Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Acts 1:21-26;
Following the tragic end of Judas Iscariot, a vacancy was created in the office of the twelve Apostles. There were at this time in the early Church about one hundred and twenty disciples patiently waiting at the upper room for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. By general consensus, the Apostles decided it was time to fill the vacancy without caring to know what the mind of God was about the matter. On their own volition, they appointed two brethren, Barsabas and Matthias who according to Apostle Peter had been with them since the day of the Lordís physical presence. They presented these men to God to indicate His choice between them.
From the selection process anchored by the Apostles, it appears one of the key considerations was how long the candidate to be appointed to fill the vacancy had been with them. The Apostles did not realize that God does not confer divine mandate on anyone on the account of how long he has been a Christian or a member of the Church. As a matter of fact, Godís choice of men in matters of the kingdom has absolutely nothing to do with long years of service! The Apostles relied on carnal method of selection.
It is obvious the Apostles did not give room to God at all in the selection process. Although it is on record they waited on the Lord in prayers to lay the foundation of the process, unfortunately, they stood in the way of God and began to use their head to complete the process! They actually began the process in the Spirit but ended it in the flesh. It is therefore not surprising that no significant achievements were recorded against the man that emerged from their selection process. Matthias was their choice, not Godís!
Another costly mistake the Apostles made was that they prayed but never waited to listen to what the Lord would have to say. If the Apostles had waited for the Lord to reveal His mind, they would have been able to establish that neither of the two men presented was Godís choice; they would have given up their carnal method and patiently waited for the man God was preparing for the assignment. In actual fact, they would have heard the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit affirming that the part taker of the Apostleship (Saul of Tarsus who later became Paul) was about to be Ďborn out of due timeí. Unfortunately, the Apostles were not sensitive to discern the mind of God, they went ahead to choose with their heads and simple majority vote.
It is foolishness and self deceit of the highest order for anyone to seek Godís guidance or direction in a matter and at the same time dictate to Him the way and manner he or she should be led! This appears to be what the Apostles displayed in their selection process. They seemed to have restricted God to speaking through the lot-casting process they opted for; they did not give the Lord any opportunity to lead them His own way.
No one can do Godís work with his head and achieve the divine purpose. When we rely on carnal methods for selecting and commissioning men into the works of the ministry, we tend to frustrate Godís work rather than further it! As Godís servants and ministers, one important decision we must make is never to adopt the worldís method in running the kingdom assignments. It is hi time we gave up all human and carnal selection processes and methods which hitherto have been adopted by the church after the manner of the world. The errors resulting from our faulty and self-styled selection process are costing the Church of Christ a lot. We must be reminded that it is the Lord that gives the divine mandate to whosoever He wills.
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other menís sins: keep thyself pure. I Timothy 5:22;
Godís men of exploits are not self appointed; their calling is solely of God. Every one selected or appointed by men and human methods will certainly lack Godís divine mandate and will not prosper in His program and purpose.
By Ezekiel Olukolajo
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