Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Exodus 17: 8-13
Moses was a great teacher about support systems! He didn’t necessarily develop the concept by himself, he was actually the recipient of quality management suggestion from his father-in-law when he was attempting to take on too much work.
So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What isthis thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?” Exodus 18:14
The advice from Jethro was to teach other leaders to take smaller cases while he took the larger ones, sort of like the supreme court system. With the new support system, Moses was able to manage his personal time effectively. Support systems are necessary for every person in ministry. Moses wasn’t called to ministry by himself, he had a support system that enabled him to be successful. Moses was not perfect, what he lacked he had in his support system, his brother Aaron. It was a team effort, God destroyed over 250 people just to prove it. God did more than pave the road ahead, He made a way only he could. Have no doubt ministers, God has called you and he can move obstacles out of your way for His glory and if He allows a thorn in your side, it is still for His glory. At the end of the day, God has your back!
Ministers are faced with battles just by preaching. While preaching, the enemy is fighting with words of doubt, anxiety, self-righteousness, memories of the past, and other distractions. This is the minister needs a support system praying.
Have you ever wondered why you are so tired after preaching? The devil has worked on you, but you prevailed by calling on the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the Amalekites rose up against the Israelites, they waited for the caravan in the rear to pass by before they attacked. They attempted to attack the weakest link. However, Israel had a strong leader that would not let his people go down without a fight. While he held up his rod, the Israelites would win with Joshua on the battlefield and Moses on the hill supporting with his hands up. Aaron and Hur became a support system for Moses and Joshua by holding up Moses’ arms so the team would receive the victory. It was a team of human and divine working together against spiritual and physical warfare. Ellen White denoted “Divine strength is to be combined with human effort” (EP 208).
Victories are won with great support systems. Who would Michael Jordan be without Scottie Pippen? Who would Stephen Curry be without Klay Thompson, or Kevin Durant? Tom Brady without Bill Belichick? Magic Johnson without James Worthy? Serena and Venus Williams without their dad to push them? Who is your support? Who are you supporting? Is there someone out there that feels like they are alone? How can they have a better support system to hold up their arms?
I thank God for friends and colleagues I can trust and confide in. I am thankful for a supportive family. This ministry is not supposed to be an individual effort! Build your team and know you have a captain that wants you to win! Stay encouraged minister of God. Know that God has not left you to fend for yourself. Jesus told Peter He is praying for him (Luke22:32) and He is doing the same for us. So as I end this, I pray the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind. At the end of the story, Jesus Always Wins!
Philip McGuire Wesley II is the pastor of Emmanuel SDA Church, Providence, Rhode Island and Mt. Olive SDA Church, New London, Connecticut.