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We’ve been thinking for the last three months about the importance of listening, because listening to God and listening to people we respect and trust is critical to determining God’s purpose and direction for our lives. But it’s important to recognize that the call of God is always followed by a time of preparation. And when God calls us to major shift in direction, that period of preparation will most likely be longer than most action-oriented individuals would prefer.
The Bible is full of examples of people who heard the call of God and then spent time being prepared for the journey ahead. Paul received his call from Jesus in dramatic fashion on the road to Damascus but then spent three years in relative obscurity while he learned to follow Jesus on Jesus’ terms. And even Jesus’ first disciples, who dropped fishing nets and walked away from careers, causes, and family obligations to follow him, were only sent fully into service after three years of being with Him through His ministry, death, and resurrection.
But perhaps the most striking illustration of God’s preparation period is seen in the Old Testament story of Moses. His parents recognized that Moses was not just your average child, so at great risk to their own well-being, they kept him safe when Israelite boys were being hunted and killed on the order of the Egyptian Pharaoh. As a result of their ingenious efforts, and by a twist of fate that could only be orchestrated by God, Moses ended up being raised among Egyptian royalty.
Apparently Moses learned a certain form of leadership in his privileged upbringing, and when he saw the way his own people were being oppressed by the Egyptians, his well-honed instincts kicked in. But though God’s ultimate plan for Moses was that he would be used to rescue the Israelites from slavery and oppression, Moses needed to spend some time in God’ school of leadership before that plan could become a reality.
For 40 years, Moses was instructed in the finer points of survival in the wilderness and was given a hands-on education in how to herd short-sighted creatures through an arid and perilous landscape. But he also learned a harder lesson about humility. So profound was the transformation of Moses’ outlook on life and leadership that this once proud man of action is described in the book of Numbers after his death as “…more humble than any other person on earth.” (Numbers 12:3)
Hopefully your time of preparation will be somewhat shorter than Moses’ but count on the fact that God equips those God calls. And that takes time.
For the next three months we’ll be exploring the question, “How do I get prepared for the trip?” and we’ll be learning some of the ways God uses to get us ready for the road ahead. We’ll be hearing from some amazing influential women who have gained wisdom and insight in God’s school of leadership. Be sure to tune in for every blog, podcast, and Community Group Discussion Guide this quarter, because God is about to supply you with some incredible tools and lessons you’ll need for your Journey 4word to Influence.