The Holy Curiosity of Moses

By October 6, 2020Church, Leadership

A few years ago I led a group of people through the leadership principles of Moses, which I then turned into a small book (Lead Like Moses: Ten Characteristics of Good Leaders). Although the royalties have only amounted to a good cup of coffee, the principles themselves are invaluable.

In preparing for a staff meeting, I recently revisited the story of Moses and the burning bush. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s found in Exodus 3. It’s the story of God calling Moses to return to Egypt – where he was born and raised, and also murdered someone!

In fact, Moses had fled Egypt 40 years earlier. For the last four decades, he had been carving out a new life in a new land. After 40 years, he had to be feeling comfortable. Plus, he was 80 years old!

But God’s plans didn’t include retiring in Midian.

The Hebrew people had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years. By this point, it’s very likely that they thought, acted, and behaved more like Egyptians than Hebrews. Although 400 years is a really long time, God still had plans for them, too. And those plans included Moses.

God knew that, but Moses didn’t. Exodus 3 and 4 records the conversation between God and Moses, which ends with Moses returning to Egypt to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land.

But let’s back up to the beginning of the encounter. Exodus 3 begins with Moses tending the sheep of his father-in-law Jethro (not of Jethro Tull fame). While he’s going about his business, an angel of the Lord appears to Moses in a burning bush – only this bush is not burning up.

I believe the next few verses are critical to understanding spiritual growth and momentum:

3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:3-4).

“I will go over and see this strange sight.”

That’s what I call holy curiosity. Now, admittedly, there are many “strange” sights we ought to avoid. But Moses is on the “mountain of God” (Exodus 3:1) so perhaps he’s already been primed to expect an encounter with God.

Truth is, God’s plans for us often do seem strange – at least, initially they do. They don’t fit with our human understanding or desire about how things should be. His plans often run counter to the way we’ve been raised or go against what is prevalent in our culture.

Perhaps you’ve seen some strange sights, too.

“God, you want me to …”

  • seek reconciliation with an adversary
  • turn down that promotion
  • switch careers and go back to school
  • break up with my girlfriend
  • go on a short-term mission trip

Don’t miss what happens the moment Moses decides to move towards God: God speaks his name.

God noticed. God noticed that Moses had gone over to look and then he spoke to Moses. God values a holy curiosity that is willing to defy conventional (i.e., often worldly) wisdom and seek after him.

This reflex of God is shown repeatedly throughout scripture. Move towards him and he moves towards you.

Do you have a holy curiosity?

Experience and Background

  • 25+ years of senior leadership experience
  • masters in management and leadership
  • presenter at the WFX National Conference
  • former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
  • helped start 2 for-profit tech companies

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