We have been talking about, as Paul puts it, being seduced by the serpent. We watched as the the elders of Israel saw God with their own eyes and lived to tell about it. Then, as so often is the case following a mountain top experience, they entered into a season of waiting. Waiting, for the believer, is not a time of idleness.
Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. – John Ortberg
Waiting is spiritual work. If we are waiting, we are to be praying and trusting and believing and seeking. Faith can grow leaps and bounds during a season of waiting. Satan knows this truth and he does not like it. He knows that a period of waiting can be a vulnerable time for a believer and he is quick to move in and plants seeds of destruction.
When God and Moses did not finish their mountaintop talk according to the Israelites’ timetable, they took it upon themselves to make their own god. In 1970, folk rocker Stephen Stills sang a song called, Love the One You’re With. The main idea being: if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with. That is just faulty logic on every level and destined to end in disaster.
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!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. – Exodus 32:4-5
Here is the thing you need to know about Satan. He is clever, but he is not creative. He has been using the same bag of tricks for a long, long time. We need to be wise to them. He is a liar and thief.
There are two huge things that the enemy is constantly attempting to steal:
- God’s glory – This man-made golden calf helped bring you out of the land of Egypt. God did not do it alone. Do you see that? Satan is stealing glory that only belongs to God. He still does that today. When we get that job or promotion that we prayed for – it was because we worked hard and deserved it. We receive that miraculous healing – it was because we exercised and took care of ourselves and did what the doctors said. We have a healthy marriage – it’s because we are just dang easy to love. 🙂 That person we have prayed for finally receives Christ – it’s because we said all of the right words. Satan wants us to take credit for the work of God in our lives and the lives of those around us.
- Our Worship – Aaron saw the golden calf and built an altar before it. An altar, a place a worship, for a man made god. Whoever gets the credit (or glory) for the work in our lives will get our worship. If we believe that we are responsible for our healthy marriage or our good job, we will begin to worship ourselves. If we consider our material possessions as things deserved rather than blessings, we will begin to worship our job or money or education. Whatever that “thing” is that we feel earned us those earthly possessions will become an idol in our hearts.
Beware of the tricks of the enemy. Look at your life. Who, or what, is getting the glory? Who, or what, is getting your worship?