Numbers 27:15 And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying,
16 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,
17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.
This passage is speaking about when Joshua was called and anointed to be the leadership of the children of Israel and lead them into the promised land. In our illustration we will use it as a launching pad for the needs of a Pastor, to be allowed to be the leader and voice of God for the management of the congregation, and gathering people into it.
As a leader, a called Pastor was to be the voice of God, whom God would use to see His will done through His people.
Today, in the modern church, we have a Pastor; anointed by God to lead a local congregation. This leadership goes with a charge go into the highways and hedges to bring them in (the lost) into the fold (church) so they are no longer without guidance and leadership.
I would note that this is becoming more of a challenge each day and year as the sheep are finding other spirits to lead them. Now we are not the only voice speaking, or even at times the loudest one. Competition with the souls of this world is fierce, if we do not recognize this challenge the we are doomed to fall short in our local churches and ministries.
The Spirit of this world
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
This worldly spirit produces works of the flesh:
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
These works of the flesh draw people to them, sometimes because God’s people are more concerned with what happens inside the church building, that the fields we were called to harvest.
The world is lost like sheep without a Shepherd
The world is often identified as sheep, and God makes this comparison wisely, and accurately.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The rebellious nature in society today is such a powerful force. It has made it fashionable to be rebellious. In fact all anyone needs to do lately is make a stand for something, and the world will rally in rebellion against it. This passage says “we have turned everyone to his own way”, simply not God’s way. From a child we see untamed rebellion being nurtured by society with this: you can be whatever you want to be or identify as, mentality. It screams Romans chapter 1:
Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
In the absence of the truth the world will LISTEN TO WHOEVER IS SPEAKING, and take it as the truth.
A local Pastor is the Shepherd that God set to help bring them in
Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
The voice of the church in the community MUST be the voice of truth, available and ready. With as many churches we have in this country, if we were to stand behind a singular voice and a singular message, delivered by faithful men of God; more concerned about souls rather than the size of the building they preach in… we would begin to see the world’s spirits to be nothing more than a tempting whisper to those who are rebellious or weak.
However, we hid the gospel behind closed doors.
2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
It is time to come out from withing the walls of the church and go into the highyays and hedges and compel them to come in.
Stop undermining the authority of the Pastor
Part of this rebellious mindset is to look at the Pastor of the local church as more of a moral position rather that a spiritual leader. Placing ourselves under the leadership of the local Pastor is part of God’s organization of the church.
1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
We need to find those lost sheep and bring them in
Everyone has a friend, neighbor or family member that is lost without Jesus. God’s desire is that we bring them in to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and become saved. We are the outreach of the Pastor, his extension from the pulpit to the community.
Essentially, God speaks through the Pastor, the Pastor speaks through us.
When we are faithful to God’s method we can receive God’s message. We then take this message to the community to be the voice that is more powerful than the voice of the world. We can then bring them in, see them saved, disciples and sent out to bring MORE in…