The Golden Calf and Its Aftermath – Part 1

(Exodus 32:1-4)

There is an angry crowd gathered around the High Priest. Voices are clamouring to be heard.

“Moses is long gone. He climbed that mountain to talk to God over a month ago. Face the facts! He’s not coming back. He’s probably dead. We need a back-up plan.”

“Yeah! We should have reached the Promised Land by now. Let’s get moving, with or without him!”

“It’s not just Moses who has failed us. God has failed us. Aaron, make us a new god! A golden calf, just like the ones in Egypt!”

The Israelites are desperate to reach the Promised Land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey, a place of rest after a long, difficult journey. But, before they can move on, God needs to give Moses specific instructions. The Lord has things that He needs to build into the Israelites’ lives so that they can handle the fulfillment of His promises. Moses has climbed up a mountain to hear from God and the Israelites are tired of waiting.

They have the right goal in sight. But although they’ve made God’s plan their goal, they want to remove Him from the journey because they don’t like His timeline. So they make a golden cow to lead them instead.

When I read this story, I initially thought, “Who would be stupid enough to think that a golden calf could lead anyone anywhere?”

My next thought was, “Aw man! I’m as ridiculous as those Israelites were!” I’m constantly trying to jump ahead of God. I’ve never made a golden calf, but sometimes I put my faith other things. My talents and abilities. My emotions. My education. Sometimes I even put my faith in my “to do” list—let’s check off one more step towards that dream.

On the weekend, one of my pastors said, “It can be easy to have seasons where you think [your dream] isn’t happening, so you try to make it happen. But you can only make it happen by becoming the person God has called you to be.”

God’s not in a hurry. There are things that the Lord needs to build into my life so that I can handle the fulfillment of His promises. The goal is exciting. But the journey is long and difficult. It’s work. Hard work. Growth is often painful. And it sure doesn’t happen overnight!

I need to walk with Jesus on a day-to-day basis and take the time to receive direction from Him. I need to constantly ask myself, “What is God telling me to do? What steps does He require me to take? What changes does He need to make in my life?” Only then will I see my God-given dreams come to pass.

You see, you can hear from God, have a dream from God, and have faith that you are going to see that dream fulfilled. But if you try to reach that dream on your own terms, rather than allow God to change you into who you need to be, the result will be frustration and failure. And God can only change you if you are walking with Him.

Every day. Every step. Every breath.

The only One who can lead you into your calling is the One who called you in the first place.

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