Ordination

antelope-425161_640Leviticus 8:33: And you shall not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for it will take seven days to ordain you.

Ordination to become a priest is a seven-day affair. And the number seven is the number of rest (Genesis 2:2). Those who will serve God must operate by the spirit of rest. Jesus called his yoke the yoke of rest (Matthew 11:28-30). In the book of Ezekiel, the priest, the sons of Zadok, were not to bind themselves with anything that will cause them to sweat. They were not to sweat (be stressed in any way) in the process of serving God (Ezekiel 44:18).

That, in the New Testament order, is called grace. Paul said that what he did in ministry was by the grace of God (1Corinthians 15:10). Grace is the divine ability operational in man. Jesus was the epitome of grace, who only did what the father permitted/enabled him to (John 5:19).

That was displayed in the raising up of Lazarus from the dead (John 11). Before he died Mary and Martha his sisters sent to Jesus to come and raise him up from the dead. But he refused to be moved just by human emotion, or by the demand of the people or by their need.

Remember this was Lazarus who the bible says Jesus loved as a friend. Lazarus was his close friend. He would be the person that Jesus will try his best not to allow to die when it comes to natural emotions.

But Jesus does not run on human emotion but on divine instruction. He understood the fact that as a man he does not live by bread alone (which is linked to human emotion) but should live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Our life is fuelled by giving pleasure to God. It is clear that is the reason we were created. In the book of Revelation, we read: thou hart worthy oh Lord to receive glory honour and might for you have created all things and for thy pleasure they are and are created (Revelation 4:11). We are made for his pleasure, we run on giving God pleasure, not ourselves. It is not about what makes us feel good but what makes God feel good.

Paul was in a situation where he was not feeling good. Certain things he was encumbered with were irritating him (a thorn in the flesh) and he prayed to God as one ordained for his work, that a thorn in the flesh will be removed from him (2Corinthians 12:7-10).

Jesus answered him, my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weaknesses. He was meant to run on the grace of God, not on human emotions, good or bad. He was to follow the example of his Lord who in the garden of gethsemane prayed three times (Matthew ), just as Paul prayed three times that a “thorn” be removed from his side.

Jesus prayed: let this cup pass over me (the cup of his death on the cross) for the sin of man, which was coupled with estrangement from the father in a first in eternity. He however added: not my will but yours be done.

The man ordained for the service of God, as all Christians are, must run (be fuelled by) on the will of God. Jesus told his disciples: “I have meat to eat you do not know of. Since I am ordained for the service of the father, my meat is to do his will and carry out his assignment, and fulfil his work (John 4:32-34).” In another place he said that he must work the work of him who sent him, while it is day, the night comes when no man can work (John 9:1-5). The ordained do not serve themselves, they serve God.

A time of ordination is a shift from one level of usefulness to the other. And that ordination could be organised or not. In an example of unorganised ordination, in Acts 13, the Holy Spirit spoke asking for the separation of Paul and Barnabas to the task they have been asked to do. They were launched into the apostolic ministry.

An ordination moves you into a new level of usefulness. From the time of encounter that Moses had with God who manifested as burning bush, his slow moving life was radically transformed. Forty years prior to that encounter, Moses was out in the wilderness tending sheep (Exodus 3), but when he was ordained, he was equipped with supernatural signs and wonders, to carry out the new assignment he has from God.

At his ordination, he got a divine mission, he got a revelation of God. He told God, now that you are sending me to the Israelites to bring them out of bondage to Egypt, how do I introduce you to them. God revealed to him that he is “I am that I am.” Every new level from God needs a new revelation of him. Moses needed to also to have a new view of himself, because of the new role he was to take on, the mission he is to carry out.

Elisha’s ordination happened when he saw Elisha taken up to heaven (2Kings 2:1-15). It was not an organised ordination. Earlier he got to the call to follow Elijah (1Kings 19:16-21), and got the reputation as one who pours water on the hands of Elijah (2Kings 3:11).

The call therefore is not the ordination. Because you are called by God does not means you should immediately step out to carry out the mission. You may need to be trained, tested and prepared. At the age of 12 Jesus was already full of the notion of going about his father’s business (Luke 2:49), but his ordination came at the age of 30, when the heavenly father, so to speak, ordained him, releasing him to give a greater authority by the Holy Spirit, increasing his visibility in Israel by supernatural signs and wonders.

However, an ordination also comes with a higher level of consecration. Note that the ordination of Jesus at the river Jordan was followed by forty days of fasting (Matthew 3:16-4:3, Luke 4:1-2, 14).

Ordination is about coming to the limelight from obscurity, from private involvement/engagement to carry out a divine mandate. Amos, talking about his ordination, said that he was just a businessman, a tender of Sycamore trees, when God called him to prophecy to his people Israel (Amos 7:14-15).

Also when Jeremiah was ordained, God spoke to him that he has put his word in his mouth (Jeremiah 1:1-5), and he was going to be sent to the high and mighty in the land and through his prophecy nations will crash down, while others will come up, his quiet life was all over and he would be at the centre of events from then on.

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