The Greatest Battle Every Christian Will Face
Exo 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.
Most of us have heard various definitions of sin, such as 'missing the mark' 'falling short of the Glory of God', or 'willful disobedience to a known command’. While these all hold true, it is an incomplete picture of sin. A more robust definition of sin that I believe is revealed from Genesis to Revelation is this:
Sin is when we accept something from Satan that God already wants to give us, but by Satan’s rules and before the time God wants to give it to us.
Everything Satan tempted Christ with in the wilderness were things that God already promised him: provision of bread, protection of the angels, and the power of the Kingdom. But in each case and circumstance, it required Christ to obey Satan's #1 rule: Satan's way and Satan's timing!
THIS IS THE SINGLE GREATEST BATTLE EVERY CHRISTIAN WILL FACE!
Trust me. It won't be the 'sins of the flesh'. It won't be lust, gossip, etc. It will be the temptation to move ahead of God on the good things He already plans to give us.
Let’s rewind back to our friends in the wilderness...yes our buddies that constantly serve as 'DO NOT DO THIS' sermons for us today. The more and more I study the wilderness the more relevant and practical it becomes. It's amazing how central their journey is to the challenges we face as the church today.
We all know the story of Israel worshipping the golden calf. But what exactly lead them to make such a poor decision? I believe the answer is revealed in the first verse of this passage.
"After the people saw that Moses had been on the mountain for a long time." (Ex 32:1)
Satan came to the Israelites the same way he came to Christ in the wilderness. 'God is taking forever...get moving! Make something w/ your own hands. It will meet the same need. You don't have to wait so long!'
So let's ask the question: Why was God taking so long??
Simple...God was speaking and God was planning. Yes…God was PLANNING!! From the time Moses said 'I am going up' in chapter 24 all the way thru chapter 31...God was speaking, planning, and laying out every specific detail on the Israelites behalf.
Did the Israelites know that? Well he told them that, but naturally after a while Satan was able to take advantage of their lack of patience and convince them that God had forgotten. This is what he will do with you and me. The longer it takes, the more Satan will try to convince you that God has forgotten; driving you to manufacture the blessing of God. You must trust God for the grace to resist this!!
I believe Moses illustrates a very powerful Christ type in this circumstance. The Bible tells us that Christ, as our new testament mediator, is in Heaven interceding on our behalf. Jesus has gone up to that mountain, just like Moses, and many times, we think 'Man Jesus you been up there a while next to the right hand of God. When are you gonna come down here and gives us clear direction!?!' The Israelites thought Moses was up there being selfish just gettin' his glory-fill. That wasn't the case at all! He was interceding for them! He was receiving instruction for them to instruct them and move on their behalf! Christ is now our mediator! We have the spiritual cheat sheet of the Bible. We can see that the entire time God was speaking. But imagine the Israelites...all sorts of vain imaginations. This takes place with us. NO GOD IS PLANNING ON YOUR BEHALF!! HALLELUJAH!!
Wait patiently in faith today believing that God is not 'waiting'...God is planning! God is speaking!
Do not settle for ANY plan less than what God has spoken to Christ on the mountain of Heaven!
Jesus is not delaying on your situation...He is PLANNING! Do not move ahead of him. Your plan will fail. His is ETERNAL AND PERFECT!
So while you wait, instead of falling into temptation and using your own hands to manufacture blessing; wait on God and believe that He is speaking and planning! As soon as He's finished, Christ will deliverer.
May Christ enter our situations with the 'tablets' of promise and not be forced to break them in half as Moses did because we beat him to the punch!
Jas 1:2 Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience.