If we really want people to see God move

by Kari on October 3, 2012

I can almost hear the conversation:

“So…how long are we going to be here?”

“I don’t know.”

“You think maybe a day, two days, a month, a year?”

“I don’t know.”

“Where are we going next?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, when will we settle down and stay?”

“When we get to where we’re supposed to go.”

“And where’s that?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never been there.”


This is how I imagine the conversations between the several-million Israelites and Moses, their leader.

Every conversation went something along the lines of the people asking what they were doing or when they were leaving or how long the journey would be or where they were going.

And Moses saying, again: “I don’t know.”

See, God clearly called Moses. I mean, He gave him a burning bush for crying out loud! This was a very clear calling.

But it wasn’t very detailed. Check it out:

“I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of a land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey … Come, I will send you to Pharoah that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:8,10

I can only imagine my own response: Ok, got it. Let me just make sure I’m understanding: You want me to bring your people to a “good land” that flows with milk and honey. Where exactly is this place? Can I get the coordinates of this location? Is there a timeframe on this? Are we thinking this deliverance is going to take 10 hours, 10 days, 10 years? Any clues? Do you have the schedule for me, a clear map so I can plan our rest stops and let everyone know what to expect? I’d like to be able to clearly communicate with the people so they know the plan.


No map. No schedule. No coordinates. No agenda. God’s leading through Moses went like this:

“At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they camped.As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they set out. And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.”

I have a whole new level of respect for Moses’ leadership. 

This kind of leadership is sitnkin’ hard. Our world tells us that leaders need to have a clear plan, a clear vision; they need to know exactly what to do and where to go in order to inspire confidence in their people. And because of that, as Christian leaders we can often spend the majority of our time constructing our own maps, agendas and schedules instead of teaching people to watch for and wait on the Lord

Can I just be honest and say it’s easier to make our own map than it is to wait on the Lord? 

In our RENEW adventure it’s as if God is only giving us about a 2-inch level of visibility at all times. He is giving us the exact next steps, one at a time, but nothing further. No map. No schedule. No agenda. When the cloud moves, we move. And I’ve been cool with that–that’s been common practice in our lives as a family.

But it’s a whole new ballgame when you’re leading a whole bunch of other people in the same way!

It’s hard when your kids, your family, your spouse, your friends, whoever it is you are responsible for, look to you and ask: “So what’s next? When do we leave? Where are we going? What’s the plan?”

Its takes transparency and courage to look them in the eyes and readily admit:

“I don’t know. I’ve never been this way before. We just need to watch and wait for God for our next steps. Will you keep an eye out for Him with me?”

And here’s the thing: When we spend our time constructing our own agendas, plans, and maps, it leads people to rely on us. It sets their eyes on us. And if we live according to the world’s values, that’s exactly what they want. In our world system leaders want followers to look to them. But in God’s kingdom, we want people to look to God. We don’t want them to rely on us. We want them to keep their eyes peeled for God’s movement. We want them to know that when He moves, we move. We want them to see right through us and learn themselves to trust and wait on God alone.

Easier said than done. 

Whether you lead one small child or a three million adults, you do lead someone. And we have a choice whether we will construct our own plans to appease those around us and make them feel falsely secure, OR whether we will admit that we don’t know the way, but invite them together with you to watch and wait on God alone.

As we embrace transparency with courage we will all learn to watch and wait for the LORD …

And we will see Him move. 


{The theme of our life right now! Waiting on Him, with you. Thanks for reading.}