B. Identity & Calling
The Levites were chosen by God, and designated by name for service.
1 Chronicles 16:41 tells us, “With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and expressly named to give thanks to the Lord…”. Their calling was determined by God, from birth – they served as Levites because … they WERE Levites! What they did had to do with who they were.
Ours is also a calling by the choosing of the Lord, not of our own determination. Jesus told his disciples in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you, …”. Being called to serve the Lord and His people in leading worship is who you are, not just what you do.
It’s not a man-chosen profession, but rather a God-ordained expression.
In Leviticus 8, Aaron and his sons were sprinkled with anointing oil, to signify their separation to their particular service in the House of God. God anoints, or empowers us to do what He’s called us to do.
In Romans 12:3-8, Paul says that we are not to think more highly of ourselves than we should, but rather give ourselves humbly to serving one another with the gifts God has given us for that purpose. We are not called to serve because we’re gifted, we’re gifted because we’re called to serve.
The gifts we have were given to us by the grace of God as part of the empowerment we need to play the part He designed us to play. Each with different measure, making full use of the measure we’ve been given.
We aren’t “special” because we have gifts!
God has not bestowed these natural and spiritual abilities on us so that others can admire us, as though we created or obtained them on our own. Rather, we are all gifted by God to be able to humbly serve in the place He has called us to, in order to build up the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:16).
God appoints us to do the tasks He’s called us to do.
In John 15:16, Jesus said to his disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit…”, just prior to fulfilling his earthly mission and sending them to fulfill theirs.
The anointing of God empowers us to serve. The appointing of God authorizes us to serve in a specific role. Leaders, who recognize God’s anointing on our lives, echo that God-ordination, separating and authorizing those who are called to serve to their place of service.
We are not able to serve effectively without God’s anointing. Neither are we able to serve rightfully without the appointing of the Lord, effected by the appointing of the leaders He’s joined us to.
Some examples of this earthly appointing in the lives of the Levites:
• Levites were appointed by clan and by name to specific duties by Moses and Aaron.
Numbers 3:6-9 Appointed to attend to the needs of Aaron, attend to the work of the tabernacle.
Numbers 3:25-4:33 Prescribed duties regarding the moving of the tabernacle.
• Levites were appointed to specific duties by David and leaders of Israel.
1 Chronicles 6:31-48 Appointed over the service of song, after the ark came to rest in the tent David erected to house it. (also 1 Chronicles 15:17-22).
1 Chronicles 16:4-6 Appointed to minister before the ark of the Lord. They were assigned to the specific duty of commemorating, thanking, and praising the Lord, using stringed instruments, harps, cymbals, and trumpets.
1 Chronicles 16:37-43 Appointed both to serve in the Tabernacle of David and to continue to offer sacrifices in the Tabernacle of Moses.
• Levites appointed to their posts by Solomon.
2 Chronicles 8:14 Appointed, per David’s earlier instructions, to offer praise, and to serve the priests as required each day.
In all of these biblical examples, the Levites did not authorize their own service. Their God-appointing was only realized when their leaders assigned them to their serving roles. Even though they had resident within them a passion for God’s name, were designated by name, called from birth, and anointed with heaven’s empowerment to serve, rightful ministry required earthly authorization.
We often see highly gifted individuals, especially in the area of music and worship, who have effectively appointed themselves to their serving roles. Their ministry is self-authorized, unsubmitted to earthly leaders, and therefore not in order according to the instruction and example of scripture.
If God has gifted you, and you are willing to obediently and humbly offer that gift to serve others, you will not have to promote yourself. Others will recognize that grace in you and willingly grant you a place of service, where you can fulfill the call of God on your life.