When I was young, I felt God had given Moses a marvelous father-in-law. His suggestion to teach people the statutes and laws and organize them into various levels so that the pressure was off Moses seemed wise. Then one day I read a statement made by Watchman Nee that we need to consider the difference between God’s way and Jethro’s way. I was surprised. Wasn’t that what God wanted? Hadn’t Jesus also organized the five thousand people into groups when He distributed the fish and bread (Luke 9:14)?
I considered this matter for years. I eventually realized that many things can be done properly in the church life without God. God would rather things be messy with Him than proper without Him. Man’s way is to organize things so that they run efficiently. The Bible reveals that everything in the church life must be initiated by God. Are we able to see the difference? In one sense, there was nothing wrong with Jethro’s way, but in another sense, it was very wrong. The source of everything in the church life must be Christ alone. Man’s way, no matter how good it seems, must not be allowed to replace Christ’s headship in the church.
What God wants is what He wants, and God and we are often in totally different realms. Most Christians have a concept of what their service to the Lord should be. Church leaders may have great plans for their church’s future, yet what God wants may be very different. What God has in view and what we have in view often simply do not match. Jethro gave Moses good advice about how to handle God’s people, but Jethro was not God. God’s people had to be brought to God’s way.
Joshua had to learn the lesson that “right” things may not be right. God does not take delight in something just because it gives good results. A spiritual man realizes that God’s view is totally different from man’s.
Tomorrow: “No Other Gods”