And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses. – Numbers 27:23
When the time had come for Israel to enter and take possession of Canaan, God told Moses to take Joshua and commission him as the next leader of Israel before the entire assembly. God told Moses to do so because Moses had disobeyed God in striking the second rock the produced water rather than speaking to it. Moses would climb Mount Nebo to see all the land of Canaan that Israel would possess, but he would never enter into the land. Thus, Moses did all that the LORD commanded him and anointed Joshua the next leader of Israel.
In various denominations, ordained ministers have to go through a lengthy process of education, preparation, and interviewing by members of a presbytery (usually) before they are released into full ministry. I should know; I am a licensed minister awaiting my ordination one day soon, I hope. Although I’ve been working on my ministerial education, I know that I’ve received my ordination from God. Some refer to this ordination as the calling on one’s life, which it is.
I don’t buck this process because it has its merits. Ensuring that ministers have a solid foundation in theology, doctrine, and fruit of the Spirit operating in their lives is valuable to the person being ordained as well as those the future minister will serve. God calls many but chooses few. When it comes to the undershepherds, though, God goes to greater lengths and is careful as to whom He selects. Not anyone and everyone will be an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. These five positions are gifts of the Holy Spirit to the body of Christ for the sole purpose of…equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Why does God give us people in these positions? So that, we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Eph. 4:13-16)
To achieve this end, these leaders of the faith need to be entrenched in the foundations of our beliefs and God’s ways. They are the ones chosen to teach us and encourage us and prepare us to do every good work. If we have ineffective leaders running things, then we will be ineffective in our work for God. Jesus said, A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. Some students will go on to excel beyond what the teacher taught, but only because the student followed the direction given by the teacher. God exalts people not themselves.
It has taken me a long time in life to learn the blessing of obedience and humility. It’s an ongoing process that lasts a lifetime. I’d like to be known as a man of humility as were Moses and Jesus and Paul, yet I still want to be just as effective in leadership as they were. So, I eagerly await the day when my pastor and the presbyter from the fellowship bestow upon me the rights of ordination. God will speak to them and determine when that time has come. In the meantime, I continue the apprenticeship of ministry as did Joshua until the day he was commissioned. It has to be in God’s timing; otherwise, I could likely fail and damage a lot of souls. God forbid!
Father, every passing day comes with great anticipation of the day I become a fully ordained minister of God even though I know in my heart and spirit that I am called of You and chosen by You for the work of the missionary evangelist. I willingly continue in the process of preparation and fulfilling the mission You’ve given to me for this season in my life. I used to rush into things unprepared and tried to force Your hand to move, but I only frustrated myself and caused setbacks to the timetable You’d set. Now that I a bit wiser and more patient, I yield myself to Your Spirit’s leading and teaching. It is for such a time as this that I am where I am, doing what I am doing, and helping where I am helping. I trust in You. Nothing less. Its’ Your way, not mine. Your will be done, not mine. I yield to You. Thank You for making me a gift to the body of Messiah. May I do all You’ve called me to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.