You probably know Moses’ early story. But his passion was first ignited by seeing two powerful incidents.
Read Exodus 2:11-2:22.
These were Moses’ people – people that he deeply cared about. Instantly, a chord was struck and Moses knew that something was wrong. He had to act. His passion was deepened when he saw two Hebrews quarreling with each other. His people needed a leader. Something had to be done. Time to take action, right? Wrong. God had other plans.
Then, right at the point where most of us would take action, Moses takes another career. Far away from the action, he learns to lead sheep. Scholars believe that Moses spent nearly 40 years as a shepherd – almost the span of an entire career today – separated from the people he longed to lead. Why?
Miles away, the people were being prepared for deliverance at the same time that their deliverer was being prepared to lead them. Moses’ ascent to leadership illustrates the reality that experiences often ignite passion, but disciplines sustain it.
THOUGHTS FOR LEADERS
Many emerging leaders live with a very deep tension: On one hand, you don’t want to waste your life, but waiting for a position of leadership is often frustrating.
It’s important to realize that there is a profound difference between passive waiting and active waiting. Passive waiting can take the form of cynicism, complaining, or simply doing nothing. Active waiting, however, is a posture that seeks to cultivate habits that are focused on intentional preparation. While God is orchestrating the events surrounding what you will do, He is also making you who you must become.
It’s likely that your passion was born out of an experience or set of experiences. If you’re not currently in a place where you can act on your passion, what can you do to cultivate it?
Moses spent forty years as a shepherd before he led God’s people out of bondage. How do you think those years prepared him?
Many potential leaders fade in their passion because they’re simply impatient. It’s interesting that Moses was fully engaged where he was when God finally spoke to him. Is the pursuit of your passion preventing you from the preparation that God wants to begin in you?
And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day? And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.
Exodus 2:11-22 KJV