Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them." Number 11:29
What??? What is so awesome about that? Well, here is the background on this event. Earlier in this chapter, the Spirit of the Lord had come upon the 70 elders of the Israelites and they had prophesied. This gift of the Spirit was for a specific purpose and for that specific moment. However, on 2 of the men, Eldad and Medad (looking for a baby name?), the Spirit remained and they were prophesying in the camp. Someone came running to Moses to "tattle" on them. Joshua immediately gets defensive of and apparently for Moses. After all, Moses had been the only one to exhibit this kind of gift. I think that Joshua's motive was to honor Moses and keep him in this unique place of high esteem. He saw the gifting of Eldad and Medad as a threat to his mentor.
I LOVE Moses' response. "Are you jealous for my sake?" We all do this. We get jealous for someone else and it generally is NOT helpful. We are particularly vulnerable when it comes to spouses and children. Do we want our children to win the contest or receive the honor that another child received? Do we think our spouse deserved the promotion more than another?
Moses could have said to Joshua, "Yes! By all means - restrain those guys. I'm the only one that gets to exercise the gift of prophesy - I'm God's man." But, instead he says, " Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them."
So counter-cultural. When it comes to giftings of all kinds, it is easy to be jealous of another or threatened by another. Our own insecurities rear their ugly heads and we don't want to be outdone or shown up in any way. Maybe we just want to have the gift that someone else has -- we are sure we could do it better.
I want to respond like Moses. I want to rejoice that the Lord has gifted all His people. I want to embrace the way the body of Christ works and be thrilled that He has equipped many to serve.
This is not a contest - this is a collaboration.
There is more than enough ministry out there for everyone. Let's cheer on our co-laborers and rest in the Lord's value of each one of us, His calling on each life and His wisdom in placing each one of us exactly where we need to be.
Let's be about raising up followers of Jesus,
not followers of self.
Let's point each one toward the Lord Jesus. It is critical that jealousy, competitiveness and criticism stay out of the body. They can literally kill the ministries of the church.
What if we chose to champion one anothers gifitngs?
What if we pray diligently for others
with our same gifting?
What if we chose to learn from and in turn
mentor others with our same gifting?
What if jealousy gave way to encouragement?
What if competition gave way to collaboration?
What if insecurity gave way to true belief
in our value to the Father?
Wow . . . What if?
"Every good thing and every perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, in whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." James 1:17
Rest assured, God knows what He is doing. He gifts every believer. Seek to know what He has given you and use it for the common good of the body. You will find more joy and fulfillment than you can imagine.