Slow and steady they say, wins the race. This is a very well known, well spoken and well used idiomatic expression. It means that to achieve the best of results in any endeavour, one must make consistent and gradual progress as opposed to trying to achieve the best result under brief and intense effort. This is so true and I could not agree more. As a caterer, I know the importance of letting food cook through on slow low heat (like our roast dishes) as opposed to the fast high heat which could leave it undone and harmful if consumed. Please note that some specialty cuisines however (like Oriental), favour high heat cooking.

I would like to share with you today why rushing to achieve some goals might very well lead to half baked results or complete disaster. Exactly how a baker would not bake cakes on high heat so are some assignments not to be carried out without carefully following instructions. In the book of Acts of the Apostles and chapter seven, we read again (because it was first recorded in Exodus 2) the story of how Moses was rescued from the river and adopted by the daughter of Pharaoh the king of Egypt who was going for a swim in the Nile.

“But then a new king came to the throne of Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph. This king exploited our people and oppressed them, forcing parents to abandon their new born babies so they would die. At that time Moses was born-a beautiful child in God’s eyes. His parents cared for him at home for three months. When they had to abandon him, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and raised him as her own son. Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and he was powerful in both speech and action.” Acts 7: 18 – 22 NLT

Moses actually grew up in the Kings household as a Prince of Egypt but as the story goes on, there is no doubt that somehow he had come to the knowledge and realization of his true heritage, identity and even of his assignment as a deliverer of the children of Israel.

“One day when Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his relatives, the people of Israel. He saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite. So Moses came to the man’s defense and avenged him, killing the Egyptian. Moses assumed his fellow Israelite would realize that God had set him to rescue them, but they didn’t.”  Acts 7: 23 – 25 NLT

Well it appeared that Moses was too hasty and maybe very undiplomatic in trying to carry out his God given assignment. So it was the case of doing the right thing, the wrong way and even at the wrong time. And it cost him a lot of time to get back on track – all of forty years.

“The next day he visited them again and saw two men of Israel fighting. He tried to be a peace maker. ‘Men,’ he said, ‘you are brothers. Why are you fighting each other?’ But the man in the wrong pushed Moses aside.  ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ he asked. ‘Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’” Acts 7: 26 – 29 NLT

And there it was. As soon as Moses saw that what he had done was no longer hidden, he ran for his dear life to Midian. He remained there for forty years. (I pray that we will never have to wait that long to get it right.) Eventually though, God called him after the forty year wait and gave him detailed instructions on how he would liberate the Israelites in Egyptian bondage. So God sent Moses back to carry out the same assignment but this time on God’s own terms.

Could it be that the time Moses spent at the backside of the dessert was for him to learn a thing or two about patience or anger management? I do not know that for certain but I do know that the dessert experience humbled Moses incredibly. And we know that God gives grace to the humble. For someone who the bible described as “powerful in both speech and action”; Moses was suddenly stumbling over his words. He had lost all confidence in his own abilities and had become completely dependent on God. His ideas no longer conflicted with what God wanted to do. It was now a case of God saying to Moses “Jump!” and he would just answer “How high.”

Dear friends, I have no idea what it is that we are thinking of rushing into at this time. It could be a relationship, a new job, an assignment, a new enterprise or project. Have we checked it out with God? Are we taking instructions from him? Are we totally dependent on Him yet for directions? These are questions we might want to sit down and answer honestly. This will save us time that we could end up spending at the backside of the dessert if we are not careful.

Yes Moses was the right man for the job, but he jumped the gun and was temporarily disqualified. PLEASE DO NOT BE IN A RUSH. Think it through. Take it slow and let God lead.