Saturday, March 12, 2011


We've been blessed to have the same pastor for almost ten years.  One of the things I appreciate about the way he works with the Body is his attitude toward new ministries.  Shortly after he came, a friend complained that we didn't have a specific ministry for her perceived need.  When I mentioned it to our pastor, he said, "When someone has a vision and burden for that ministry, it is God's provision for the need."  His philosophy of ministry didn't include running around the congregation and tapping individuals because of a complaint or a great idea.

I found the same principle in Leviticus chapters nine and ten this week.

Passage:  Leviticus 9-10:14

Specific Verses:  9:1, 7: Now it came about on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel.... Moses then said to Aaron, “Come near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, that you may make atonement for yourself and for the people; then make the offering for the people, that you may make atonement for them just as the LORD has commanded.”

There was a process, a time period, and set of procedures for Aaron and his sons to follow before they were able and ready to intercede on behalf of the people. It didn’t just happen.  God had a specific set of instructions and an intentional process.  Moses modeled it "just as the LORD commanded."  They weren't given an instruction manual and told to show up first thing in the morning.  They were given instructions that would take them through the very same process as the people they would minister to. They could not provide sanctification for the people until they themselves had been cleansed.  This is the same principle Jesus taught when he instructed us to remove the log from our own eye before attending to the speck of another (Matthew 5).

Interestingly, the two oldest sons were so impressed with God's display of power that they tried to manipulate God.  God's work in our lives can be humbly accepted and acknowledged for what it is, or twisted to fit our prideful perception.  In the hands of God it is awesome to behold, in the hands of man it is fatal.  God struck them dead—He will not be played with.

Perhaps you have had that same experience.  God has prepared and walked you through difficulty and shown Himself mighty.  Don't be surprised then when He asks you to extend that same service as a ministry to others.  God prepares and uses His people in their own circumstances before using them.  He sanctifies them, walks them through, and sets the expectations before allowing them to take positions of leadership that influence others.  If you have outstanding areas of sin or rebellion in your own life, don't expect God to use you to in meeting the needs of others.  He must have access to your heart before He gives you access to the hearts of others.

What's the take-away?  If I look critically at the circumstances in my life and respond with humility and obedience, I will be prepared for God to use my experience at a later time.  With eyes on Him and a heart stayed with fear of His power and confidence in His unwavering love, I can walk through the valley with purpose.  No ministry or outreach is necessary apart from the work of God.  But God is faithful.  He provides for the needs of His people--and always at just the right time.