by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Numbers 11:24–30
These young men were jealous for Moses’ role. They said, “Moses, you can’t let ’em get away with that. You’re the prophet. What are Eldad and Medad doing in there? Who do they think they are, prophesying like that? That’s your job.” So Joshua says, “General Moses, sir, put a stop to it.”
I love it that Moses is more broad-shouldered than that. He replies securely, without a hint of jealousy, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” (v. 29). Talk about unselfish. There wasn’t an ounce of jealousy or insecurity in that man of God.
Are you pursuing godliness? Do you want to count for Christ? Has God gifted you for service? If so, somewhere along the line, you will face the peril of jealousy, the feeling of being “indispensable” to some particular ministry. And some around you will plant seeds of jealousy in your heart that will tempt you to feel indispensable. You’ll think, What’s she doing up there? I could teach better than she. Or, You know, that man bears watching. He’s trying to take over. Everybody knows I’m the leader. Or, I can’t afford to step down. I started this organization. Ever heard those words or something similar? Ever said them yourself? Those are words of petty jealousy and proud indispensability.
Listen to me! Everybody can afford to step down if God’s enthroned. Some of the most jealous, suspicious people in the world are so-called Christian public figures enamored with their own press clippings. It’s vital to them that they drop the right names and be seen by the right people and have others think well of them. They crave fame. And God help the one whose fame crowds theirs!
You’re not indispensable. I’m not indispensable. Nobody is indispensable, except the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s the head. He’s the Preeminent One. He’s the founder. He’s in first place. And when He moves one out and brings in another or demotes one and sets up another, He calls the shots. That is His sovereign right. The problem arises when we get to thinking we’re sovereign. My friend, He put you where He wanted you. He gave you that job. He can take it away just as fast as He gave it. Faithfully do your work, lie low, and exalt Christ.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005).