Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Get Moses Out of the Way--The Peril of Preacher Religion

And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
Exodus 20:19

What an invitation!  God was calling an entire nation to have a close personal relationship with Him.  Again, what an invitation!  However, Israel rejected His prompting and chose to have the "preacher" draw close to GOD for them--relationship by proxy.  The sad fact is that they never learned about the LORD for themselves, they chose to have another walk in their anointing, and their lack of the knowledge of the LORD and His teaching led them in ways that was an affront to the holiness of God.  The record of their calamity is for our example so that we will not walk along that same treacherous trail, but scripture clearly warns those living in the last days of this age repeat their folly.  " For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3-4)."

Don't get me wrong, having a godly pastor and ministerial staff is important.  Moses was all that and more to those wilderness wanderers.  God raised him to be a mighty leader through years of training in the courts of Pharaoh and the pastures of Midian.  His leadership was rock solid because his skills were honed by the Rock, Himself.  There is a limitation to what godly leaders can do, nevertheless.  They cannot do your praying for you.  They cannot study the Word personally for you.  They cannot lead your family at times of family devotion for you. They cannot adequately train your children nor enhance your marriage for you. They cannot filter out the distractions that stand in the way of your relationship with God and others.  They cannot draw close to God for you.  Simply put, they cannot live out your dependence on the LORD while you sit by and warm a pew.

The Almighty is absolutely amazing!  His power is unmatched, His presence is limitless, His understanding is immeasurable, and His person is unchanging.  As the church, He wills for us the exact same relationship extended to those who witnessed the miracles in the Exodus.   "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light...(1 Peter 2:9)."  It just may be God's glorious power that makes us fear and draw back from Him.  Like the Israelites, we are apprehensive as we get close to the LORD.  Is this not what happened in Exodus 20?  As the awesome power of El Shaddai began to rumble the mountainside in a gracious and glorious display meant to ease their fears about His strength, guidance, and providence, the people cried out in fear.  They chose to allow someone else to experience His presence and rejected the voice of the LORD at a personal level.  They promised to listen to God via Moses, but the truth is that they never listened because they failed to get to know God for themselves.  "... but let not God speak with us, lest we die."

Who was used to change the Nile to blood?  Who spoke for God and sent the plagues of frogs, flies, and locusts?  Who heard from God and gave instruction for the first Passover?  Whose staff was raised as the sea rolled back?  Who saw the heavenly shadows of Messiah in the Tabernacle?  Moses! Moses! Moses! Moses!  Moses!  Always Moses!  Why do we not read of the exploits of others like we do in Acts?  We want the miracles if someone else labors in prayer.  We want the fresh bread of the Word if someone else does the study. We are a culture of ease wanting things to always go smooth and painless.  God, however, has called us to do valiant deeds in Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Don't you want to lead many souls to Him?  Don't you want the LORD to unlock greats truths in study?  Don't you want to pray and see the miraculous?  Don't you want to see the enemy flee as you call out in prayer?  Don't you want to pray the enemies of friends and family away and see their deliverance?  You! You! You! You! You! Let it be you in Christ and not another for you!

Exodus 32 reveals a horrid problem with preacher religion.  It can lead to false notions about God.  It manifests itself as impatience with the preacher when things do not go the way we think they should.  Why should they go "our way" when we cannot pray and draw close to God for ourselves.  When Moses was enjoying a mountain top experience a bit too long, the people got a bit too antsy and called for a replacement.  Not just a replacement of the preacher, but a replacement of God, Himself.  Their lack of a personal relationship led to a situation that caused them never to fully appreciate the holiness and majestic power of the LORD.  They never learned of His awesome, sovereign strength for themselves, and they failed to heed the Word they promised in the verse above to enact.  They made God a "thing" after their ideas, a god that they could control and manipulate.  Would this have happened had they sought out His awesomeness for themselves, learned His ways for themselves, and drew near to His heart for themselves?  It is doubtful!  And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of 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 wot not what is become of him.

Israel and Judah could not even recognize the LORD in the day He walked this earth as a man.  A greater than Moses, and Solomon, and Jonah was among them and they could not see but they could not see past Moses, Solomon, and Jonah.  The fulfillment of Abraham's promise, Isaac's dream, and the blessing of Israel was among them and He was missed. They could not see past Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.  A greater than all of those great leaders is speaking to you even now, can you hear Him for yourself or do you need another to speak to your heart for Him?  He wants to know you!  He is knocking--let Him in.  The Spirit of Jesus Christ is there with you now and His physical presence is Soon2Come!

We will have to revisit Paul's warning of heaping teachers in the last days!  Blessings in the LORD!

Signs of the Times

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