Ephesians 4:14-16 – “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” NASB
[Please read verses 1-16 for the greater context]
What is the solution to the problems mentioned in the last devotional? I believe that a significant answer and solution is found in examining the relationship between Moses and the Children of Israel in the wilderness. Moses was a one-man show until his father-in-law offered him some wise counsel. Once Moses saw the problem and the solution, he acted, and the result was good for everyone and provided us a pattern for today’s church.
Moses was wearing himself and the people out, holding court from daylight to dark. He and he alone was ministering to the people. His father-in-law, Jethro watched him and knew the incredible toll this was taking on Moses, his family, and the entire nation. It did not require a special gift of discernment for Jethro to see the problem and God inspired him with a powerful solution. If Moses continued in this manner failure was assured and Israel would never reach the Promised Land.
Jethro suggested two changes that are important for us today. He suggested that Moses begin teaching on a Corporate Basis rather than dealing with the issue individually. He was to teach the people in three specific areas and in doing so would ‘equip’ them to make many of their own decisions and solve many of their own problems drawing out of the Truth taught corporately. Jethro suggested that Moses teach, The Word of God, the Way of God, and the Work of God. In doing that, Moses was equipping the people to have the spiritual resources needed to handle most of their own problems.
Change Number Two was that Moses was to bring others into the function of his assumed job. He was to find qualified men from among the people, whose lives were in order and begin delegating responsibility and authority to them. That is interesting for, in a sense, he was giving Moses the old method of ‘divide and conquer.’ Moses was to teach these men the principles God had taught him and put them over groups of people. Moses would then only be involved directly with the most difficult cases.
If the principle or suggestion that Jethro gave is only an Old Testament Principle, it is of little use today. But we see it in the Early Church and the Ministry of Jesus. The apostles were overcome with the same problem that Moses faced they were being spread too thin to be effective. They followed the exact prescription Moses followed. They acknowledged a problem and sought practical solutions. They understood that if they continued, in the same way, it would reduce their personal prayer and study time and thereby reduce the spiritual ministry to the people. Following the Jethro principle, they found qualified men and placed them over the work. The result was that the needs of the people were met, and the Word of God spread, and the Kingdom was enhanced.
Moses established captains of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. Each group was shepherding the group they gave oversight to. The captains of thousands ministered to the captains of hundreds, the captains of hundreds to the fifties and the fifties to the tens. It was a power progression and enabled the entire nation and to function. That principle was embraced by the Early Church and is needed in today’s Church, local and universal.
Training is a two-way street. Those being trained must invest themselves in both time and commitment to the training. We will never become what God wants, a Covenant Family and a Covenant Community if we remain isolated individuals. We are to be, and God says we are a Kingdom of Priests, a Chosen Generation, and His own special people.
If we see the Church as a Body, we will care for all the members, cells, and organs. If we see the Church as a Family, we will develop a deep love and loyalty. If we see the Church as a Community, we will work toward the common good. If we see the Church as an Army, we will eagerly and willing train and become equipped. If we see the Church as a Nation or Kingdom, we will understand our purpose.
We have been given power over the power of darkness. We are more than conquerors through Jesus. We are commissioned to take the Good News to the World and then to equip them to become functioning members of the Body of Christ. God bless you as you commit yourself to become fitted and framed into a Living Building and Body for God and His Kingdom!
Have a great day in Jesus!