suffering of His people under Egyptian rule. He tells Moses of His plan to take His people out of Egypt and into a land of “milk and honey,” the land of Canaan (Exodus 3: 7-8).

Then, God commands Moses. (Exodus 3:9-12)

“And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 

God said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Moses was afraid of his notorious past and felt unworthy of serving God. I understand that feeling. I’ve been there, and sometimes I go back there. However, God was with Moses and God kept his covenant with Moses. Moses was not perfect, but Moses was molded by God to be useful for God’s plan and purposes. Moses glorified God through his life and his actions.

Moses eventually brought God's people to the promised land of Canaan, but if you fast forward, there is another who will bring those who believe to an even better promised land.

Hebrews 3:5-6 says,

"Now Moses was faithful in God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but as Christ is faithful over God's house as a son."

Moses served God by leading his people out of Egypt, but he also serves to be a foreshadowing of the great Savior who was to come. However, Jesus serves God's house as a son, and even more amazingly, invites us to be adopted as sons and daughters through his sacrifice at the Cross.

Despite all of my nerves and feelings of doubt, here I am. I am here because the Gospel is the most important message that I could ever write or tell anyone about. I know the Perfect Redeemer. It is more important than my fears, my aversion to criticism, and my inexperience.

The Gospel is the perfect life of Jesus, His death in our place, His burial and resurrection on the third day, and His eternal reign. It is the power for salvation, which includes the facets of:

-Justification (just as if I’ve never sinned/ always obeyed)

-Sanctification (transforming the Church for usefulness by God)

-Adoption (a new family, a new Father.)

-Redemption (being made into a right relationship with God)

-Glorification (being made never-ending new)

Sanctification is the concept that God is transforming each member of the Church to be used by Him. He is changing who they were in their sin to be useful and purposeful in the Church and in the world.  I want to live for God’s glory, not my own. Sanctification, for me, is the most painful part of God’s plan for salvation. It is changing me from my old sinful self, the one I’m used to being, into a person for His glory.

I want the stories of my life, and how the Gospel applies to them, to encourage and inform others about the joy that comes from a life with the Gospel.

Whenever I think of sanctification, I think of Psalm 66: 10

For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.

If you didn't know how silver is made, a refiner tries silver by placing into into the fire until it is perfectly complete, this usually requires many tries until perfection is achieved. This writing venture is the fire that is testing and trying me. Let’s get going.

by Jessie Bollinger