Stay Within Your Limits
Posted by Pastor Sean Moore on February 22, 2011 | 3 Comments
“Not that we have the audacity to venture to class or even to compare ourselves with some who exalt and furnish testimonials for themselves! However, when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely. We … will keep within the limits of our commission which God has allotted us as our measuring line and which reaches and includes even you. We do not boast therefore, beyond our proper limit … but we have the hope and confident expectation that as your faith continues to grow, our field among you may be greatly enlarged, still within the limits of our commission.” 2 Corinthians 10:12-13, 15 (AMP)
As ministers we need to be careful not to compare ourselves with other ministers and our ministries with other ministries. We are all working for the same purpose within the body of Christ. The body does not consist of one member, but is comprised of many members—each with different functions. When we compare ourselves with one another, we hinder our own capabilities as individuals and deprive the rest of the body of what God has equipped us to supply.
Knowing Your Limits
The Apostle Paul recognized the “limits of his commission.” When Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, He revealed to Paul what his limits were. Paul’s commission was to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter was entrusted to proclaim the gospel to the Jews. Both, Paul and Peter, were called to be apostles, but due to the differences in their assignments, they could not determine the success of their ministries by what the other was doing.
Likewise, God made a promise to Joshua. After Moses passed, God said to Joshua, “every place the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you” (Joshua 1:3 KJV). He told him no man would be able to stand before him all the days of his life.
In Joshua 1:4 (KJV) the Lord gave Joshua the limits of his commission:
“From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your coast.”
Within these limits, Israel was unstoppable. When we hold fast to the specific instructions God has given us—without altering our course because of what others are doing—we, too, are unstoppable.
Even Jesus during His earthly ministry understood the limits of His commission. In Matthew 15:21-28 Jesus was approached by a woman whose daughter was grievously vexed by a devil, He told her He was only sent to the lost house of Israel.
Today, in Heaven, Jesus can minister to anyone in the world. However, while He was here on the Earth as a man anointed by God, He ministered to the group of people He was assigned to. Jesus was so effective at what He did because He honored the boundaries the Father gave Him in ministry.
Enlarged in Your Limits
The word got out that Jesus baptized more disciples than John. Jesus got credit for this, but He never baptized anyone, His disciples did. His commission was not to baptize with water unto repentance, but with the Holy Ghost and fire. Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. Can you imagine what it would be like to have a promise from God regarding your ministry that you know will not be fulfilled until after you leave the earth? Jesus knew what it was like to put His desires on hold until the time appointed from the Father. As His disciples baptized people, there had to be moments when Jesus wanted to participate, but He knew He had to respect the limits of His commission.
Some ministers, even though they would never admit it, have a hard time seeing other ministers surpass them in ministry. As a result, they end up competing with other ministers and isolating themselves attempting to prove they are anointed too, instead of just learning and gleaning from them.
In John 3:26-27 (AMP) the Bible says,
“So they came to John and reported to him, Rabbi, the Man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan … and to whom you yourself have borne testimony notice, here He is baptizing too, and everybody is flocking to Him!
John answered, ‘A man can receive nothing ... except as it has been granted to him from heaven. [A man must be content to receive the gift which is given him from heaven; there is no other source.]
We can see in this passage the enemy attempting to stir up the competition between the people in Jesus’ camp and the people in John’s camp. The focus amongst the people shifted from water baptism to who was water baptizing the most people. Even though John expressed his need to decrease, so that Jesus could increase, John’s disciples had an issue with how many people Jesus’ disciples were baptizing and how many people were flocking to Him. John explained to his people that they must be content to receive what Heaven has granted them. John’s followers wanted him to extend beyond the limits of his commission because they believed in him and his ministry. Their hearts were in the right place, but their aspirations for John were not what God wanted for him.
There may be people around you who recognize the anointing on your life and urge you to get involved in a variety of different things. You must stay focused on your specific tasks without feeling obligated to take on all of the challenges of the world. Do not play the numbers game. You don’t have to be the biggest in order to be your best. You just have to stay in your lane and allow God to enlarge you within the limits of your commission.
This article is written by Pastor Sean Moore
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