The Golden Calf – possessing 2

Let us explore further the reason why issues of ‘having’ caused the nation of Israel to

English: My Desk

English: My Desk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

backtrack so dramatically on all the vows they had taken before God.

When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” Exodus 24: 3

They had  promised to obey him and be His people just a month before and now they are reveling before a golden calf in idolatrous worship. (chapter 32)

We have considered the idea  that emptiness and lack of direction was felt by the nation due to the fact their leader (Moses) was away for 40 days and nights. This meant that the people tried to fill a leader sized hole with ‘doing’ and with ‘having’. The children of God were not used to making their own choices, having been slaves for so long, and the freedom they now experienced in wide open places caused an unease and insecurity. They tried to fill the new culture with the old ways. It is said that some wild animals are kept in cages for so long when they are released in the wild they will stay put in the cage because freedom is too daunting for them. We hear stories of prisoners so overwhelmed with freedom  and choice  they  re-offend in order to stay within the security of bars.

What if the ‘having’ things includes  people over you for feeling of security. They may be bars on your windows and locks on your personal doors of freedom – but they bring positions of security. This having secure positions means wanting labels for people so that we know who is who and what is what. We call people elders, pastors, evangelists, administrators, leaders, stewards, musicians and may give them badges such as lead musician, trustee etc. We are comfortable then with their label, we know we have all areas covered, we have people in the boxes we have put them in, the role they are now allowed to move around in, we  can understand how everything fits together. We have understanding, we have positions, we have control. Our labels link in with ‘doing’ – doing things for identity. I know that I ‘do’ the PA and that is who I am  – it gives us purpose, meaning, usefulness and sense of achievement.

What if church is to be organic, a family of people. If everyone has freedom to do what is on their heart  there are no boxes to contain people in or pedestals to put people on. There are no clear boundaries in which you have to adhere, a flow of heart connections and Spirit leading. What if everyone is free and powerful to do what is on their hearts?

In a culture of honour and serving there is no hierarchy, no patriarchy, no matriarchy and no uniformity. There is place for  clear leadership but this is done without labels at times – eg someone could lead worship from within the congregation without a stage, microphone or label. The shepherding and leading  is done from a foundation of serving and not from a place of control.  There are no power struggles as each family member honours gifting, call and freedom of others. There is no jealousy as each feels fully loved and accepted.

The onus is on people with anointing to lead well. This means that leaders cannot  rest on a label until they retire or lean on their position to feel that they have a right to make decisions or think they understand. In this organic family all have a voice, all are comfortable to express their gifts and those who are anointed for the moment are given room to clearly lead with deference in their serving. Jesus the King of Kings lead by example and serving – he gave people choices without persuasion.

For all of us it is a challenge to stay fresh in the Holy Spirit. To not just do the things we are on a rota for, or asked to do – but to be what we are. There is a difference between doing to gain acceptance and purpose, and knowing what your purpose is and just being who you were made to be. However eccentric, crazy or bazaar our anointing may seem to others we need to let the real us out. Let’s be who we truly are.

Today: Ask the Holy spirit to show you if there is anything you do to gain acceptance through what you do. Start by recognising your anointing and who you were made to be and start to deliberately to rest in who you are.

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4 thoughts on “The Golden Calf – possessing 2

  1. I’m wondering how the story might have gone differently if the people got to clean up their own mess. I’ve never seen before, in the passage in Exodus, quite how much blame is being thrown around and how everyone gets to be a powerless victim who’s looking to someone else to rescue them. What does it look like if everyone gets to be powerful and self controlled. When we mess up I have no fear of punishment and I take responsibility to clean up my own mess, my mess with Papa God and my mess with you. I acknowledge my broken spot in feeling powerless in the absence of strong leadership, in using things to comfort my anxiety instead of remaining intimately connected to God and to you to receive and give love and repent, that is exchange the unconscious lies I believe about God and me for truth. Perhaps it’s suppose to feel like we’re in a stable full of Clydesdales, surrounded by bit butts, getting our feet trodden on and up to our knees in manure. Everybody gets to be powerful, there is no fear of sin or mistakes, when they happen, and our goal is always to remain authentically, honestly and intimately connected heart to heart with Papa God and with each other.
    I feel it’s interesting that the outcome in this passage, that 3000 are killed, is the opposite of Pentecost, that 3000 are added to the church and get heart to heart connected. Maybe that was the goal all along.

  2. First attempt did not post, try again! I Don’t pretend to have all the answers to this passage, but clearly they angered God in what they did.See Deut 9:7, Clearly it shows the need to Shepherd anyone new in the faith or who has ‘come out of captivity’ to help them in their walk with God but no leader can be with the people 24/7, so also the importance of personal responsibility for all of us, as the people took their eyes off God, and tried to do things their own way. They wanted a substitute God but God was teaching them to do things His way not their way. We are all Heirs in Christ, but we serve in different ways. If we keep our eyes on him I don’t think all these other things are that important. His love for each and every one of us is still the same no matter what our function in the body.

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