Joshua’s Prayer Life Started Early


“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua… did not leave the tent.”

— Exodus 33:11


I have loved this verse for a long, long time. The extraordinary picture of Moses and God meeting “face to face” is followed by another picture that is very easy to miss. That picture is of Moses’ aide, Joshua, staying behind in the “tent of meeting” where Moses and God had just finished meeting and talking as friends.

We do not have recorded for us in scripture what transpired in the tent between Joshua and God once Moses had left. But what we do have recorded for us later is the extraordinary leadership of Joshua… a leadership style and success that could only come from a man who knew his God.

Joshua did not wait for God to approach him and anoint him. Joshua instead approached God and sought Him, waiting on Him in private. No one really knew the story of him staying behind after Moses would appear from within the tent of meeting. Everyone was too intent on hearing what Moses had to say after meeting with God to notice that Joshua was peculiarly absent.

Being peculiarly absent has its benefits when our hiding place is in the “tent of meeting,” where God meets with those who wait in His Presence.

Let’s Not Decline the Climb!

“After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.”

~ MARK 9:2-3

The Transfiguration of Jesus ~ this was an important event in the lives of Jesus’ closest friends, Peter, James, and John. This supernatural event and revelation of the glory and power of Christ came with just a small price to be paid on the part of His friends. Let me hint at just a few of these costs.

1. PRESENCE WITH PATIENCE

Six days earlier, Jesus had mentioned that some of those present that day would [in the near future] witness a glorious scene that involved the power of God (see v.1). Peter, James, and John patiently waited in the presence of Jesus, anticipating the soon fulfillment of His prophetic notice.

Perhaps you (as an individual or as a church) have had numerous prophetic notices that Jesus was going to be revealed to you in a very gracious, special, and glorious way. In the waiting, remain present with Him ~ patiently anticipating the moment.

2. MOUNTAIN CLIMBING

Why didn’t Jesus reveal His glory down in the valley – where they already were? We don’t know, but can you imagine the regret of one of the friends if they had decided they weren’t really up to climbing a mountain that day – only to find out later that the other two had an incredible revelation of Christ after exerting the energy to climb the mountain with Him?

I wonder how many times God has prepared for us to receive a glorious revelation of Himself, only to have us decline the climb. (“After all, can’t He show Himself down here where I am already? Think of the time I could save — and use it for more ministry, or more family time!”)

3. A SMALL GROUP

The beautiful revelation of God’s glory and power came just as Jesus had foretold them. But it wasn’t in a massive public arena. It was in a small group! How often do we skip the opportunity to spend time with Jesus just because a certain size of group (or group segment) may not assemble that day? I think you would agree. It should always be about Jesus, and for Jesus, and with Jesus.

The next time your church has a prayer gathering scheduled, or a renewal service — or just an “ordinary” worship service, ask yourself this question: Could this be our week for having our understanding of Jesus transfigured?

Let’s invest the time; let’s not decline the climb!