The following is a description of the qualifications possessed by the men whom God used:
Moses renounced Egypt and the world and separated himself. “Hide thyself with God before showing thyself. The closet decided the success on the platform.” He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughters, choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season. He esteemed the reproach of Christ as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith, he forsook Egypt (see Hebrews 11:24-27). The man whom God used to display His power in the Exodus was the man who spent forty years in the wilderness. To be a disciple one must take up his cross and follow. God demands and expects the same characteristics from those whom He will use today.
Note the character and qualification of the priest’s love (see Leviticus 8). Consider the physical qualifications in Leviticus 21. These would equate with moral and spiritual qualifications today. None with any blemish could serve or offer the bread of God (see 2 Timothy 2). One with a broken foot and broken hand could not serve God. Neither can anyone serve today whose walk is questionable, and whose service is impaired with sin. A dwarf was not allowed to serve. A dwarf is one who has not developed properly. Despite this admonition, there are many who are dwarfs spiritually, though giants intellectually, who are seeking to serve God. Examples are those with light, but no life - form, but no power.
Consider what God does with those men who meet His moral requirements in Leviticus 8. First of all, they were cleansed (see Leviticus 8:6). They were washed with water. Secondly, they were clothed (see Leviticus 8:7-9, 13). They were suitably attired for God’s service. The cleansing and the clothing took care of their outward appearance. Thirdly, there was sacrifice and the application of the blood to the tip of the priest’s right ear, upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot. Fourthly, their hands were filled (see Leviticus 8:27-29). Finally, they were anointed with oil (see Leviticus 8:30).
This is a beautiful picture of the present process, which God uses to prepare His servants for His service. First, there is the cleansing by blood and the washing by water. Then, there is the anointing with blood, which was consecration of the total man. Thirdly, there is the anointing with oil, corresponding to the filling of the Spirit. Fourthly, there is the filling of the hands, which is service for God. Fifthly, there is a life of separation. God can really use only men with such qualifications.
Another example of this principle is seen in the character of Daniel and the three Hebrew children (see Daniel 1). There was no blemish in any of these. They also purposed in their heart not to defile themselves with the king’s food. The result of their total abandonment to the will of God was that God used them mightily in His service. [Describe Daniel’s service]
See the example of Paul in Philippians 3:7-14. See also how John leaned on the Savior’s breasts. Note the result in his writings. Consider also the men whom God used to build the Tabernacle (see Exodus 31). There were others who had similar qualifications; these were the men God used to build His earthly house. God is still particular as to who should build His church (see Acts 6). Beloved, this principle has never been rescinded and God demands the same high standard from those who would serve Him today.
“I have called.
I have filled him with the Spirit of God.
Filled him with wisdom.
Filled him with understanding.
Filled him with all knowledge.”
See Romans 6:13 and Romans 12:12. According to Webster’s dictionary and others, the meaning of commitment is, “a handing over; it is a yielding—a surrender; it is the giving of a binding pledge.” The full implication of this commitment is experienced by a choice, and then a decision. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice.” “Yield yourselves to God.” The commitment of Mary’s life is a yielded life that is surrendered, relinquished, crucified, and delivered up. Romans 6:13 says, “Yield yourselves to God.” On the pathway to complete surrender, we must first learn the principle of being dead to the world, the flesh, and the devil. Secondly, the yielded believer has volitionally withdrawn the members of his body from the service of sin. See Hebrews 12:1-3. Thirdly, the committed believer has yielded himself to God. This yielding is a once for all decision. It is a calculated and deliberate choice, a handing over of oneself in an intelligent and decisive manner.
As we surrender, we swing wide the door of our life to receive and distribute the outpouring of God’s presence and power. Romans 6:13 presents the believer with a challenge and leaves him with a choice. You may commit your life to Him now. In this audience there are those who have committed themselves and those who have not. Think for a moment of the possibilities of such a commitment.
Isaiah said, “Here am I send me.”
Jesus said, “As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you.”
Paul said, “What wilt Thou have me to do?”
Jesus also said, “Not My will but Thine be done.”
The committed life is the life that God wants all of His children to have. It is an abundant life, which is of superior quality - a life that is not constricted, but overflowing. Therefore, when one yields or commits one’s life, it is by deliberate choice to Christ as Lord and Master. The committed life is a dedicated life (see Romans 12:1-2). Our commitment is seen in our dedication.
Consecration is a filling of the hands with service unto the Lord. This can be seen in David’s call to the nation. The Levites, at 25 years, began serving an apprenticeship. At 30 years, they were devoted entirely to the Lord’s service. The Lord is our perfect example. As the perfect Servant, He served God, even to death on the Cross. (See John 4:32, 34; John 17:4; The Psalms and Hebrews, “I come to do Thy Will.”) In Romans 12:1, Paul urges each believer to commit his body to the Lord, in an unbridled, unblemished, and unbiased sacrifice to serve Him. Beloved, again, this is a volitional surrender. Consider how Ruth interacted with Naomi. This commitment is of the total man. It involves the intellect, the emotion, and the will. It involves the spirit, soul, and body. Consider the following lyrics of a well-known song:
“Take my life,
Take my hands,
Take my feet,
Take my voice,
Take my lips,
Take my silver and my gold,
Take my love my God I pour,
At Thy feet its treasure store,
Take myself and I will be
Ever only all for Thee.”
The Apostle Paul
Paul is a good example of commitment. On the Damascus road he yielded his life to the Lord and said, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” On subsequent occasions he describes himself as a “bond slave of Jesus Christ.” As a slave, he had no rights; he belonged to the Lord in spirit, soul, and body. His ear had been bore through with God’s awe. He was branded for Christ. “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (see Galatians 6:17). His total commitment to Jesus Christ took him to a Roman prison, but he was a prisoner of Jesus Christ, never of Rome. His prison experiences were part of God’s perfect will for him. With firm conviction that the circumstance that sought to overwhelm him was the will of God for him, he lived abundantly and victoriously. He used his circumstances to serve God and preach the Gospel (see Philippians 1:13).
Let us now look at the New Testament qualifications of the servants of God. Acts 6:3 says to look at men of good report; men filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Beloved, these are the standards God demands from His servants. Seven men were chosen at this critical period; each one met the divine standard. The first martyr is given special mention (see Acts 6:5). Before there could be this blessed spiritual condition, there had to be the art of full surrender, a complete abandonment of all personal and selfish interests. We cannot say, “Permit me first to go and bury my father.” Nor can we say, “I have bought a piece of ground. I have bought five yoke of oxen. I have married a wife.”
The result of the ministry of spiritually qualified, equipped and empowered men was two-fold (1) The Word of God increased and it became precious (see Acts 6:7). The believers read it, believed and obeyed. Both Church history and Old Testament history showed that every revival began with a return to the Word. (2) The number of disciples multiplied, and a great number of the priests believed. This is what triggered the great persecutions that took the lives of many church leaders and many of God’s dear people. The Church in Jerusalem entrusted Barnabas to investigate the happenings at Antioch. He had certain qualifications (see Acts 11:24). He was a righteous man. He was filled with faith and the Holy Spirit. This was the man God used to carry the Gospel into the uttermost parts. To be filled with the Spirit is a prime essential for any true servant of God.
The Lord’s statement to His disciples and, subsequently, to those who would serve Him in the 20th century was revealed in Acts 1:8. It says, “Tarry, wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father.” See Acts 1-4. Acts 1:8 says, “When He is come upon you, ye shall receive power. Then ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” This is God’s command and this is God’s order. First, there is the filling of the Spirit and then the witnessing in the power of the Spirit. [Describe the change in the apostles and believers after they received the filling of the Spirit]