Are You Ready For The Desert?

While going through our study on David, it reminds me a bit about Moses. Yeah – hang with me.

Did you know that Moses was overcome with compassion and justice for his people as a young man? Says so right in Exodus 2:11. Apparently once he found out his heritage, he became convinced that he was exactly the person to help their plight, lead them to freedom, and to be their advocate.

Made sense – he was a Hebrew yet grew up in the court of the Pharaoh. Had the education and the connections to make things happen. So what happened? Why did God have to drag him out of the desert watching sheep some 40 years later?

Let me give 2 HUGE reasons why it took God another 40 years to get Moses back to Egypt.

Reason #1: The people weren’t ready to follow Moses.
They didn’t trust him. They saw a hot-headed aristocrat. They weren’t ready to completely trust God either. Sure they called out to God, but following God? That takes a whole other level of faith.

Reason #2: Moses wasn’t ready to follow God.
This is the bigger deal. Moses had his agenda and his plan as a young man. It took 40 years of shamed exiled to beat that out of him. If Moses was going to pull off what God had for him to pull off – he had to be ready to follow God, not his gut. Some may argue that Moses still wrestled with following God. Valid point, don’t we all.

However, Moses had enough faith to throw down his staff, call out the frogs, bring down the gnats. And that’s all that God required of him – to have enough faith.

Moses had the vision of what God had for him in life WAY before he was ready to do it.

See the parallels with David? See the parallels with you?

It’s a theme to see over and over again in the story of God. He will give a vision of work to a leader. And that leader will NOT be ready for it. So God takes that person to the desert. But that’s not always true either. Sometimes the vision can’t be seen until after the desert. Sometimes it’s about healing or forming character for an unknown call.

And the desert is the perfect setting for God to work. That rugged beauty, the magnificent desolation. It will tune a heart and an ear to hear God’s voice so that when the noise returns, He’s easier to hear. He builds in character and fortitude. He gives perspective. It’s in the desert, God whittles away pride and arrogance. It’s where he sows in toughness and tenderness.

The desert isn’t fun. It’s work. Often it is lonely work.

The larger point here is for us is – don’t avoid the desert. You may be in one of these dry, silent places with the Lord. Don’t quit now. The desert is proof that God is working, not evidence that He isn’t there. The desert is getting you ready. Are you getting ready?

Moses had 40 years of desert time, David had over 11 years. It sounds like an eternity. It felt like an eternity in the middle of it. But in perspective of their lives, it was a blink. A crucial, necessary blink. To skip the blink would have compromised everything else they accomplished in their lives. It’s questionable if we would have ever heard of them without that blink.

They stayed in the desert until God was through with them. That’s my encouragement for us as well. That when we find ourselves in the desert, we stay until He’s through.

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