“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 …” (Exodus 32:1-4)
I read about how the Israelites of the Old Testament would struggle through periods of turmoil. When they would get back on track with God, He would bless them with times of peace & prosperity. The days of milk and honey would be abundant. But before long, they would start straying away from Him. In no time at all, they would go back to following the ways of the flesh; and back into bondage & turmoil. I shake my head at their stupidity. How is it that when they had it so good, by staying close to the Lord, would they allow themselves to fall back into the pit? This happened over & over throughout history. It happens today, time and time again. How is it that an alcoholic can fall off the wagon? How can a man/woman in a happy marriage fall into the temptation of adultery? Or how can a great preacher of God’s Word fall into shame?
Then I look back over my own life. I shake my head at my own stupidity. I’ve found that for me, the answer is very simple. I loose sight of God. The distractions of simple everyday life steal my focus from spending time alone with God. And in what seems like a quick shake of the head, I’m wandering off the path. I guess it’s as basic as human nature. Adam & Eve were the first to wander and people have been doing it ever since. In our straying, we don’t necessarily have to worship the golden calf like they did in the time of Moses. We can still go about our ‘good’ lifestyles. The only real difference is our focus.
Sometimes we start mentally patting ourselves on the back for being such good Christians, etc., then as our focus starts turning inward to ‘self’. The old nature kicks in and before long we are chasing our own wants & desires with little or no thought to God’s will.
For others, it starts with the feeling that God isn’t listening to us. Have you ever prayed for something specific and not gotten a YES immediately? Most people think that the only way God answers prayer is with a quick “Yes”. They rarely consider the possibility that He could say “No” or “Wait”. If we don’t get the desired response, we often ignore God and go about doing it ourselves. Folks, I don’t know a Christian alive, young or old, who hasn’t taken matters into their own hands. We don’t want to “wait” and we certainly don’t want to be told “No”.
Staying close to God is a minute by minute process. In the course of a day, I can wander away a dozen times or more. It usually starts with a wayward thought that more often than not is ‘self’ based, and away I go. Before I realize it, I’m off doing my own thing with absolutely no thought to what God may want.
Once again, we are like little children. We get so engrossed in ourselves that we forget to look to our Father for guidance & direction. Just like the Israelites, we toe the line for awhile, and then when everything is going smooth … we begin to wander. Common sense would suggest that we would be smarter to stay close to the Lord when times are good. But unfortunately our human (sinful) nature doesn’t adhere to common sense very well.
Have a great day and may the Lord bless you.