As a servant called to serve the body of Christ under the Lord Jesus’ authority, I have learned that it is important to have my actions and motives tested on a regular basis. What we are doing is important, but so is why we are doing it. Both need to be scrutinized by the Holy Spirit for the man and woman of God to be found without fault before the Chief Shepherd.
I have learned that whatever idols I allow in my life, I will knowingly or unknowingly promote to the people of God. To change the gospel that I preach to accomodate my idolatrous desires, must also include a change in the God I serve. I can’t change His word to fit my desires without “changing” Him as well. One of us is doing the molding. Either He is molding me into His image or I am fashioning Him into a God that more easily aligns with my selfishness.
When the children of Israel became tired of waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain in Exodus, chapter 32, they went to Aaron, Moses brother and said to him, “Make us gods that shall go before us.” Aaron had the people give him gold from their possessions and he fashioned a golden calf and said to the people, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!” Since the people were not comfortable with Jehovah’s ways, they had Aaron fashion a god for them who they would be more comfortable with! A god in the shape of a calf: something that is controllable by man; one which can be led around by the neck wherever they wanted it to go!
The change in their god soon revealed itself in the change in their behavior. The Bible states in verse 6 that after worship, “the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” This means that the people broke off restraint and began to indulge in pagan revelry.
Yes, the people wanted a different god; one more in line with their fleshly desires, but Aaron was the one who fashioned it for them. Whatever I allow in my own life will replicate in the lives of the people of God.
What type of gospel are you hearing? What type of lifestyle is being promoted to you by your leaders?
The same type of thing happened in the book of Judges.
Gideon was used mightily by God to deliver the Israelites from the hand of the Midianites. After the battles were over, the people approached Gideon and asked him to rule over them.
Gideon’s reply is found in chapter 8, verse 23:
“I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.”
Powerful answer! Great answer! Right answer!
But, Gideon wanted something for himself out of this deal. He asked the people to give him gold from their possessions (sound familiar?). With the gold, Gideon created an ephod which was some type of golden image set up in a local place of reverence. Why would this be necessary? For a memorial to what Gideon had done? As a remembrance of his wisdom and obedience? Gideon set the ephod up in his own city and all Israel came to the city and prostituted themselves by bowing down to the ephod there.
Gideon’s desire became the people’s desire. What he allowed in his life became an object of their worship. Even a man who said the right things still caused Israel to stumble by teaching them to worship the idols of his own life!
What is on a leader will flow down on the people!
Buddhists teach that desire is the enemy of enlightenment. I disagree.
Desire is a gift from God and gives us energy and direction for life. But, what we desire must be sanctified by the Spirit – our desire must be the glory of our King!!
If we as leaders keep our works before God to ensure that they line up with the Bible and if we keep our motives before Him so that they can be sanctified by the Spirit, we will not promote things to the people for fleshly purposes or selfish benefit.
Pray for your leaders. We need it!!
May all we do be for the glory of God and for the furthering of the kingdom of Jesus! If your leader has God’s glory as the driving desire of his life, it will create within you a desire for the same!