Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 25 March 2022:
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.”
Waiting upon the Lord to lead is an essential act of faith. If you are not being led by God, you are being led by an idol. We become idolatrous when we lose patience and act on our own volition rather than by the Spirit’s counsel.
Exodus 32:4 – And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
Idolatry gives credit for God’s blessings to something or to someone else rather than to God Himself. The most common form of adultery is pride, giving credit to self – “I did [this]; I did [that].” God will not share His glory with another.
Exodus 32:8 – “They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them.”
Moses was called to lead a spiritually weak people with hardly any faith, no self-control, and no discipline. As the leader, Moses provided external discipline to those who lacked internal discipline. As soon as he wasn’t there, the people displayed their immaturity and infidelity. Leaders are the leaders for a reason. If God calls you to lead, you must not lose sight of the fact that those who you lead will not, by definition, measure up to your standard (more importantly to God’s standard) – that is why they need you to be an example of fidelity and strength. Leaders must have incredible patience – “If you can’t stand the smell of sheep, don’t be a shepherd.” If you are frustrated by their weakness and immaturity, you are revealing your own weakness and immaturity – you are revealing your own self-centeredness.
Exodus 32:11 – “But Moses implored the Lord his God.”
Leaders engage in intercessory prayer for those they lead because they have a genuine heart for the sinner and truly desire their reconciliation with God.
Exodus 32:25 – “And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose….)”
Aaron failed as a leader because he failed to be strong while others were weak. He surrendered his integrity due to fear and lost his moral authority to lead. Leaders know where to go and are willing to lead others there (literally or figuratively, tangibly or ethically). Leaders often have to take people where they don’t want to go for all the right reasons – this takes moral courage. Aaron lacked the inner strength to lead, and his failure resulted in thousands of needless deaths. Had Moses been there, the people would not have gone astray because he would have given them external discipline, guidance, and direction. A leader must possess the strength needed by the led or they are not really the leader at all.
Mark 4: 10 — “And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables.”
Get alone with Jesus so He can teach you.
Mark 4:11, 12 — ” And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that ‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”
Only through the Holy Spirit can you truly understand the word of God. Humans cannot naturally understand the Kingdom. They need God’s revelation.
Mark 4:18-21 — “’And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.’ And he said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?’”
I pray that the worries of the world won’t keep us from keeping “the main thing the main thing,” won’t cause us to neglect the Great Commission, won’t cause us to get distracted and miss our life’s purpose. I pray that we won’t put our lamp under a basket for sake of career or sociability. I pray that every one of us will bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold. If the world around us is very dark, it might be that our light is not very bright.
Mark 4:41 — “And they were filled with great fear.”
Nothing was more fearful to the disciples than the power of Jesus. If you don’t have a healthy fear (respect and awe) of the Lord, it is because you haven’t experienced Him as you ought. Walk with Jesus by abiding in His word, and watch Him work in a way that overwhelms you.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 25 March 22: Dedicate one hour today to solitude with Jesus. (Mark 4:10)