Christianity 201

October 26, 2012

You Can’t Multitask With God

Clark Bunch was good enough to write something especially for C201 last month, today we’re simply raiding his blog! I don’t think he will mind, especially if some of you click through. The first commandment tells us that God wants to be the center of our attention. Nothing else should capture our hearts when he wants to speak. This article appeared at The Master’s Table this week under the title, Multitasking Worship.


Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 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.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3 (ESV)

My mother uses her cell phone for one thing, and that is to make and receive calls. She has no camera, internet or mp3 player. But let’s be honest, that isn’t how most of us do it. Most of us are downloading music, texting, instant messaging, uploading pics, and some of us still talk once in a while. We do business on the way to work. We listen to audio books while on the treadmill. Nobody does one thing at a time anymore.

Moses sees the burning bush in Exodus 3, and in verse 3 he says “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” Moses was doing his job as a shepherd when the sight of the burning bush got his attention. He then turned aside; he put what he was doing on hold in order to pay attention to this curious sight. He discovers God in the bush, and for the rest of chapter 3 and 4 does nothing but talk and listen to God.

The Apostles waited in the upper room for the Holy Spirit. They weren’t also on the job, writing letters and giving lectures; they prayed and waited for God. Psalm 46:10 says to “Be still and know that I am God.” In 1 Kings 19 the LORD speaks to Elijah; but it was not in the whirlwind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire, it was in a still small voice.

Would we even notice a still small voice? We cannot multitask time with God. Maybe on Sunday morning during the 11 am service you can sing praise songs, text Mom about lunch, change dates and times on your iPhone, and sort of listen to the sermon. But have you met God? You can check your email, eat a bowl of cereal, watch the news, and listen to a daily devotional play in the background… but should you?

Moses attention was captured by the burning bush. With Balaam it was a talking donkey, for Simon Peter it was a miraculous catch of fish. God is alive and well, and still speaks to his people. But God is not the Stock Market update or the latest baseball score. He requires our full attention. Moses took off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. At times we need to turn aside and take some things off in order to meet with God. His promise is that if we draw near to him he will draw near to us. If you haven’t met with God in a while he is still in the same place, possibly right where you left him.

~Clark Bunch