The summer months bring thoughts of fun and sun. There are activities that are part of the summer fun. One of those activities is Amusement Park fun. The anticipation of going to an amusement park brings about thoughts of specific noises, smells, and sites. The noises include the swish of a roller coaster and the accompanying screams; and the musical chime and melody of a merry-go-round. The smells include the sweet aroma of candy-coated apples; carnival hotdogs-on-a-stick or corn dogs; and french fries, fried dough, caramel popcorn, and cotton candy. The sites include games of chance; and games of skill and strength.
Some people go to amusement parks to just walk, look, and eat. Others go to amusement parks to ride the adrenalin-rides such as the roller coaster. The roller coaster generally has a height requirement. The height requirement is a safety regulation to protect riders. If you are not a certain height the ride operator will tell you, “You are not tall enough to ride this ride – there is a height requirement”.
There is also a “height requirement” for ministry positions. Those requirements are meant to protect a person from a dangerous pursuit that may end in disaster or death for that person or others. Let’s take a look at “A Height Requirement”
Theme: “A Height Requirement”
Read Scripture: Luke 14:11 says, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In ministry there are some activities and positions that look exciting and many are drawn to them. But, before determining that you will engage in the activity or take the position, you must consider if there is a height requirement. That statement may lead some people to think and quote the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me”. Yes! That is correct. But, the Bible also counsels and warns about engaging in activities or positions in which God has not “Called” you.
Jesus’ disciple Peter was impetuous and a thrill seeker. So, Jesus warned Peter about rushing into things and making statements based on feelings of excitement. In Matthew 26:33-36, “Peter said to Him [Jesus], “Even if all fall away on account of You, I never will.” [Jesus declared to Peter] “Truly I tell you, this very night before the rooster crows, you will deny Me [Jesus] three times.”…
In modern day vernacular Jesus was telling Peter, “You are not tall enough to ride this ride; there is a height requirement”. The height requirement Jesus spoke of included a calling, preparation, and God’s Plan. The calling Jesus spoke about was giving ones’ life for the sins of others. The preparation was a living faith that believed in Christ’s resurrection and gift of eternal life. God’s Plan was a lifting up on the Cross of Crucifixion. So, in Matthew 26:33, Peter had not experienced enough in his own ministry or in Christ’s ministry to make such bold statements.
In practical terms, those in ministry should not attempt to obtain a calling, position, or experiences that God has not yet prepared them. Ministry is a long distance run, not a sprint. So, take the time to experience the plateaus (progressively high points at each level of a mountain) of the ministry journey and not just immediately seek the summit (highest point of a mountain). In other words, Luke 14:11 says, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” So, take heed that you are responsible for humbling yourself and God is responsible for exalting you.