Numbers 26:52-27:11; Luke 2:41-52; Psalms 61:4-8; Proverbs 16:18
NT: “Every year his parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When he was twelve years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival. After those days were over, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it… After three days, they found him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all those who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked them. “Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.” (Luke 2:41-43, 46-52 CSB)
At the age of 12, Jesus was already well-studied with a good understanding of the scriptures. He also had a compelling desire to be about the Lord’s business. The Jewish coming of age for boys (bar mitzvah) occurs at 13. Jesus was 12 and was still fully under the responsibility of His parents. Instead of chasing after His calling at His earliest compelling, He submitted to His earthly parents, returned to Nazareth, and increased in wisdom and stature. One thing that I often see in the church, especially with young men or women who feel called to leading worship, is a stronger commitment to their “calling” than obedience to the Lord. Once they get a sense of what they may be called to, they barge in and out-kick their coverage, instead of trusting the Lord, embracing His process, and submitting to His timeline. Obviously, Jesus, at the age of 12 had a good understanding of His calling. He was also obviously anointed for the call and incredibly gifted – to the point that He held the professionals of His day in amazement. Yet, it wasn’t time. There was more the Father needed to do in Him before He was released to ministry. There was more maturing that needed to occur. There was more life that Jesus needed to experience as a young man. So instead of barging in on His calling, He humbled Himself, submitted to The Father, and remained obedient to His parents. 18 years later, He was fully released. While it is true that God can use anyone at anytime, we must always be wary of out kicking our coverage and extending ourselves beyond our current level of grace.
Proverbs: “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18 CSB)
Among many things that pride leads us to do, it causes us to think more highly of ourselves that we ought. It causes us to trust more in “our anointing” than in the grace supplied by the Lord as we submit to Him. It causes us to be more committed to our calling than obedience to the Lord and trusting in His timing. Arrogance leads us to believe that we have everything we need to pursue our calling, and we don’t need the input of those who have gone before us so that we can stand on their shoulders and reach higher than we can on our own. God does not grace the proud. He only graces the humble – so no matter how “anointed” you may be, that anointing will only get you so far without God’s grace and the safety that is found in submitting to God and good and Godly counsel. So, as the Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time.” Otherwise, you are headed for a fall.