The Search for God – Gospel in Life

The Search for God

Tim Keller |  October 4, 1998

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  • The Holy Spirit
  • The Bible
Exodus 3:1-10
RS 93-4


We all need a “burning bush” to disrupt our lives and explode our paradigms of God. As we encounter God we see he is both absolutely holy and loving. He speaks to us through Christ, who was consumed in the fire for us.

Exodus 3:1–14

When people search for God, they often hesitate to truly find Him because of negative opinions about religion and fear. But, we can solve this by separating these negative ideas from God and look to the Bible for guidance. The journey to finding God usually happens in three stages as shown in Exodus 3: seeing something unusual that disrupts you, recognizing God’s power you can’t control, and meeting a special kind of angel. Without these experiences, it’s hard to truly find God.

1. The burning bush is something that interrupts your life.

Something disruptive can make us search for God. Often, our busy lives get in the way of this spiritual search. According to C.S. Lewis in “The Screwtape Letters,” discussions about faith can help us to think and possibly believe in Jesus. Meanwhile, ordinary experiences might prevent us from asking deep questions. The “burning bush” is something that contradicts our normal experience, causing us to rethink our beliefs. Events or people that we can’t explain can stir up more questions and help us understand reality better.

2. When Moses investigates the bush, he realizes God wants to tell him something.

Investigating things that contradict our understanding can help us know God better. This is shown when God both invites and warns Moses. In Hebrew, repeating a name shows strong emotion and a desire for connection. It’s important to seek a God who challenges and contradicts our wants, rather than a God who just agrees with us. The burning bush represents the contradiction of a God who is holy and loving. This contradiction can bring us true happiness and excitement. The Christian God is unique because He is both demanding and loving, reflecting Christianity’s tough but gracious nature.

3. There’s a special angel in the burning bush.

The Old Testament differentiates between regular angels and the Angel of the Lord who acts as a go-between for God and people. This special angel is present in the burning bush. The New Testament shows us that Jesus Christ is the ultimate sacrifice, taking on God’s holy anger. This makes Christians like burning bushes, filled with God’s holiness but not destroyed by it. The contradiction of being both sinful and righteous, covered by Jesus’ righteousness, is life-changing when fully understood.


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Share the reason for the hope within you!

In The Reason for God, Tim Keller examines literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning to present how faith in Christ is a sound and rational belief with intellectual integrity.