My wife and I were the first in line at breakfast. Thinking we were the only customers in the restaurant at 7 AM, Patrick’s cheery voice greeted us with a warm “good morning!” As we begin the idle chitchat of what the day would bring, we invited him to join us for a quick breakfast before we went our separate directions after meeting at the Pinnacle Leadership Conference.
We were returning home before leaving for another conference; Patrick was leaving for the Philippines to begin two weeks of working with an international ministry on a program of transformational leadership.
As we talked, he commented that 2017 had been a fulfilling year, but he didn’t know what 2018 would bring. He was confident that God would be guiding him but uncertain of how he may be serving or what vistas may lie beyond the horizon of the new year.
His comments conveyed both expectation and uncertainty, reminding me of Moses to whom God spoke, “face-to-face, as one speaks to a friend,” (Exodus 33:11 NLT).
Remarkably, Moses spoke to God in the same way. Are you so bold in conversation with the Lord to confidently speak with him as a friend?
Moses was candid with the Lord (rephrased for emphasis):
- You’ve given me direction, but you haven’t told me whom to lead. (V12)
- You’ve told me you know me intimately; if it’s true then let me know you in the same way. (V13)
- Don’t forget, those whom you have redeemed belong to you. (As if the Lord would forget) (V13)
- If you don’t personally go with us when I lead your people, don’t make us leave. (V15)
- If you don’t personally go with us, how will other people know we are yours? (V16)
Then Moses made a bold request: “Show me your glorious presence.”
Did God grow impatient with Moses at this point?
God never grows impatient when we ask him to reveal his glory and his presence. He answers in a way that answers Moses’ every concern, as if to say,” I will reveal all my goodness; I will announce my presence before you. Stand close; as my presence passes by, I will cover and protect you. You will see me from behind. It is I who will lead you into the uncertain future.”
You and I can trust the Lord in the same way. When we ask him to reveal his glory, he shows us in such a way that we must follow to see it, until the day we will see him face-to-face.
Leading by Serving
A few days after the Pinnacle Leadership Conference, I chaired a national design conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
As the conference chair, my role was to curate the presenters and be part of the leadership team. When we began the planning nearly a year earlier, I resolved to give it my all. I realized during the event that I had been leading by serving over 300 attendees and speakers who participated. In my conversations with the Lord over the previous ten months and during the event, my prayer was “Lord, I need you to remind me of your presence. Show me your glory!”
And he did.
When you don’t know where to where God is directing you, remember you don’t have to ask for God’s presence as Moses did. As a believer, Christ is continually in you, with you, and for you. When it’s not clear whom you are to lead, look around you. Remember, you’re known by God and can know him. Ask the Lord to show you his glory.
As he passes by, he will reveal his glory. You’ll see him from behind, and you’ll know the direction in which to follow.
Posted on Sat, October 14, 2017
by Brian Sooy