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!
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
I discussed the Fear of Failure which
often prevents us from making great crossings.
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).
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!”
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
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.” 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.
Today as always, God consistently
whispers: you are destined for a great crossing – I want to personally deliver
More to come next month …
Luke 9:62 (NIV)