Overstepping one’s calling and purpose assigned by God can cause strife, division, and discord – and based on its motivation, can lead to self-destruction. Numbers 16:1-18 tells the story of Korach, a Levite, and his followers who rose up against Moses. Acting out of envy and jealousy, Korach and his followers weren’t happy with the position that God had chosen for them, being in charge of the tabernacle, its structure and Holy vessels, a very important function in and of itself. You see, all that the Levites did was in support of and service to the Aaronic priests, who God gave the duty and honor of approaching the Holy alter to perform sacrifices. The High Priest could even enter into the Holy of Holies, where the ark of the covenant stood, a status that would certainly drive wicked hearts to envy. This is exactly what happened with Korach and his many followers, including Datan and Aviram, who were from the tribe of Reuben. They challenged the authority that God had given to Moses, accusing him of self-appointed glory seeking (Num 16:3), when in fact it was they who were guilty of what they were accusing Moses of. In doing so, they challenged God Himself. Moses never sought leadership but was chosen by God to lead. Korach was inflamed with jealousy and his selfish ambition created division and ‘sowed discord among the brethren’, one of the seven things that God hates (Pro 6:16,19) making himself an abomination to God. His punishment? death for him and every one of his followers by an earthquake swallowing them up or by their fire pans burning them alive. The word of God warns against self-aggrandizing ambition - “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16) and God will always have the last word.
Envy and selfish ambition cause all kinds of trouble in our personal lives, not only at home or at work, but also in congregations and fellowships as those who are neither qualified nor anointed vie for positions God never intended them to occupy. The current state of the church is a disaster and the reason why is that the church is full of people in leadership positions that God neither called, anointed or intended to be in such positions. But He, as always, will have the last word in the matter. I wear a gel bracelet on my wrist that says ‘Man of God’ and quotes Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” In the years since it was given to me by a pastor in Miami, after preaching in his church, it has come to have great prophetic meaning for me personally, for I have come to understand its meaning well: Be content with where you are and what I have given you at this time – and wait patiently for me. There *may* come a time for a different role in ministry for me – and there may not. For now, I’m am content with what the Lord has given me and wait at the ready in case He calls for further action. I guess the moral of this story is to stay in your own lane, content with what you know the Lord has called you for and no more - but be ready in season and out of season for an instant change. Be a minuteman for God.