Leadership Lessons in the Desert, Pt 4: OBEDIENCE

Desert1I don’t know much about horses… much less Arabian horses.  But, from my limited knowledge and research, I do know that the Arabian horses of old would go through a very rigorous training regimen to prepare them for the deserts of the Middle East.  Their trainers would require absolute obedience from them, and their final test – to see if they were fully trained – was beyond imaginable (some might even say cruel).  After being forced to go many days without water, the trainer would turn the horses loose… and, of course, they’d sprint with everything in them toward the watering hole…but just before they would reach it, the trainer would blow his whistle.  The horses… who hd been completely trained… would stop and gallop back to the trainer, panting and quivering from thirst.  When the trainer was assured of his horses’ perfect obedience, he’d turn them loose again, and allow them to drink.  Now, this might seem like it’s overboard and a very cruel way to train… but if you were in a trackless desert and your life was entrusted to a horse, you’d had better made sure it was a trained and obedient horse!

In a very similar way, sometimes it seems like God’s desert training of His children… not to mention His leaders… is over the top.  Maybe even cruel, to some.  Prayers seemingly go unanswered.  Diffulties upon difficulties arise.  Hello… McFly!  WHERE IS GOD??

In the desert, God is not only teaching us trust… and patience… but, maybe most importantly, OBEDIENCE.  Even when it seems He’s distant or not showing up when we want Him to… will we obey?  Or will we take shortcuts to get what we want?   Moses told the children of Israel… as they were about to leave the desert for the Promised Land… that God had humbled and tested them in the desert, “in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would [obey Him]” (Deut. 8:2).  The apostle Paul reminded Timothy, his young protege and minister, that God desires His leaders to be “holy and useful to the Master and prepred to do any good work” (1 Tim. 2:21).

The desert is painful… and its pinch is designed for us to never forget the lessons learned duing our time in the desert. The painful experience pushes us to depend on and draw near to God in full surrender, so that we’re always reminded that HE is our source… HE is our supply. So, in the future… when our tanks run dry… we’ll run to HIM, and not to idols that temporarily bring pleasure or relief, but ultimately do not satisfy.

Like the Arabian horses in the deserts of the Middle East, God wants us to be people of endurance and obedience.  Don’t give up… even if t seems like God is distant.  Stand firm and hold to what He told you last.

Obedience matters.


One thought on “Leadership Lessons in the Desert, Pt 4: OBEDIENCE

  1. Amen, Preacher! What an awesome word on the necessity of obedience. God gave me a word about a year ago on obedience. It was “Obedience breeds success.” Initially, I thought maybe God was preparing me for something that was about to happen where I may be tempted to go a little to the left or a little to the right, instead of straight and in alignment with His Word. Also, at the time, I thought that the word “breeds” sounded a little strange as I always associated that word with animals and birthing- so I decided to go a little deeper. When I looked up the word, the dictionary gave this definition — to bring forth from the womb. Today, as I respond to your blog, which by the way I have never done before –to yours or anyone else’s, I recognize that God chose that particular word for me to let me know that success in ANYTHING is not instant, and that the process itself is not very glamorous, but if I would simply just be obedient in doing the work–whatever it may be for that season–like being consistent in my quiet time with God, being a better steward over my finances, preparing more dilligently for that specific work that God has designed especially for me to do, then success would most certainly follow. And that it’s not my job to fall apart if what I think success is doesn’t pop up when I think it should. I’ve been told to obey and that’s it. I guess God is telling me to leave my ego at the door because he clearly doesn’t need it. Thank you again for the word you brought forth.

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