Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Defining Godly Ministry

Leviticus 8:1-3 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering, and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread, 3and assemble all the congregation at the doorway of the tent of meeting.”

The Birth of a Godly Ministry
In the text above we are taken to the scene where Moses was ordaining Aaron and his sons to serve as priests of God to the nation of Israel.  In Leviticus 8-10 we see 5 absolutes spelled out that provide 5 principles for Godly ministry.  Every Christian is called to two things: To live for God and to serve God.  Quite frankly, these two callings are distinct aspects of one calling. 

In today's blog, I want to lay out what I see as five "must haves" if you and I are going to have Godly ministry of any sort to our glorious Prophet, Priest and King Jesus Christ.  I will use the acrostic "G-O-D-L-Y" to aid us in remembering the principles we glean from Leviticus 8-10 since it is Godly ministry that we are aiming to understand.

1. Grounded in the scriptures  In Leviticus 8-10 we see reference to "God's commands" or Moses and Aaron doing everything according to scripture some 20 times.  No doubt, this ministry from its inception was going to be grounded in the scriptures.  The scriptures are the foundation of all Godly ministry.

2. Ongoing reliance upon God's approval or anointing Six times in Leviticus 8-10 we see reference to "the anointing of God" upon Aaron and his sons.  The anointing of God or the Holy Spirit is another way of saying that our ministry as the mark of Divine approval.  Leviticus 10:7 uses this phrase, from whence we get the idea of the importance of God's approval - "for the Lord's anointing oil is upon you".  God's approval or anointing is the confidence we have for Godly ministry.

3. Dependance upon the blood  Over a dozen times we find reference to Moses or Aaron sprinkling themselves or objects with blood shed upon the Brazen altar.  The shedding of innocent blood factors into the center of God's gracious transactions with His people.  The blood alone is the only basis for relationship and fellowship with God.  The blood is the basis for all Godly ministry.

4. Leverage from God's power  The power of God is mentioned five times here in Leviticus 8-10.  At the end of Leviticus 9 it is the uncreated fire of God that falls and lights the sacred altar.  Without God's power, the ministry of the preisthood of Israel would have no leverage, no power.  God's power is the strength to do ministry.

5. Yearning for God's fellowship or closeness. Around a dozen times we find reference to the priesthood prizing closeness and fellowship with God.  Phrases such as "consecration", or "before the Lord" are sprinkled throughout Leviticus 8-10.  Accomplishing goals, gaining popularity, drawing in a bigger crowd, building buildings is not the goal of ministry.  The goal is God Himself.  The goal and chief fruit of all ministry should entail both the recipients and the one doing the ministry having a closer walk with the Lord.