The Necessity of the Desert

Rainbow over Monument Valley

The Necessity of the Desert
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

..."I have become an alien in a foreign land." Exodus 2:22

God's preparation of a leader involves training, extended times of waiting, pain, rejection, and isolation. Are you ready to sign up?

Moses was brought up in Pharaoh's court. He had the very best of everything-education, clothing, food, and personal care. But there came a time when the man God would use to free an entire people from slavery was going to have to learn to be the leader God wanted. At age 40, when most of us want to be thinking about winding down instead of beginning a new career, Moses was forced to flee to the desert.

Like Joseph and Abraham, Moses had to endure some difficult years of preparation that first involved removal from his current situation. He went from notoriety to obscurity, from limitless resources to no resources, from activity and action to inactivity and solitude. And, most importantly, waiting. And waiting. And waiting. He probably thought he would die in the land of Midian.

Then one day, a full 40 years from the day he arrived, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. Everything changed. God said, "It is time." The years had seasoned the vessel to prepare him to accomplish the work.

God is preparing many workplace believers today. The circumstances may be different. The time frames may not be quite as long. But the characteristics of the training are still the same. Do not try to shortcut the desert time of God. It only leads to cul-de-sacs, which force you to revisit the lessons you are meant to learn. Embrace them, so that He can use your life for something extraordinary.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

The Burden of Inadequacy
with Dr. Charles Stanley

Deuteronomy 1:19-36

Standing on the edge of the Promised Land, the Israelites were overcome by fear. The size and strength of the enemy contrasted sharply with their own weakness and inability. Because we're human, everyone at times will experience inadequacy and the uncomfortable feelings that accompany it. The issue you and I face is not whether we are sufficient for a task, but how we will respond when a challenge is beyond our capabilities.

Like the children of Israel, we can give in to fear and then focus on the expectation of certain failure. As the obstacle grows in our minds, our feet run in the opposite direction, away from the challenge and toward safety. However, turning away from the task that God has given us will lead us not to security but into bondage. By allowing fear to control our choices, we'll become chained to feelings of inadequacy, which will shape our future decisions and, ultimately, our destinies.

As a result of their refusal to trust the Lord and move forward to conquer the land, the Israelites were consigned to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. The men who did not believe God's promise never saw the land that He wanted to give them. Opportunities are always lost when we let fear overrule our faith.

When God calls you to a task beyond your abilities, instead of giving in to your feelings, choose to rely on what you know about Him and His promises. By moving forward in faith despite your inadequacy, you will discover the Lord's faithfulness. He always empowers us for the works He assigns.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit

Rainbow near McFall, Missouri

Are You Just Swinging the Handle?
with Bayless Conley

As you look at your life today in honesty and transparency, perhaps you would have to say that you have lost that edge, that excitement, that zeal, that spiritual passion you once had.

If indeed you have lost your edge, how can you get it back? Over the next seven days, I will help you understand how to regain your spiritual edge based on 2 Kings 6.

The first principle I want to focus on is based on the man who lost his ax head, as we learn in 2 Kings 6:4-5,

...when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water.

Now, it would have been senseless for him to have kept chopping with a wooden handle with no ax head on it, wouldn't it?! He would make no progress.

And yet that is what a lot of Christians do today. They have lost their cutting edge, and they are just going through the motions, making no progress at all.

They are chopping away with just a wooden handle!

They think, "Well, I know I'm supposed to go to church, so I will go. As long as I keep busy, maybe nobody's going to know the state of my heart." And they will do this not just for weeks or months, but some people have been doing this for years.

No progress, no growth. They are just swinging that handle without an ax head.

If this is you, do not just keep swinging the ax handle. If you are not making progress, admit it. Until you are willing to face up to the fact that you have not been growing, you can never regain your spiritual edge.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God

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