Moses had a lot on his plate. The Lord required heavy assignments of him. He had to stand against the most powerful religious ruler of his time, Pharaoh. He returned to lead a people who barely knew him and probably resented him for being raised as a king while they were being treated as slaves. And he stepped up the plate to pastor a congregation of about 2 million, excluding women and children, with the overwhelming vast majority of them who were idol worshipers. Now who on earth would want a job like that? To add insult to injury, he had a brother and sister who doubted his leadership and at times couldn’t be trusted to protect the flock while took time off in prayer. To add more insult to injury, he had to abandon his beautiful wife and his two sons to pastor a stiff necked and rebellious people whom God had to let millions of them die because they got on his nerves. Anybody want that job? Probably not.
Before we criticize Moses for speaking harshly at the people and calling them insulting names, consider the amount of stress this man was under. Consider the losses he incurred just to fulfill his assignment. He had to deal with backbiters even though HE was the one who delivered THEM from evil even at the risking of his own life. He had to deal with a people who knew God in name only. They had no relationship with Him whatsoever, save a few. He had to teach them everything pertaining to the laws of God and them mediate and settle disputes by the multitudes on a daily basis.
Here enters Jethro. Jethro was a seasoned man of wisdom and counsel. He would come to visit Moses and bring Zipporah, Moses’ wife and Jethro’s daughter, and his sons to visit. He couldn’t help but to notice the tremendous amount of stress Moses endured. He pulled Moses to the side and said, If you don’t get some help, you won’t last long.
“Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.” Ex. 18:19-20
“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.” Ex. 18:21-22
Hearkening to the counsel of Jethro, Moses ordained the 70 elders and was able to relieve himself of some of his pastoral duties. But this goes to show you the need for wiser more mature seasoned leaders in your life. As leaders, we all need someone smarter than us in our ears. We don’t know it all. We haven’t seen it all and we haven’t been through it all. God will place key individuals in your life who will help you. They are not the members of your church. They are not your friends. And they are not your fans. They are your mentors and wise counselors and if you are called to heavy assignments, you had better start asking God where Jethro is because you will need him/her if you plan to stay around long enough to see your works finished.
Leaders are experiencing more burn out than ever before. Rebellious generations of people are sitting in your pews looking in your face each and every week. You are balancing the church budget while people wonder what you do with the money (and it’s usually those who don’t have any), and you have pressure to ensure every soul under the sound of your voice ‘gets it’ when you preach. There is pressure. Moses’ congregation kept looking back and so will some of yours. They will compare you to their former pastor, their former church, and even suggest ways for you to behave or fit in another man’s shell. Pressure. You have your family who is under intense demonic attack. Your spouse has mind battles, your children act crazy, your family comes against you, and you wonder what in the name of a baloney sandwich did you agree to and how did you get here?
Ask the Lord who your Jethro is and don’t expect to see them or hear from them all the time. They are not buddies. They are men and women of God seasoned to perfection to help you in times of ministry crises. Statistics don’t lie. There are too many leaders walking away, not from God but from the church, because they can probably ‘do bad all by themselves’. Save your life, save your ministry, get Jethro.
The word of God instructs us to ‘stand against the wiles of the devil’, not ignore them and certainly not to pacify them. I think we have confused who we are and what we are called to do. This is not ice cream fundamentalism. We are enlisted as soldiers, suited up, and ready to do battle that our great God and King is uplifted in the earth, men are saved, and the Gospel is preached. In the meanwhile, there are sinister occupants in the atmosphere around us who oppose us for doing so. They hate us with a perfect hatred so stop passing out when you hear about it. You can’t ‘double dutch’ this thing. When will the time come for us to stop rocking back and forth as if we are going to jump in the battle and actually JUMP IN? Double dutch saints with ice cream theology will get us nowhere. Even the wicked won’t tolerate that!
God walked away from Nebuchadnezzar to show him that he is nothing without him. Have you noticed what happens to people when the anointing lifts? They are a hot mess. David understood this which is why he cried out with great intensity because he did not want the Lord to take the anointing (take not your Holy Spirit from me) from him. Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t anointed, but God did assigned an anointed vessel to minister to him. And when Daniel warned Nebuchadnezzar and he refused to take heed, the Lord removed His hand, removed Daniel from ministering to Nebuchadnezzar, and a lunatic spirit took over.
Now let me be very clear and candid. When you have been anointed or have been exposed to the anointing and YOU DO SOMETHING that removes you from God’s presence (for God will never abandon you, but your sins will separate you from Him), another spirit takes over. Most times it’s the more heinous form of spirit that has been vexing you all along that when the anointing lifts, moves in. Shall we recall Saul as a witness that when the anointing of God departs, evil spirits take over?
The lunatic spirit took over Nebuchadnezzar’s mind. It drove him to the wilderness to eat grass like an animal. The dew of Heaven fell upon him and soaked his body until his hair grew wildly long and even changed texture to resemble the feathers of a bird. He grew nail claws like a bird too.
