Trained in the Glory

“And all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshipped, each man in his tent door. So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” (Exod. 33:10-11)

While this chapter is primarily about Moses and the Glory he encountered, I’d like to focus on Joshua. Notice, Joshua did not depart from the dwelling place of God’s Glory! This experience compelled him, taught him to wait and changed his view of reality. Joshua was a great warrior and he led Israel into the Promised Land, but he first was a man of the Glory! 

The Young Apprentice:

Joshua was Moses’ right hand man, his assistant and servant; the one Moses was training and mentoring in life, ministry and leadership among God’s people. Although Moses wasn’t allowed to take the people of God into the Land of Promise; he would define how Joshua would lead. Going outside the camp when the Lord summoned him, Moses was teaching his apprentice about intimacy with God outside the “religious camp”. When Moses went to meet with the Lord, Joshua would go to the tent door and wait. He was aware of God talking with Moses inside. Lying facedown at the door while God was talking with Moses must have been the highlight of Joshua’s life. All of Israel saw it. They too, would fall on their faces and stay there until Moses would emerge with a fresh message from God. Joshua was learning more than just the will of God. All Israel felt the thundering, saw the lightning and heard the voice of the Lord in the tent. But Joshua was being trained in it!

Training Ground:

If anyone was positioned for fame and popularity, it was Joshua. Because he was Moses’ right hand man. He could have let everyone know, “I work with this great man of God – Moses. He just met with God face to face, and I’m his friend”. But if you look at this passage, Joshua’s heart is captured by a more significant reality. I would like to suggest the reason the Lord chose Joshua is that he remained in the Glory when it would have been easy to seek the glory of man.

The Hard Facts:

Not all the servants in Scripture were chosen to succeed their master. Some of the prophets found that those they poured their lives into were not the kind of people that God wanted to use. As a result, those associates never stepped into their destiny.

Loving the Glory:

I would like to suggest that Joshua’s love of the Glory and his value for the Presence of God is what made him stand out head and shoulders above everybody else around him. He wasn’t in leadership for the recognition of man. He wasn’t in it even for the thrill of Moses’ encounters. Joshua stayed at the tent – because of his hunger for God’s Presence and his love for God’s Glory!

Devotion to prayer and intimacy with God is the only setting in which we can completely step into the fullness of God’s destiny for us. We must be trained in the Glory!

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