English: Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy 6:1-15, illustration from a Bible card published 1907 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Moses was clearly anointed by God to lead his people through the desert. He didn’t even want it, but God had chosen him. And Moses got to enjoy really close relationship with God. They were such close friends that Moses told God that he wanted to see him and God showed up for him.
Moses enjoyed a perspective that most people didn’t have. Because he got to spend more direct time in the presence of the Father. The people didn’t have all the information. They rarely do.
They resented him. They didn’t like his decisions. They said things like, “God speaks to us too, so why should we listen to Moses?” They operated out of distrust and fear. They complained about Moses. And when they did…God got really mad at them.
What struck me was that God told them that they weren’t complaining against Moses, but they were complaining against God himself. Because God had chosen Moses.
The Israelites had to stay in the desert longer, in part, because of their refusal to trust their leadership. They refused to go into the promised land because they were afraid. Then, they suddenly decided they really did want to go, but God had already told them to wander the desert. Moses told them not to go. He told them God’s presence wasn’t with them. They went anyway. And they died. Maybe they should have listened…
So maybe sometimes we prolong our stay in the desert by refusing to listen to those who have the perspective and wisdom to guide us out.
We bring death into our lives when we refuse to listen to our leadership. We do not have all the information. And we don’t need it. But following leadership requires a trust that is no longer innate is us. We are taught to question. We believe that leadership positions are places of greater importance, worth, and value. And so we desire them. And because we all desire to be in charge, we constantly question those who are anointed to lead us.
I know there are bad leaders out there. And I’m not suggesting that we blindly follow. We have to use our brains. But when someone with more experience, greater wisdom, and a position of authority in our lives advises us to do something and we do our own thing anyway, we are disregarding them. And often we feel the consequences because….they were right, and we chose to learn the hard way because we thought we knew better.
I wonder what would happen if we decided to encourage and support our leadership instead of criticize and judge them? What would happen if we chose to pray for them? (And not those manipulating prayers that sound like this: Dear God, please show him what he is doing wrong) I wonder what would happen if we honored them, not because they deserve it but because we chose to be people who carry and bestow honor? I wonder how it would affect, not only the lives of the leaders, but our lives as well?
I think that sometimes we can find out way out of desert seasons faster by allowing some authority in our lives to speak into the situation and actually doing what they suggest.
Numbers 12, 14, and 16.