Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.
These scriptures are so powerful…and just as powerful as the fact that God spoke with Moses face to face, as a friend, is the dedication and transparency of the heart of Joshua, who desired to linger in God’s presence above anything else.
Joshua, was unknowingly being built into the leader who would carry the next generation into the promised land. He was being strengthened, he was being prepared to witness the Lord bring about impossible defeats and victories against giants and seemingly undefeatable enemies. He was being grounded to trust God enough to follow a battle plan against Canaan that made absolutely no sense in the natural.
As David was being prepared to lead as a King after God’s own heart, he was merely in the field tending sheep. No one noticed him, and even expected he would be king…but while he was hanging out with the sheep, he was playing his harp. He was singing and writing songs to the Most High God. He didn’t realize it at the time- but God was building and preparing him for what was ahead.
What are you in the process of waiting for? How is your heart being prepared? Are we more a reflection of the Israelites who were bickering and complaining as they waited to enter the promised land (and didn’t end up getting to do that) or are we a reflection of Joshua, who simply wanted to linger in God’s presence? Does our attitude say, “I can hang out in the desert as long as you have me here, Lord- as long as I am with YOU”?
Does our heart say, like David, “No one may notice me and think anything is important about me and these sheep out here- but I don’t care, as long as I can praise YOU, Lord.” Or do we give into the temptation to gripe, ” Here I am doing all of this and no one ever takes note! When will MY ship come in?!”
It is obvious in scripture the repercussions of sowing to our flesh and the rewards of sowing to the spirit. When we prioritize our words and thoughts being focused on PRAISE and knowing Jesus more- we find the refreshment we need to hang out in the desert as long as God has us there. When we give in to the natural temptation to express our displeasure with where God has us, we find ourselves mad at God and everyone around us. It’s hard to keep going when our attitudes are not ones built around faith.
What about you? What about me? Are we seeking the heart of God while we wait in our current situation? Are we allowing God to build us into more compassionate, patient, and loving individuals during this season?
We can come out of a period of waiting angry, or we can come out as leaders who are more prepared for the struggles ahead. The choice is ours to make, daily. Let us choose the refreshment found from knowing the King of Kings more- through each delay, each opposition, and each trial. He is worthy. He is God. He can be trusted.