Making A Great Crossing (3 of 4)

Posted by Richard S. Lytle, Ph.D. in Blogs

In my two recent notes to you, I suggested God’s nature is one of creativity, strategy, movement, transformation, and implementation.  He is NOT a God – of “okay as you are” or “good enough” or “whatever” or “you’ve arrived.”  He is a God of journey – a God of great crossings – times where He wants to do something significant in your life – moving you from here to there. He is not a God of here for long.  There is always better!  He has plans for his people (Jer. 11:13).  In short, He wants you to make great crossings to new places and he wants to personally deliver you!

In February, I spoke of the negative power of Clinging to the Past while attempting to make a great crossing.  During tough times or in tough decision modes, we often look over our shoulder and begin to doubt our decision to cross.  Truth be told, our past significantly informs us but it does not control us!  Jesus came to offer us forward thinking in all things.  He said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”[1]

In March, I discussed the Fear of Failure which often prevents us from making great crossings.  Great leaders consistently have the fear of failure ever before them.  But, great leaders don’t let the fear of failure prevent God from doing what he promises he can do.  They develop Spiritual Grit through obedience, faith, putting their hand to the plow and not looking back, and daily trust in a God who can do what he says he can do (Romans 4:20).

This month, I propose The Voice of the Crowd often prevents leaders from making great crossings with God.  The crowd shouts loudly when leaders lead. This competing voice can often trip you up.  On the basketball court, it confused our young daughter’s teams as Jeanne and I coached them.  During one game, I told the girls, “Keep the ball moving, work the ball around the court,” while parents in the stands shouted, “Take the ball and shoot it! Shoot it! Shoot it!” Not exactly what I had in mind!

When Jesus went before Pontius Pilate, the Roman official said,  

“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?”

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

“Why? What crime has he committed?” Pilate asked.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

—Matthew 27:23  

When Pilate saw an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”1  Pilate made a crucial mistake in leadership. He listened to the voice of the crowd, abdicating his responsibility, though given to him by God.  Pilate failed to understand the significance of his position under God and thus, failed to make a great crossing with God.

From the early formation of Israel, God valued a person speaking up for the innocent and not listening to the crowd. In Leviticus, God declares, “If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen [emphasis mine] or learned about, he will be held responsible.”2 

Pilate was guilty of not speaking up regarding what he knew. How about you? Do you stand tall when the crowd is attacking you?

Aaron failed, big time, to provide leadership and influence for Moses and the Lord. While Moses hiked Mt. Sinai and received the Ten Commandments, Aaron failed to understand the significance of his position, bowing to the voice of the crowd. “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. They said to me, ‘Make us Gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”3

A calf just jumped out of the fire?  Right? No, but the calf did come to exist because Aaron listened to the Voice of the Crowd, failing to make a call for righteousness. Therefore, confusion reigned.  “Moses saw the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so they became a laughing stock to their enemies.”4

When leaders submit to the Voice of the Crowd, confusion always results.  As in Aaron’s day, so too we today, find ourselves out of control, in spiritual brokenness, and a laughing stock to our enemies.

In Conclusion: great crossings often fail because we love the praises of men more than God (John 12:37-43).  In other words, the Voice of the Crowd only matters if the crowd matters to you!

God plans for you to make great crossings this year!  In testing, wilderness, drought, tough decisions, difficult relationships, and your walk with Him – He is not interested in here for long.  His real mission is the next there for you.  He is creating, innovating, planning, acting, transforming, and implementing.  Are you seeing God’s there?  Jesus taught, “The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.”[2]  What are you seeing right now?  Are you in a Red Sea moment?  Don’t look back!  You can (1) Cling to Your Past, (2) Fear Failure, (3) listen to the Voice of the Crowd, or (4) you can make a clean break, trust God, and fix your eyes on Jesus’ future.[3]

Today as always, God consistently whispers: you are destined for a great crossing – I want to personally deliver You!

More to come next month …

 

 

[1] Luke 9:62 (NIV)

[2] Matt. 6:22

[3] Heb. 12:1



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