God often takes us into a dessert experience to do a deep work in private before he performs a broad work through us in public.
Galatians 1:15–18 (ESV)
15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.
- Moses fled to the plains of Midian and tended sheep for 40 years before God used him to free the Israelites from Egypt.
- David spent 13 years as a fugitive in the caves of Engedi where many of his Psalms were born before assuming the throne of Israel he was anointed for when he was a boy.
- Joseph spent time in jail unjustly accused in Egypt before he ascended to a place of authority that would allow God to use him to protect his family from famine.
- Elijah spent time hiding in the wilderness being fed by ravens.
- John the Baptist ate locust and honey for most of his ministry. He announced the public ministry of the Messiah and he was beheaded as a reward for going public with the truth of a political leader.
- God often desires to forge in us a work of lasting transformation and character. To do the work of God in ministry we must have a heart for people, we must craft our theology and we need to cultivate an identity solely in Christ.
- Often it takes time to discover what REALLY matters. In the dessert experience we learn that to be great leaders we must lead in areas that truly matter to God!
- When we are so busy and fixing everyone else at breakneck speed, we simply can’t hear God’s voice clearly. God takes us into solitude in order to slow down, get quiet and listen to his still, small voice.