(Numbers 8-10, Mark 5:1-20)

And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.” (Number 9:8 ESV)

Sometimes we may wonder at the willingness of God to leave Moses on the backside of the desert for 40 years. Whatever was the purpose of that delay? The Israelites were crying out under the yoke of slavery for decades, and God’s ordained deliverer was watching sheep in the wilderness…seemingly forgotten.

Delay is one of God’s greatest shapers. Its work is precise. While seemingly nothing is happening, and time is apparently being wasted, God’s chisel is cutting at out our character. Delay is a mighty tool.

What was it that God was getting at in Moses? Presumption. Those 40 years had cut through all of the bravado, all of the arrogance, all of the presumption in Moses, and He was finally able to hear. We only speak for God as much as we are able to hear from God.

Moses learned the art of listening. He learned how to hear. Real leadership defers. Real leadership yields to God. Real men and women of God defer. They refuse lofty titles and silly acknowledgements. No one is Good except God alone!

May we yield to God’s shaper in our lives. May we learn what Moses learned in delay… may we learn how to defer.