by Wade E Taylor
“…he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3:2
Moses turned aside to stand before a bush that is burning, but is not being consumed. Therefore, this bush is yet burning, and the Lord is still waiting for those who will notice and then turn aside into His burning presence.
“And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:13-14
The Lord spoke to Moses from within this manifestation of His presence and revealed Himself as the One who is ever present with us, and also, as being willing to meet with us to make Himself known to us.
“And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people…for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them…” Exodus 3:7-8
Jesus identified Himself as being the eternal “I AM,” who is speaking to Moses.
“Jesus said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58
Because “I AM” is a noun, a verb is required. The word “is” can be added as this verb. Therefore, it can be said, “I AM is the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus, as the eternal “I AM” in the burning bush, is expressing the fact that He is “the ever present one,” not the “I was,” or “I will be.”
Rather, Jesus is a present reality who desires to reveal Himself to us, and enter into an active personal relationship with us.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Philippians 2:5-6
When Jesus said, “before Abraham was, I AM,” the Jews understood what He was saying – that He is God, and they took up stones to kill Him, as Jesus clearly identified Himself as being equal with His Father.
“Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” John 14:23
When we worship the Lord Jesus Christ and enter into His “manifest presence” to commune with Him, we can take a further step and enter into the personal “presencing” of “the eternal I AM” (a personal burning bush experience). Now we have literally moved out of time into eternity, from His manifest presence into His eternal presence, as revealed to the three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration.
Here, all earthly problems will fade in the glow of His eternal presence, as the Lord works in our behalf just as He said to Moses:
“Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10
Moses was told that the initiative concerning the outworking of the will and purpose of the Lord, would shift from him to the Lord, and that he was required only to follow. Therefore, he was told to remove his shoes (Exodus 3:5).
We also have gone as far as we can go in our shoes and feel the need for a burning bush experience. Just as Moses responded to the manifestation of the presence of the Lord and turned aside, we also are to “turn aside” and stand in the presence of the eternal “I AM.”
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for us to understand the concept of “eternity” in which there is no time, and all becomes a present reality. “Time” relates to our circumstances being spread out before us so we can act or react, thereby making decisions that will affect us for all eternity. Thus, time is for our benefit.
Our level of spiritual maturity, or “spirituality,” relates to our ability to come into an active identity with the thoughts and actions of our Lord, and then rest in His presence as He works in our behalf.
I remember John Wright Follette saying:
“I marvel at those who attempt to project what will happen next year, or ten years from now. All that I am capable of is to ascertain the mind of the Lord for today, and then walk with Him in this.”
Few understand a visionary. A “visionary” may not accomplish much, because he looks past the present and sees the future as being a present reality. Thus, he is unable to function in or relate to the present. A person who is “practical” may not accomplish much either, as he easily gets lost in petty details and fails to see the bigger picture. Thus, if a visionary and a practical person could be brought together in a right relationship, much would be accomplished with lasting value.
If we desire to enter into an on-going, deeply spiritual yet practical walk with the Lord, we must pray, “Lord, what am I to say or do that You desire at this present moment?” and then we must wait for a “present” word from the Lord. (Come… and I will send you – Exodus 3:10).
“…I AM (is) the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me. If you had known Me, you should have known My Father also. And from hereafter you know Him, and have seen Him. Philip says to Him, Lord, show us the Father and it sufficed us. Jesus says to him, have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known Me, Philip? He that has seen Me has seen the Father….” John 14:6-9
If someone should come to any one of us and say, “I would like to see the Lord,” we should be able to say, “If you have seen me, you have seen Jesus, who lives within me.” We should live on this level of identity with Him. Paul said, “Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1). He could say this because he had so died to his self-life, that the life of Jesus was manifest through his life.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I…” Galatians 2:20
The Holy Spirit lives within us, as He came to reveal Jesus through us. To the extent that we are yielded, we will reflect the mind and life of Jesus.
“Verily verily I say to you, he that believes on Me, the works that I do, shall he do also and greater works than these shall he do because I go to My Father.” John 14:12
This “greater work” is not that we will do greater miracles than Jesus. Rather, it is a greater work because it will come forth and operate as a manifestation of the corporate Jesus in the earth, as an end-time witness. Jesus said that unless a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it will abide alone.
The biggest mistake that Satan ever made was in crucifying Jesus, as He could only be in one place at one time, but now Jesus is everywhere. He not only paid the penalty for our sin, but in resurrection, He also has become the progenitor of those who are so “dead” to themselves, that only He can be seen.
In the new birth, we are made partakers of the “divine nature.” Adam never attained to this, but through redemption, “Christ” is in us. Now, it is not just the will of the Father being done through one person, but it is being accomplished through the multiplied lives of all those who have totally submitted themselves to Jesus, as the ever present “I AM.”
The “greater work” then, is the corporate expression of His will being done. Jesus, “the light of the world,” will increasingly light the entire atmosphere of the world as His resurrection glory begins to shine out through the corporate Body of Christ.
One lit match will make some light, but multiplied thousands of matches together will make a brilliant light. Though each one of us is insignificant within ourselves, there is a greater work, because now all that Jesus did during His time on earth will again be done corporately, through a people who satan thought he had defeated, but now have become the present day expression of the life of Jesus.
“When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe….” II Thessalonians 1:10
This is a “present” word. As Jesus was seen when Moses stood before a burning bush, the eternal, ever present “I AM” is again about to be seen, as time begins to unfold into the Millennial Kingdom Age.