Undoubtedly, Moses is one of the most remarkable leaders we find in the Bible. A Hebrew raised in a palace in Egypt, Moses was used by God to lead the Hebrew nation out of the bondage of slavery from the Egyptians. Moses spent his life leading the Israelites to the land God promised to Abraham. Moses was used as God’s instrument to show His faithfulness to His people.
But in a public act of sin, Moses dishonored God in front of the Israelites. Because of how seriously God takes a leader’s actions, He responded with this judgment.
The Lord was displeased with Moses’ actions: “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” Numbers 20:12
Moses worked his whole life to receive the promise God made to the Israelites - to enter the Promise Land. Now, it would be taken away because of one mistake?
In Deuteronomy 34, we see the last scene of Moses’ life being played out. As ministry leaders, we can gain insight from the leadership lesson recorded in this final chapter of Moses’ life.
As leaders, we may never get to see the end result of our faithfulness.
Moses climbed to the top of the mountain, and God showed Moses all the land the people would inherit. God had these words for Moses in Deuteronomy 34:4
Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”
Moses served the majority of his life to never see the physical, earthly goal he was working toward. He never entered into Canaan.
People who work in preschool ministry can identify with this. We work to a lay a spiritual foundation in kids and families. Do we get to physically be the ministry who is hands on in seeing the goal realized of a child coming to Christ? Most often times, no.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to see the journey when you’re so focused on the destination. Those seemingly small moments we can take for granted are really defining moments along the journey. We only have to look for them.
The mom and dad who committed to raising their children in a godly home - that’s a victory.
The special needs child who made it through the whole class without having to call mom - that’s a victory.
The constant crier who’s peaceful morning led to their parents having a peaceful worship experience - that’s a victory.
The new family who’s children drag them back to church the next week - that’s a victory.
The three year old who runs into their classroom excited to see their small group leader - that’s a victory.
The little boy who’s excited to say his Bible Verse - that’s a victory.
The picture on Instagram of a family continuing the conversation in their home from Sunday - that’s a victory.
Those small victories pave the way for a child, or a family, to come to know Christ. Never dismiss those small victories.
A leader’s journey impacts all those around him. Though Moses never fully received the reward he spent his whole life working towards, Moses’ lasting legacy is recorded in the last few verses of Deuteronomy 34.
Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
Moses’ life was one spent with God. God knew him and he knew God. God gave him grace, wisdom and favor with the people he led. God’s people and those who did not worship God saw in Moses what obedience to God looks like.
Moses’ journey of obedience and faithfulness was on display for the Israelites. One mistake would not define the impact Moses’ life had on the people. Moses’ lifelong legacy left an imprint on the people he served.
Life is a collection of small moments. In those small moments, we build something of worth. No matter what ministry God has given us in this season of our life, we are called to be faithful. Because it's in that faithfulness, God shows up and shows off, but we have to get comfortable as leaders knowing He may do that in someone else's small moment - not ours.
Where is God asking you to be faithful despite the results you may or may not receive?