After Israel had been in the wilderness for 40 years, Israel had been complaining almost daily. They had disobeyed and refused to hear His voice. Their record is dismal. Moses himself complained quite a bit. Moses told God, “Why have you given me this job to do? Why this ministry? This is terrible!” But when it was all said and done, Moses recognized that their blindness and their deafness was because GOD had not given them eyes to see or ears to hear. Moses told them in Deut. 29:4 (NASB),
4 Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.
Moses could never have recognized the sovereignty of God in this way, had he not spent 40 years in the wilderness in God’s training camp before he ever led Israel out of Egypt. That wilderness experience, tending Jethro’s sheep, was his wilderness training before God sent him back into the Church to bring THEM into the same wilderness to be trained of God. And who better to lead them than Moses, who had already been there?
Moses spent time as a shepherd of sheep in order to learn how to gently lead the flock of God. Moses was sent back into the Church, back to Egypt, back into the world to do a job. It was a tough job, but after all, that was the purpose of his training. Patience, love, and forgiveness are not easily ingrained into us. Like Moses, Jesus went out into the wilderness for 40 days and then returned to minister to the people. It is very much the same pattern. Jesus went out for His final examination, administered by the devil. He passed the exam and returned as a qualified Minister of the Gospel.
This is the ultimate pattern for all who have been called to leave the Church for a time. But leaving the Church is not the ultimate solution. Leaving the Church is for the purpose of getting wilderness training, so that we can be trained to minister to the Church at a future time.
An overcomer is called to rule. A biblical ruler is also a judge. To be a judge, one must know the law and how to apply it in every situation by the mind of Christ. To do this, one must be perfectly balanced in law and grace, in justice and mercy, in discipline and in love. A judge is one who has learned the mind of God and can discern His ways. To judge and to discern come from the same Greek word in the New Testament. We need discernment, so we can see what God is saying and lead the people in God’s path to the Promised Land.