Now you may or may not want to acknowledge this, but I maintain to tell you that if a person refuses to heed the counsel of the Lord, refuses to submit to God’s anointing, and resists the correction of the Lord, He will ‘give that person up’ to the very thing that they have been longing after. Nebuchadnezzar wanted to be in charge, so God gave him a kingdom. He drove him into the wilderness and away from people so that he could rule among the oxen and birds. He even poured out dew from Heaven to help him ‘transition’ to his new assignment as ‘king’ of the jungle.
I don’t know the names of some of the ‘gods’ that some people serve but the God I know is the Living God who is a terror to His enemies. I don’t know about the blind and deaf gods that some serve, but my God sees all, knows all, and is all in all.
For some reason, when people are told that they have been called to preach, they set themselves to preach!! Wait!! When Jesus calls you to public ministry, meaning ministering to those whom you don’t know, included in that is the inferred understanding that you need to study. If you feel drawn to medicine, you don’t don a lab coat and start practicing medicine, do you? No. You enroll in school and study medicine and then when you have passed your exams, you are licensed or officially approved to practice medicine. Do you see why now many of our people are messed up? They ran to preach and never sat to learn. Before the apostles were given the ‘Go ye into all the world’, they were first given the ‘come and follow Me’.
I just have one question, Does anyone study the Bible or has that become obsolete too? What has ever happened to DISCIPLESHIP? Jesus did not change His mind saints!!
Even your enemies are conduits of blessings. Those rascals have a way to push you in the presence of God and into a place of prayer and fasting that you never knew existed. Jesus said, “Bless your enemies”. He understood that they too, are puppets in the plan of God for your life.
Hannah wanted a child. She pleaded with her husband, made herself look like a fool in the temple before Eli, and made a vow to God that if He blessed her, she would return the child to Him. How many times have we asked the Lord for something, I mean literally beg for it, and then upon receiving it, we take the blessing and misuse it, abuse it, or idolize it? There are a many of saints who have broken vows with the Lord. They promised that if He sends the job, they would tithe, if He sends the spouse, they would be faithful, if He sends the child, they would raise him unto the Lord, if He sends the car, they would bring someone to church, and the list of unfulfilled promises goes on and on. Some of us have become outright liars. We not only lied to ourselves but we’ve made futile attempts to lie to the One and Only Wise God who knowing all things STILL BLESSED YOU while knowing what would become of it.
Consider yourself. You were faithful until you got what you wanted and then you backslid. You were faithful giving the few dollars until you really got blessed and then you slacked off. You were faithful attending service and participating in functions until you received THAT THING and now you are too busy. Really? How about the Lord becomes too busy to see about you? How about He slacks His diligent hand toward you? How would you like to wear those shoes you are trying to force Him into wearing?
Umm, God is not blind. In fact, He has created beings with eyes all around to make certain that He doesn’t miss a beat. And that little bit of unfaithfulness that we have been doing very well may have cancelled us out of what God had in store for us next. Tsk, tsk. We were so flabbergasted by what we have, worshiped it, and adored it that we failed to consider that what we asked for cannot even be compared to what He really had in mind for us. Some of us won’t have to worry about that though. God, have mercy.
“THE MAN WHO TURNS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH LEST HE SHOULD GET TO KNOW IT WILL NOT
RECEIVE ANSWERS TO PRAYER. “ (Proverbs 28:9)
1. Refusing to hear the truth. (Prov. 28:9)
2. Tempting or provoking God. (Dt. 3:26)
3. Lack of charity or love to others. (Prov. 21:13)
4. Lack of humility. (2 Chron. 7:14)
5. A hardened heart. (Zech. 7:12, 13)
6. Forsaking God. (2 Chron.15:2)
7. Praying amiss (wrong motives). (James 4:3)
8. Regarding iniquity. (Ps. 66:18)
9. Unbelief. (Mt. 17:20,21; Mt. 21:22)
10. Marital strife. (I Pet.3:7)
11. Parading your prayer-life. (Mt. 5:6)
12. Sin. (Ja. 4:1-5; Is. 59:2; John 9:31)
13. Vain (useless) repetitions. (Mt. 6:7)
14. Being discouraged. (Lk. 18:1-8)
15. Doubt and double-mindedness. (Ja. 1:5-8)
16. Anxiety and worry. (Phil. 4:6)
17. Hypocrisy. (Lk. 18:9-14)
18. Unforgiveness. (Mt. 6:14, 15; Mk. 11:25, 26)
19. Not tithing. (Mal. 3:8,9,10)
20. Rebellion against God’s Word. (Prov. 1:24-28; Zech. 7:11-14)
21. Presumption and pride. (Luke 18:10-14)
22. Unconfessed sin. (Ps. 66:18)
23. Demonic attack. (Daniel 10: 10)
24. Lack of sincerity. (Mt. 6:5)
25. Being unsaved (an unbeliever). (John 17)
26. Curses. (Deut. 28)
27. Willful stubbornness. ( Jer. 16:12,13)
-Word of Faith