Monday Morning Leadership Devo: Lessons From the Wilderness
I am preaching on the life of Moses this fall. He is, without a doubt, one of the major figures, not just in the Bible, but in all of history. Everybody knows about Moses.
I plan to preach 11 sermons on Moses’ life, but in my study I have found such rich and voluminous source material that is has been, at times, like drinking out of a fire hydrant! So I am going to be funneling the overflow of my study on Moses into these Monday Morning Devotionals.
Passage for Reflection: Exodus 2:15-22
This passage of Scripture describes Moses’ life from the age of 40-80. It was at the age of 40 that Moses fled Egypt as a fugitive and disappeared into a desert dweller’s life in the Land of Midian. Midian was the perfect place to hide, the perfect place to become a nobody. The desert is also the place where God leads us to work on us, call it the University of the Wilderness. Has your world ever come crashing down around you and you found yourself retreating into your own personal wilderness? The Hebrew word for “desert” is midbaar, which comes from another Hebrew word: Dahbaar. Dahbaar literally means “to speak.” In a very real sense, God speaks to you when you are in your personal desert.
It is in the desert that you will find the real you. I think it is very interesting that God led Moses into the wilderness for 40 years, and that God would then turn right around and use Moses to lead His people out of Egypt and into the wilderness for another 40 years.
When the bell rings and classes start in the University of the Wilderness, you will study several important subjects:
1. Obscurity – the desert is a lonely place. You can feel like a nobody. Moses became a shepherd working for his father-in-law. He didn’t even have his own sheep! Talk about obscurity. But in the midst of this obscurity and isolation, God was working on Moses.
2. Time – Remember sitting in class in junior high just waiting for the bell to ring? Remember thinking that class would NEVER get out? Class time in the desert can move very slowly. Moses was not dismissed for 40 years! And I thought four years of college was a long time. Only God knows when you are ready and it’s time to ring the bell signaling that class is out. But TIME spent in class is another way God works on us. The NOT knowing when the bell will ring is part of the learning process.
3. Discomfort – the desert is NOT a nice place to be. It is a survival culture. Water, food, shelter, are all hard to come by. And life is the same each and every day. Monday feels no different than Friday. The weather is hot and then cold and then dry and then wet. And once again, God is in it all.
And as I said before, only God knows when you are ready to move on. There are no short-cuts. If you try to leave the desert pre-maturely, you will short-circuit all that God is trying to do in and through you. Moses had already rushed God’s timing once when he jumped in and murdered the Egyptian who was abusing the Hebrew. He wasn’t about to rush God’s timing again…even if he had to wait until he was 80 years old!
What about graduation day? You know the story, Moses would go on to become one of the greatest leaders in all of human history. He would lead over two million people out of the clutches of the Egyptian empire.
Remember that God is the Lord of the Desert…even your desert.
“Lord, thank you for being the Lord of my desert. Amen.”