by Tracie Miles
We have a special guest post on the COMPEL Training blog from Kimberly Henderson! Kimberly is a fellow writer who serves on-staff at Proverbs 31 Ministries as Lysa TerKeurst’s Content Coordinator. Today, she is sharing with us a timely message about passionately pursuing the Lord while facing disappoint or delays on our writing journey.
I’m not sure when the desire to write a book was first birthed in my heart. It’s a dream I’ve carried around for so long, I find I can’t look back and pinpoint the exact moment when the idea first took root.
What I can remember, however, is the day God used the story of Moses to do an unexpected heart check on the focus of my desires.
In Deuteronomy 31:1-8, we find Moses speaking life and encouragement over Joshua, the man chosen to lead God’s people into the Promised Land instead of Moses. Moses tells Joshua he doesn’t have to fear and reminds him to trust in God. Words that were wise and needed, for sure. But as I sat reading this passage of Scripture a few years ago, I confess my insides started to feel bristly.
Honestly? I would have struggled with Moses’ assignment. Not just the part about being an encourager in the face of my own disappointment. I would have wrestled with not getting to enter the Promised Land. While my head knows a case of disobedience on the part of Moses is what kept him from entering in (Numbers 20:7-12), my heart cries out, “But he worked so HARD. He deserves to go into the Promised Land.” Yikes. Entitlement issues, anyone?
Moses had worked hard. He had gone before hard-hearted Pharaoh time and time again. He had led a stiff-necked, complaining bunch of people for forty years. But did Moses pout, shake his fist at God, or throw in the towel when he first found out he wouldn’t be the one to officially lead the people in? No.
He still followed God. He still led for as long as God asked him to. Then he encouraged his successor.
As I read about Moses’ faithfulness and humility, I felt the Lord impress some motive-checking questions on my heart…
Kimberly, if I told you right now that the dreams you are holding onto will never come to fruition, that the things you think you want, even think you deserve, will never come your way – would you still follow Me? If I told you that you will never reap for yourself some of the things you are sowing, would you still obey Me?
I didn’t have to ask Him which dreams He was referring to. I knew He meant the ones connected to the idea of having my words tucked into the pages of a book. And while I wanted to immediately answer, “Yes, Lord. Of course I’ll be fine if those dreams don’t come true!” … I couldn’t. Because I knew my heart and flesh would struggle. Deeply.
Acknowledging this struggle demanded I take a closer look at Moses – search for clues about what kept him following and serving the Lord in the midst of a disappointment that could have shut him down.
Here is what I discovered:
1. Moses had truly experienced God.
Moses wasn’t relying on someone else’s story. He had his own burning bush, sea parting, mountaintop meeting, face glowing story that came from his daily walk with God.
Am I experiencing God for myself? Not just once in a while, but continually?
2. Moses trusted God.
If we were to read every passage there is to read about Moses, we would see that God asked Moses to do some pretty crazy things. Yet, Moses obeyed. There was obviously a deep level of trust.
Do I really and truly trust God, His plans and His love? Do I trust His timing and His ways?
3. Moses cared more about God’s presence than “arriving.”
In Exodus 33:15 we find Moses saying to God, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” If God wasn’t going, Moses wasn’t going.
What is it I want most? Am I going to try to run ahead of God to get what I want or am I pressing in to Him right where I am?
4. Moses made God’s will his goal instead of his own personal glory.
Not only would Moses not be the one to lead the people into the Promised Land, he had to purposefully encourage the next leader.
Am I encouraging others who may go farther than me? Am I sowing into other writers and cheering them on? Or is this really all about me?
5. Moses was willing to carry a vision that was about someone other than himself, thinking and acting generationally instead of selfishly.
Wow. This point really gets me.
Am I willing to sow my time and my words where I may never see the harvest this side of heaven?
These truths and questions challenge me in the best of ways. Not because I believe God is saying the desire to write a book is wrong. No. This is about the sweet and needed reminder that He wants to be our deepest desire. Our soul’s greatest pursuit.
I know how hard this can all feel. But I’m praying we know there is no destination, dream or personal desire that will ever fill us like an intimate, daily walk with Him. And the promise of His presence is far sweeter than any “promised land” our hearts may long for.
Father God, help me to be more like Moses. Following You even in the midst of disappointment. Willingly sowing into others – even when they’re doing what I long to do. Delighting in You daily instead of living with my eyes fixed on some distant destination. Today, I say “yes.” Even if my dreams are never realized, I will follow You. Amen.
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