“So, if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once – if I have found favor in Your sight…” Numbers 11:15
How does kill me at once and finding favor in the sight of God go together in the same sentence, or better yet, in the same thought pattern? Well, it was clear that Moses, again, found himself in leadership overload which always leads to – I’m fed up with Your people!
There’s never been a time in my life as a leader, both in the marketplace and the Church, that the weight of responsibility converges with the will to responsibly love the people.
Would I let the people’s untimely ask, and my inability to responsibly fulfill it, cause me to become embittered towards the people I once loved – the day before? Would I allow my now exposed lack of capacity frustrate me to the point of being willing to die – or in many cases leave the ministry, at minimum bailout on the people I once believed God called me to lead and serve?
Yes. Again we find in Numbers 11:1-9, God’s chosen people throwing a grade-school temper-tantrum, this time over meat. What was Moses expecting? Yet the burden of his responsibility to care for the people began to overwhelm him. Let’s look further at Numbers 11:11-14 to see how he responds under the weight of his lack of capacity:
11 So Moses said to the LORD, “Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? 12 “Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’? 13 “Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ 14 “I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me.
We find Moses here feeling that his calling is now too hard and burdensome. He shifts his responsibility onto God as the Conceiver of all the people and that he himself is tired of nursing all of His infants. And not to mention, where will he ever find meat for all these people that don’t belong to him?
But the greatest find here is Moses’ concession that he alone is not able to carry all the people. We as leaders will always succumb to the weight of our calling to lovingly care for God’s people. We will naturally look towards the people who are causing the weight or complaining for results. Nevertheless we must learn to look towards a less obvious group of people – those who can help us carry the load.
No matter what position or stage of leadership God has you in today, He has also provided you the help you need to carry out your daily tasks while simultaneously caring for and commissioning the people He has called you to lead. I believe Numbers 11:16-17 gives 5 tips to help you target your help and even learn to trust them.
5 Ways to Find and Trust The Help You Need
1. START LOOKING
The Lord said therefore to Moses, Gather for Me seventy men… (16a).
There is no apparent transition in time here. When Moses stops speaking, God said start gathering – looking. This gives me confidence that our help is already amongst us. We must humbly open our eyes (hearts) to see what He sees. Pray to the Lord of the harvest and He will provide laborers for His harvest.
2. START WITH WHO YOU KNOW
…whom you know to be the elders and their officers… (16b)
It’s very easy to get sidetracked with the titles “elders” and “officers” but let’s focus more on the—whom you know. Let me ask you, whom do you know? If you really don’t know the people you lead, you will never know who can help you lead. In any healthy organization, leaders are developed from those who were once followers. Weren’t you once a follower?
3. BRING THEM TO IMPORTANT PLACES
…and bring them to the tent of meeting… (16c)
To prepare your help and to prepare you for your help, it is vital that you bring them with you to important places. How can they understand the weight unless they are with you? Bring them to speaking engagements. Bring them to hospital and home visits. Bring them to funerals and to the bedside of the dying. Bring them to your tent where you meet God – let them hear you humbly pray and let them hear you weep before God Almighty!
4. LET THEM STAND WITH YOU
…and let them take their stand there with you… (16d)
By this time you should have developed a safe level of trust. You know what they have seen, heard, and have been taught by you – because they’ve been with you. So, give them an opportunity to stand with you! Start sharing the responsibility. When you normally pray at a bedside, let them have the privilege. When you’re overseeing a funeral, baby dedication, or wherever you can start sharing the load – start sharing it!
5. TRUST THE HOLY SPIRIT
Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them… (17)
There is one sure thing as a leader – the Holy Spirit can use us all! Just as He uses us as leaders, He can use those we lead to become those who can help bear the burden with us. Allow the Holy Spirit His space to work in and through the people He has …whom you know to be the elders and their officers… (16b) to help you. Trusting Him will help you trust them!
Today, you like me may have a high capacity to do many things at once, or maybe you’ve already reached and exceeded your capacity. No matter the place any of us are at, we still all have minimal capacity to capably care for God’s people. We are simply not God, nor will we ever be! We will always need help bearing the eternal weight of spirit led leadership. Let us all commit to allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us to those who can help us lead God’s people to more of Him.