Select Wisdom Brand

Passing the Baton

Deuteronomy 3:23-26
“And I pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying, ‘O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ But the LORD was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me.”

Moses shares the same strength and corresponding weakness that all great leaders possess: he simply wants to do it all. That doesn’t mean he’s a control freak—far from it. In fact, we’ve witnessed him in the past receive wise counsel from his father-in-law by delegating responsibilities to other godly men in the assembly. He isn’t the sort of man who needs control, He’s the sort who bears responsibility—and that’s a big distinction. He feels the heavy weight of leadership bearing down on his shoulders, feels the anguish of his own shortcomings, and desires to get back up and keep going again stronger than ever. He’s not the type to throw in the towel. And because of all he’s achieved through years of faithful service, because he’s delivered these pilgrims this far, because he’s been the God-appointed guy for a generation, he wants more than anything to step foot over that Jordan River as a bookend to his illustrious career. It’s sort of the finish line for a long, arduous, cross-country marathon. And let’s be honest: he deserves to cross that river more than anyone else.

The wonderful thing about God-given vision is that the production comes in stages, but the difficult thing for us is that we don’t live long enough to see the fruit of our labor. There will come a point in all our lives, as parents and mentors and ministers where God will ask us to step down and give someone else the staff. And that’s the paradox of Christ’s great commission to “make disciples,” because the test of our personal success is in our reproduction. Only when we pour our ministerial selves into somebody else, mentoring them till they’re capable of rising to our place, and taking over in our stead, have we completed our great commission.