Nobody to Blame but Me

EphraimitesPreachers deserving a pulpit and singers deserving the stage can be feeling the same sense of entitlement as the sappy teenager who thinks he should get paid for waking up in the morning.

Your ministry call does not entitle you to a ministry platform. The call is real, and it’s a driving force, and that’s the problem: a driving force without an outlet causes offence that can run for generations.

Ephraim was called to be the leading warrior tribe of Israel, but felt the other tribes didn’t really give him a chance.

When Israel entered the promised land, Ephraim complained, “This land you have allotted us is too small because we are greater than the other tribes.” Joshua answered, “No problem, God promised you would be the greatest tribe, here, take these forests, there are giants living there, but you are anointed to be the great warrior tribe, you can defeat them and have the best land of all.” Ephraim didn’t do it, maybe he thought, “Joshua should kill the giants for us, and clear the land, and build the houses.” I’m jumping to conclusions, but you’ll see…

Years later, when Gideon fought the Midianites, he chased them to the Jordan river and called Ephraim to come down from his mountains to help finish them off. Ephraim rose to his warrior calling and killed the remaining princes and troops of Midian. But he was angry, and reprimanded Gideon sharply, “Why didn’t you call us to the battle in the first place?” There it is, that sense of entitlement, and it’s driven by God’s calling. A better question would be “Why didn’t you rise up in your calling and protect Israel in the first place instead of leaving it to Gideon the farmer?” But Gideon was like a good pastor, turning away the wrath of Ephraim’s entitlement by answering softly with some random praise about how wonderful the grapes are up there on the mountains of Ephraim.

A generation later, Jephthah, the Judge of Israel, called on the great army of Ephraim to help defeat the Ammonites. The Ephraimites didn’t show, and afterward complained of being excluded from the important victory. They became so angry that they turned and attacked Jephthah and the men of Gilead – on the grounds that these leaders were living off the Ephraimites. Wow, the guy who won’t act on his calling is accusing his leaders of his own sin.

Later in history, Amaziah, king of Judah hired the Eapraimites for 100 shekels of silver to help him fight a battle. But before they could lift a sword, God told Amaziah to send the Ephraimites home with full pay. That was a sweet deal! But instead of being thankful, they went crazy and ravaged Amaziah’s undefended cities on their way home, killing 3,000 helpless relatives. Why? Because their calling needed a release and they were’t willing to find their own battle.

Have you noticed how an unreleased, unfulfilled call of God will make a person ugly, mean, and crazy? King Saul was so tormented by the prophetic gift on his life that he hired young David to play harp music in an attempt to displace the spirit of prophecy!

Ephraim should have been out picking fights with the enemy instead of pouting at home, blaming others for his lack of success.

Why didn’t Ephraim show up at the beginning, instigating the battles, as he was called and anointed to do? For them, the call of God was about their pride rather than their destiny.

Here’s Ephraim:
1. Blaming others for their lack of success.
2. Attacking leaders as a release of ministry drive.
3. Acting after the fact and pretending it’s the real ministry.

Here’s the heart fix:
1. Take responsibility for your own lack of opportunity.
2. Join your leaders in attacking the common enemy.
3. Be driven by vision rather than by reputation.

If there are any Ephraimites reading this, before you go blaming me, or your ancestors… many of us have broken that generational curse and done great things – it’s an individual choice.

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One response to “Nobody to Blame but Me

  1. wow.. interesting history lesson and from an interesting perspective. ahhh very interesting! (smile) While at Karen Wheaton’s Women’s Ramp I picked up a book by I think Bob Sorge.. on Envy. Its a tough read and I am only to chapter 3. Music has always been a big draw for me.. and I love Praise and Worship– but oh my the covetousness that is rampant in that area of ministry is wild. I bet it is in others as well. I knew I always have had to bless those that God has promoted above me and seek Him and not just a platform. Its not easy- and really it is a constant reminder that my flesh must die, my desires are not to be worshipped. On the other hand, I like what you said about seeking out your own platform. If there really is that anointing on your life- then go on and explore it – don’t wait for it to come to you. (which is what I did for way to long– thinking it was being patient and humble).. seeking out the platform– seeing if it is there for you… is a lot of what Paul did… he never waited for someone to call him to come.. He went.. and the Holy Spirit had to tell him to stop. The truth of it is no one wants to ‘hand over’ what they have toiled and sweated for to someone who just shows up!

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