We have been talking about leadership lessons from the story found in Numbers 16. ( Day 1, 2 & 3) Yesterday, we saw that Moses was so completely wrapped up and in the center of God’s will that he took criticism as a criticism against the Lord, not himself. Well, Moses called the rebels to a test and we find a truth about critics.
When Moses called for Dathan and Abiram they refused to come! They were perfectly willing to toss criticism from afar, to drop mean emails, to write angry letters, but when Moses called them to put up or shut up, they refused to show up. Critics are often cowards.
It takes real courage to lead a group of rebellious people like the Israelites. To literally lay down the law, and call sin sin. To call for God-punishment against wickedness. To lead a group of people to a brand new place with a brand new vision. Moses was courageous, but Dathan and Abiram were cowards.
Leaders, far off criticism is the cowardly road to take. Leadership is hard, frustrating and full of criticism, but is the God-road. If you don’t like what someone else is doing, do something better. As Mark Batterson says in his Lion Manifesto (from his book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day) “Criticize by creating.”
Critics are cowards. Leadership is courageous.
So, am I blowing smoke out of my mouth, or what? What do you think?
Last week, I began sharing some things God has been teaching me through the story found in Numbers 16. (You can read those HERE and HERE.) What I am going to share today is probably the most amazing and challenging truth God gave me here.
Korah, Dathan and Abiram gathered up 250 respected men and revolted against Moses’ leadership. Moses immediately falls facedown in prayer and worship before God. Moses then proposes a test. He says that all those who have rebelled should come and serve as priests the next day and see what happens. But the line that rocked my socks off was how he closed up this challenge/rebuke:
It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together.
Moses was so confident that what he was doing, and the direction that he was leading, was from God that when criticism came, Moses knew that the criticism was against God. Moses didn’t take it personally, like it was an attack on him, he took it as an attack on what God was doing.
Which brings me to some introspection: Am I so completely in God’s will that I have the confidence that my critics are really critics of God? Or have I left holes in myself that allow/invite criticism that is fairly against me?
What about you? Are you completely in the center of God’s will for your life?
It is 10 minutes to midnight on Saturday. Going over my sermon. Can’t get Jesus’ words and message out of brain. Get to preach in like 8 1/2 hours. Stoked.
So what gets you so jazzed up you can’t sleep?
Yesterday, we talked about Moses stirring up a hornet’s nest by obeying God and having a Sabbath-breaker killed. Little did Mo know, but the fun was just beginning.
So Moses wakes up the next day with a boat-load of trouble served up for breakfast! Turns out that a couple of guys named Korah, Dathan and Abiram (yeah, they would probably think Billy is a weird name too!) were ticked at Moses for even suggesting that anyone in Israel might not be holy. So they rallied a group of 250 dudes to stir up the whole congregation and start a ruckus.
Here’s the deal: those 250 guys were well-known, respected leaders in Israel. They were men that Israelites looked up to. They were men people went to for advice. They were men who people expected to be right. They were men who were wrong.
Respected leaders can be wrong! So, when you are seeking wise counsel, and YOU SHOULD, be sure to make sure that your wisdom, vision and purpose is deeply rooted in what God is doing through you, and not simply what ‘respected leaders’ tell you to do. (By the way, God often does speak through these leaders, and that is why they are respected! All I am suggesting is that you make sure your decisions are God-things, not simply them-things!)
What do you think?
Intro Video for 4.22 Sermon, the last in my Dangerous Savior Series.
The most impacting scripture I have been in lately is Numbers 16. I am going to spend a few days (not sure how long, really!) blogging about what God has been teaching me there. The day this journey started I posted a quick note.
Today, I want to set the stage for the story a little. Moses and the Israelites are hanging out in the wilderness. They, because of their stubborn refusal to trust God, have been there much long than God originally intended. Moses literally laid down the Law, and people of Israel consistently and quickly broke it. Even Moses did too! And there are always consequences for disobedience.
In Numbers 15, Moses, under the direction and guidance of God, had a Sabbath-breaker put to death. Here is big warning for anyone in leadership: If you have to call sin on the carpet, be prepared for trouble! Even if you do the right thing, the God thing, you may find some trouble just around the corner. Moses did find himself in a sticky situation. More tomorrow.
Where have you seen this proven true?
Jesus has not called us to safely worship Him, He has called to a worship that will dangerous invade every relationship and aspect of our life.
Everybody is worshiping something. It is the way we are wired, and it isn’t just for the ‘spiritual’.
Worship is more than a style of music. ‘Nuff said.
Worship is more than a time and place. Just check Jesus’ convo with the Woman at the Well. (John 4)
Worship doesn’t start and stop. AW Tozer, “If you can not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him one day a week.” (DANG!!)
Romans 11:36-12:1- We hold someone/thing in a place of glory and worship them/it by offering sacrifices.
The opposite of worship is not atheism, but idolatry, the worship of something else other than God.
So what idols from our culture tempt you to turn aside from worshiping God? Style and looking good? Sex? Hobbies? Recreation? Sports?
You need to Worship through Jesus, Worship Like Jesus, and Just plain Worship Jesus.
Why don’t we? Far too often we believe that a life of worship, and our joy, are in conflict with one another. But the truth is that only through a life of worship to Jesus and through Jesus can we find true satisfaction. All other objects of our worship are takers, not givers.
**Note: I borrowed some outline and organization from Mark Dricoll‘s book, Vintage Jesus**
So, anything you would add or subtract or comment on?