Burning

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
Exodus 3:1-3

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tonguesas the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:1-4

The burning bush must have been a pretty awesome sight, as must have been the tongues of fire resting on the Apostles. We know that the “angel of the Lord” who ignited the bush and spoke from within the bush was God (Genesis 16:7-13; 21:17; 22:11-18; Exodus 3:4-6). We also know that the fire that came and rested on the Apostles was the Holy Spirit manifested, as that was what they were filed with.

An angel of the Lord filled bush looked different, a Holy Spirit filled person spoke different, both were fundamentally different. Both had a fire that burned and engulfed, but did not consume. Moses might not have been the bush, but he was definitely affected by it. After the encounter, Moses was different. Something changed that caused Moses and the Apostles to be different.

The non-consuming fire marked the beginning of a revolution that was God empowered but man enacted. For the people involved, it marked the beginning of a lifelong passion and mission for redemption. With Moses, it was a redemption from Egypt (self-reliance, man’s ability and oppression), with the Apostles, it was a redemption from sin. Both meant salvation for God’s chosen people from oppression that is initiated and driven by God.

Anyone who has a relationship with God has had their burning bush and firey tongue. We are called to redemption; we are called to be redeemers. That is our passion and mission. Do we look different and sound different from before our encounter? We should.

The Rudder

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Luke 6:45

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
James 3:3-5

The tongue has the power of life and death, 
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21

These verses speak of the power of the tongue. It’s ability to articulate what is inside a person in Luke 6. It’s ability to steer the whole person in James 3. It’s ability to create life or bring death in Proverbs 18. It is a God given ability. It is an ability that originated and is demonstrated by Him. But this ability can go both ways, good or evil, and we will eat the fruit of it’s use.

This is how God uses His ability now:

The LORD your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

Listen to how He chooses to use his tongue. He rejoices over us with singing, in His love, with great delight. Read also Zephaniah 3:9-13 and notice what God does with His Holy People and Chosen Nation, he “will purify the lips”, “will remove from you your arrogant boasters”, “they will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths”. Then He says “Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel!” (v14) because His redemption has come. This prophesy was one of Messianic hope, which is reality now.

The tongue brings to reality what is stored inside a person – the good and evil is respectively brought to the reality of life or death. It is the reality maker. We can change our thinking and change our mind, but until it comes out from our mouths, nothing has changed at all because our reality is still the same.

I need to choose wisely how and when my tongue is used. My tongue is the agent of change. If anything is to change, it is to be articulated. I do not disregard what I feel, but I intentionally choose to articulate the direction that I want to be heading in.


Father, thank you for supernatural abilities like these. Sometimes I wish that I have some superpower without recognizing that I already have one. I ask for wisdom in how and when I speak. Lord, I thank you that you rejoice over me with singing. I thank you that when no one else takes great delight in me, you do. I want to use my tongue just like you do.

Amen.