Since I was 14 years old (24 straight years, yikes!), I have scheduled a week of my summer to go to our annual youth camp – now known as FUEL. Most of my closest moments with God have come during those weeks. It started the first year and I knew I had to experience it again.
I would come home with a great passion and zeal because of that closeness I experienced with God. Sadly, when I went back to home/school/life, I was surrounded by a group that just wasn’t as close to God as I felt. They were often church folk that knew of and had experienced God before but just had lost that once held passion. Although I was just close with God, my passion was often quickly drained.
This is where we find Moses in Exodus 32. He has just spent an extended period of time in the presence of God on Mount Sinai. Outside of the Garden – it is an unprecedented closeness between God and mankind. We see how quickly things change as Moses comes down the mountain and reunites with the others.
Realize these same people: saw the 10 plagues, crossed the Red Sea (on dry ground), received manna from Heaven and drank from a rock. They were set free by God and had a unique dependance on him. In a moment of boredom, or impatience, we see them move on from their God.
Moses finds them dancing like pagans around a man made “god” – they gave out of their valuable possessions and made an idol.
God is so mad he considers destroying the nation and Moses is so mad he destroys the first tablets with the commandments on them.
Like Genesis chapter 3 (first sin by Adam and Eve), we see a favored group of people fail to trust and obey. Both times they rationalize their behavior (read: make excuses) and both times we see a loss of privileges and harsh punishments.
We may find it silly to worship a calf – but what do we worship?
We often only think of idols as the “big” sins – we know those and we would never do that, right? But an idol is anything we place between God and us.
So, I ask again: What do you worship? What do you show love, adoration and devotion?
The list will differ based on the individual. A few examples – is it the pursuit of money and stuff? Is it social media, Netflix/Disney plus or video games? Shopping, sports, comfort, food… etc?
Just like those who came before us, we have a habit of giving our worship to something other than the only one who deserves it. We are good at making excuses.
If you have made it this far, I challenge you to look at your life – remember the closest times you have had with God and strive for that closeness. Don’t let the things of this world put out your fire and steal that passion.
Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus+30-32&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s Bible reading will be Exodus 33-35 on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan
2 thoughts on “Turning Away from God”
That is something that I struggle with because I don’t spend as much time with God as I should. I put my phone first when I should put God first.
Hello Nikolas – Thank you for reading and leaving your comment – and for your honesty. Nice job! One of the most important steps to correcting a problem – is realizing that there is a problem – so well done with that. Phones can be a huge “idol” and distraction from what is most important. We are glad you see that as well and want to change. What about setting a daily time limit for phone use, maybe even making yourself do first things first – no phone use until some morning Bible reading? Or if afternoon is your big temptation – train yourself to spend 20 minutes reading, followed by 20 min phone time – and then putting it away to concentrate on positive pursuits. It would be great to find an accountability partner (even a parent) who can help you stick to whatever new guidelines you create. Find a helpful verse you can memorize and post around your room/house and make your wallpaper (let us know if you want some suggestions). And, pray daily for God’s help in overcoming this temptation. He loves that you really want to show that He is first place in your life. Nobody gets to the end of their life and wishes they had wasted more time staring at their phone. Put it down and pursue Him! You can do it Nikolas! You won’t regret it!