"Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left." Exodus 14:19-21
It would be nice if leadership was always full speed ahead! If a leader could start at point A and get his people to point B on a straight line, everyone would sign up for duty.
But, as Moses demonstrated, there are times in leadership when you have to wait on God or wait on your people. Then there are times when you watch for signs or trends to see where God is moving, And then there are those wonderful times when you get to walk and lead your people forward.
A good leader, a godly leader, knows when to wait, how to watch, and when to walk. And, he understands that each situation is a part of the leadership experience and is at peace with it.
Moses refused to move until he had a clear direction from God. Waiting times are some of the best times to develop faith because during those times you are asked to believe God is working in your behalf despite obvious proof to substantiate it. In the case of Moses and the Israelites, the period of waiting was the time God used to set up the Egyptians for their ulitmate defeat. And so, you could also say that He was setting them up for victory.
While he was waiting, Moses was watching for evidence of God's movement. When he saw the pillar of cloud and fire move from before the Israelites to behind them, that was his sign God was moving for them. Good leaders are always watching for the hand of God to know when it is time to stop waiting and start walking.
Finally, a good leader is ready and has his people ready when it is time to start walking! After some anxious waiting and astute watching the moment came to walk to their deliverance. Moses led them through the sea to the safety of the other shore some 10 miles across.
Walking too soon can disqualify a leader. Waiting too long can cost a leader his opportunity. And watching when he should be walking will cost a leader the confidence of his followers.
Leadership is a science and it is an art. Good leaders know each.
If you are a leader, study this lesson closely and consider it carefully. Which time is it in your leadership? Is it waiting time? Is it watching time? Is it time to walk?