I was speechless. You see, I had worked so hard in my ministry. Everything seemed to be going perfectly until this particular problem arose. I had just returned from vacation and my team had somehow fallen apart. It was going to take me days to get everything back in place, back on schedule, back to “normal.” Frustrated, mad and exhausted I started to pray for God’s guidance.
Exodus 32:15-20 Moses then turned and came down the mountain with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, tablets that were written on both sides, front and back; tablets that were made by God, having inscriptions on them that were engraved by God himself. Now, when Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “That sounds like a battle in the camp.” But Moses answered, “It does not sound like cries of victory nor does it sound like cries of defeat; the sounds that I hear are cries of revelry.” As he drew near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. With that, Moses’ wrath flared up…
Moses was mad. He was infuriated. All that he had worked for was gone in just a short amount of time. Sure, he was delayed a little bit, but in no way should this delay have caused idol worshiping to happen.
Just like my ministry, I am sure it disappointed Moses that things got so out of control. I don’t know about Moses, but I allowed my insecurities take over. Had I not prepared them enough? Had I not enriched their lives with scripture thoroughly? Had I not prayed with them enough? Were my instructions written poorly? What did I do?
Moses immediately went to his brother Aaron for answers. He had left Aaron in charge and he surely was not leading in the way that God was asking.
Exodus 32:21 Moses asked Aaron, “What did this people ever do to you that you should lead them into so grave a sin?” Aaron replied, “Let not my lord be angry. You know well enough how prone the people are to evil. They said to me, ‘Make us a god to be our leader; as for the man Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’
It just takes one person to start the group to sail in a downward spiral. All they had to do was convince Aaron that Moses had left them for good. Moses had left them ill-equipped for life. Moses had deserted them when they needed him most.
In my own ministry, I found that my team broke into pieces because really none of them were committed to the task. They really didn’t want to be part of the team. They did it for me, not for God. It was a favor and when I left, they separated ways and forgot to meet. It was a relief to them that I wasn’t around. So, in a way, I had discerned the wrong team for the task at hand. It was a lesson to me that you just cannot pick warm bodies to get a job done, you need to pray and really ask for God to lead you to the people that are right for the task.
In Moses case, he had probably not prepared Aaron enough for a leadership role. Funny thing is – Moses hand-picked Aaron to help him for the mission. Moses just didn’t feel worthy enough to follow through with God’s plan alone, so he pleaded with God to let Aaron come along. After being Moses’ support for so long, the people had Aaron exactly where they needed him. Aaron was weak when they approached him. He was tired. He probably was a little agitated with Moses, so he gave in to the creation of the golden calf.
I have been Moses and I have been Aaron. I know what it feels like to be tired and give in to the chanting crowd. I also know what it feels like to be a leader let down by your volunteers. It is essential that we all discern God’s Will when we step up to a ministry. We must do God’s work because He is calling us to do so – not because our friend is calling us to do so.
Whether we are the leader or the members of ministry, it is essential that we all work together for the Glory of God. It is so easy for us to slip and pull others down with us on our fall from Grace. Make sure that you don’t allow this to happen. Pray. Read the Word. Follow God.