There are seasons in our life where it seems that everything has come to a standstill. We have not been given opportunities for ministry. We have not received any responsibilities. It seems that we have nothing to occupy our time. What do we do when these seasons come, especially in our youth when we have not yet reached the maturity required for ministry?
The young man Joshua was in just such a season in his life as he watched Moses interact with God. He was faced with a decision: to play along side his friends in their youthful pursuits, or to seek something greater.
Moses took the tent and pitched it outside the camp, at a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone seeking the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp. (Exo 33:7)
The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, the way a person speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his servant, Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the tent. (Exo 33:11)
Moses established a place where the people of Israel could come to meet with God, a place that he himself used when he needed guidance. But he was a man of responsibilities -- he needed to lead the people of Israel and share the truth of God with them. He could not stay in the tent forever, as much as he might want to, but he would leave and return to camp.
But Joshua was a young man. He did not have responsibilities or a position of leadership. He had ample amounts of free time to do whatever his heart desired. At that age where most boys seek adventure and fun, Joshua sought instead to bask in the presence of God -- to learn from Him and know His ways. He also had a front row seat to see Moses' interactions with God when he spoke to God "face to face". Think of it!
Joshua chose the higher path. He sacrificed his youthful passions to learn from God, and as a result, God gave him an unshakable faith that would sustain him for the rest of his life and give him a position of leadership and honor in leading Israel to conquer their promised land.
So when you find yourself in those empty seasons of life when there is apparently nothing to do, how will you spend your time? Young men, are you using those hours of free time that you have to spend time with God in study and prayer? You may never get the opportunity to spend this time with God again. Don't waste it!