Open Eyes and the Voice of God

A few months back, I walked a nearby trail that went through forests, along meadows, and near creeks. Using my good camera, I planned to take pictures along the walk. This isn’t a regular activity for me, since my serious photography is mostly technical (VR), so I was struck by how differently I looked at things this time. I paid a lot more attention to everything, constantly evaluating scenes for photographic potential. The experience of being so deliberate really stood out. While pondering that, I was reminded of a spiritual observation I shared at church a few years earlier about staying open to spiritual things as we go through our daily activities. The photo walk really gave that observation new depth.

At a church we used to attend, I was once strongly led to present a series of spiritual insights to the fellowship. After sharing with the Pastor, he completely supported me. One of the items that introduced the whole series was an observation from Exodus 3 that spoke of the importance of staying spiritually aware and open. The passage was when Moses encountered the burning bush, and a couple verses had really jumped out.

And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

Exodus 3:3–4 (ESV)

The thing that jumped out in this passage was the the way the Lord seemed to be waiting for Moses to deliberately notice the burning bush, and then addressed him only after he did. What does this reveal about God’s nature? It’s almost as if He was waiting to see how Moses would react before acting Himself. This seems to give us a way to understand the interaction of God’s omniscience and our free will in a practical way.

It’s almost as if God is always at work, but waiting for us to notice. Then, only after we notice and approach Him, does He call out to us. However, we may go through the day without a spiritual perspective, and miss burning bushes all around us. The concern is that God may not call to us, and will perhaps find another way to accomplish His work (Esther 4:14). It takes a deliberate effort to remain spiritually sensitive, especially in today’s always-on world, but perhaps that is what God desires from us, before He speaks to us.

During that walk, I paid much more attention than usual to the way things looked around me, and deliberately watched for photographic elements: good compositions, interesting lighting, rich colors, etc. As a result, everything really looked different. Seeing with such open eyes was showed me what changing one’s perspective can do, and parallels the idea of paying special attention to spiritual perspectives.

In your daily walk, try seeing things through God’s eyes, and watch for burning bushes. Look for His actions in the lives of the people you encounter, and pray as the Spirit leads. Seek His perspective for the location’s effect on people, and deliberately wonder what He is doing. Praise Him for the beauty you see, and raise up the ugly for His hand to address. You may find the world looks completely different and, who knows, perhaps you’ll hear God call out.

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