Jeremiah 3:15-16 says, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.
The prophecy from the Lord through Jeremiah speaks of God’s promise to give us shepherds to feed us with knowledge and understanding that would cause increase in the lives of His people. This would cause them to cease following the Ark of the Covenant and from even talking about it. One aspect of the significance of the Ark in its time was that it was always to go before them in leading them into their destiny into the Promised Land (Joshua 3:3, 4). The Ark would always be in front of them leading them to victory in battle.
Some believers have the mistaken idea that all they need is Jesus and they can get knowledge from the abundance of teachers in the Body of Christ without having a pastor. We need more than knowledge. We need training and voices of authority in our life. There is a leadership anointing through a pastor in the house of God, believers need to learn to receive and draw from. When you pull yourself away from voices God has given for equipping, training, and to keep you from being scattered, you’re only left with yourself as your own authority. You’ll submit only to yourself and do only what’s right in your own eyes. The book of Judges is a documented history of people doing what was right in their own eyes and as a result were driven out of the Promised Land. It’s not listening to a man of God above the Bible but serving the Lord Jesus is also not just about acquiring knowledge alone. We need a voice outside ourselves in order to stay objective. Sheep without a shepherd are scattered (Ezekiel 34:5) and faint (Matthew 9:36).
There’s grace from God that comes to us through the shepherds He puts in our lives that enables us to win in life’s battles and helps us to fulfill our destiny. A pastor is one of God’s delivery systems of more grace (James 4:6), more of Heaven’s help, strength, and enabling power. We know the local church is important to be planted in (Psalm 92:12-14) but God’s promise was to give us shepherds not churches (Jeremiah 3:15). In 1 Samuel 22:1, 2 it was the voice of David as captain, that changed the men gathered with him in the cave of Adullam from being distressed, discontented, and in debt to become his mighty men. David’s mighty men weren’t joined to the cave of Adullam but to David.
The Lord gave instruction to His people for the day of battle in Deuteronomy 20:1-8 and He said they were to listen to two voices He put in their lives, the voice of the priest and the voice of His officers. The priests would speak encouragement (v. 2) and the officers would speak of responsibility and the seriousness of war (v. 5). The officers are more of a fathering like voice that cares more about your coming home alive from battle than just being encouraged. We all need both voices of encouragement and voices of authority. Without voices of encouragement we’ll faint or give up but without voices of authority we’ll never stand strong in the day of battle. Most believers receive teachers but have a hard time with God’s authority through His officers. We need more than a teaching voice but a fathering voice. There is a difference between teachers and fathers. “…though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers 1 Corinthians 4:15.”