This morning I was reading through my reading plan this year and I was struck by a verse in Exodus 32. Before I share this verse, let me set the background up a bit. The nation of Israel had escaped bondage in Egypt in a miraculous fashion and began a journey together. The law had been given by God. The tabernacle was also given as a place to meet with God. After all of this Moses was spending some time up on the mountain with God and left Aaron in charge of the people.
Look at what happens next in Exodus 32:1…
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.
Here we see that the nation of Israel rises up in unison and calls on Aaron to make them something that they can worship. Yet, God had not gone anywhere. The truth of His law was still active. The tabernacle was still there as a reminder of God’s abiding presence. However, the people wanted something they could see. The sad part is that Moses really hadn’t been gone all that long.
How quickly the heart wanders!
There are a few lessons for life that quickly hit me here. I believe they are lessons that all of us need to learn no matter what profession or mission God has given us. Here they are…
- A Christian’s personal devotion time is paramount. If you don’t daily spend time with God in His Word, your heart will drift. You might not go out and do something egregious, but your heart will wander. One day of wandering can become two…three…four…and before you know it you will no longer feel God’s presence or sense His leading in your life. Therefore, if you are a follower of Jesus, you need to make personal devotion or quiet time a priority.
- As leaders we can’t cave to the demands of those we lead. When God has given a white hot vision and made it clear in His Word, we can’t give in to demands to do otherwise. Aaron (not me) gave in, because He lacked the personal devotion and God-given vision to stand His ground. You might be thinking – I am not a leader. The fact is – if you are a Christian – you are a leader. Don’t give in to those you lead – your family, friends, employees, etc. Stand your ground. It will not be easy, but it will be best.
- There is great danger in following a man over following Jesus. Does God give leadership to His people? Yes. Ephesians 4 has made it clear that God has gifted the church with leadership. However, the leadership that God gives to his people are simply messengers. The message is from God. The vision is from God. The success is all God’s. When we place our hope in a person, we will become disappointed with them and even God. As a result, our hearts will wander.
So, I want to leave you with a simple challenge. Spend time with God today. Make it a habit. Your heart needs it. You need it.