Sunday, April 25, 2010

RUNNING WILD


A. Brother
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing



          “Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.  So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, ‘Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.’  And all the Levites rallied to him.
          Then he said to them, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: “Each man strap a sword to his side.  Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.”
          The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 
          Then Moses said, ‘You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and He has blessed you this day.’”
                                                                                                      --Exodus 32:25-29

          “Then the Lord said to Moses…’Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey.  But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.’
          When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments….So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.”                                                                                          --Exodus 33:1-6

            Just as in Moses’ day, so today.  The people of God are running wild.  Those who call themselves by Jesus’ Name are out of control, and have become a laughingstock to the world.   His people have risen up to play, consuming themselves with making ornaments to wear.  His chosen people, whom He delivered out of Egypt by His own hand, have grown weary of His simple Ways, and His truth, and carrying out His loving commands, and have cast gods of golden religion, before which they party and carry on like foolish children.
            God’s anger burns against us as it did in Moses’ day against His people.  He is threatening to destroy us, and to find a new people who will listen and obey.
            For the priests--those who are called to minister to God’s people--have become like Aaron, who enabled the sin of the people by offering to take their ornaments and melt them down into an acceptable gospel.  The leaders have become part of the problem.
            Instead of standing firm and teaching the simple Way of Christ, our leaders have taken the ornamental things and festooned the trees and the houses and the buildings with artistic sentiment—creating a golden calf of acceptable religion—and allow and condone the worship of this abomination.  Our modern affluent Christianity, whether called Protestant or Catholic, or named by any other name, is this abomination, and bears little or no resemblance to the Good News preached and practiced by the Apostles and the early followers of Jesus.  Our leaders and priests and teachers have become purveyors instead of proclaimers, seeking profit instead
of God’s presence.
            What must we do?
            Every man in Christ must go to his knees, and take off the ornaments of this ghastly apostasy, this compromise with the world and its heathen nations, and return to the Lord with weeping.  The ornaments must be stripped away.  These trappings and decorations of modern Christianity actually hide the face of God, and are stumbling blocks to true Christ-like living.  The people of God must repent of their dependence on their worldly ways, their religious ways, and seek the face of God until He relents from sending the calamity He’s planned.
           
            Ornamental Christianity has no place in the Kingdom of God.
           
            What ornamentation did Christ wear?
            A crown of thorns. 
            What religious symbol did Jesus take upon Himself?
            A heavy, rough cross.
            What party did Jesus throw?
            A banquet feast for the poor, the lame, the blind, the sinful.
            What decoration did Jesus wear?
            The imprints of nails in His hands, and the spear wound in His side.
            What joy did Jesus find?
            The true joy in doing His Father’s will.
            What treasure did Jesus save up?
            Riches of love and sacrifice in Heaven.
            Who is our example?
            Jesus.

            God’s true leaders will take Moses’ example and go face to face with God for the people they serve.  Each will intercede for them, praying that God will spare His people in spite of their sin.  And then each must call the people to repentance, just as Moses did.
            God’s true leaders will be willing to take up the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and speak the truth in love to His people.  To slay false teaching, and false religion, as Moses and his band of Levites killed throughout the camp.  God’s true leaders will be willing to destroy by His Word the ornamentation and sentimentality that has led God’s people into a false sense of security.  God’s true leaders will be willing to follow Jesus, though it may mean standing up against our own brothers and families, our own mothers and fathers, our own sons and daughters.
            God is deciding the future for us now.

            “’Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’”
                                                                                                            --Exodus 33:5

          This sobering statement was given to Moses by the Lord.  We must not think that God has changed through the centuries.  He still expects obedience for His chosen ones, and we are responsible for obeying, no matter who we are.
           

           
           


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