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Leading to Please

David Wright


What is True Leadership?


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • February 25, 2012
    11:30 AM
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This morning. I want to begin with a little trivia. That may go back a few years. It was a little television show the start in one nine hundred forty eight and ran for the next fifty six years until two thousand and for this television show involved concealing. And this would give it away concealing cameras. So they could film Ordinary people confronted with oftentimes very unusual situations. Some trick props perhaps maybe a desk drawer that when you close the door the other one opens a new close this store and this other one opens and you just are fiddling with this crazy desk rever to get all the doors closed. Maybe he was pulling up to a gas station in a rental car that didn't have any place to put in the fuel and they're searching and they're looking in the asking questions and they're looking beyond the license plate where in the world until finally at some point somebody would come along and bail them out so to speak save them in their moment of pure embarrassment and they would say the show's catchphrase you know it. Smile you're on candid camera in one such show they caught on tape as a bunch of people were riding in an elevator up to the top floor. Everybody in the elevator was in cahoots. Except for the one course that was boarding the elevator and the thing that was strange was that every person in the elevator was not facing the doors as we always do they all turned and were facing backwards to the doors how strange is this. Yet interesting only enough. This tells us a little bit. This is a revealing little study if you will case study interesting enough people would come on. To the elevator make a strange face I don't know what's going on and I'm glad for it. Well I don't know. Now you know nothing. And invariably every time I don't know why I'm doing this but I'm going to turn and face the other way. Why. There had to do this to see this my floor OK and then they're going out and the next people come in and the same thing everybody is turning around. And of course this makes for great entertainment look at these people are so through it. A.B.C. News did a study in January twelfth of two thousand and six asking why do people follow the crowd. So on A.B.C.'s Primetime did many of their own studies and the results of these studies were the same. Why are people such conformists. That's the question the Dr Gregory Berns an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences Atlanta's Emory University. Not too far away. He tried to answer this question with a recent groundbreaking experiment and paper and in the conclusion of his article Why do people conform Why did they follow the crowd Scientifically speaking what is going on here. He came up with two conclusions in his article The first is they know what their eyes are telling them and yet they choose to ignore it and go along with the group so that they can still belong to the group. They make a choice. I'd rather be alone than the follow up my eyes or my senses are telling me I don't know second conclusion he came up with second explanation. Even if those conclusions are wrong. On they can actually change what they see. Yeah they can change what they see distorting their own perceptions that is the interpretation centers of the brain light up when others opinions are heard and thus the brain tries to find and search for ways to interpret the data in such a way to conform with what everybody's doing is not interesting. So you're sitting in class and everybody else is saying this one answer and you quite positive. It says answer but your brain is now racing racing racing. I must have heard the question wrong. Maybe said to false one or something else and so you're racing trying to figure out OIA of course I'll go along with that. Have you ever been pressured by your peers. So nice. We think this is a you thing right. Oh the poor youth of today they go through all this peer pressure. It's a hard time. But folks. I hate to break it to you the whole in time scenario. Centers around this idea of peer pressure does it not too scared to stand up and stand out for fear of what it might cost be in my reputation. My job. List goes on. So this morning. I want to take a look at a very well known story turn on me in your Bibles have you brought in this morning to Exodus. And will begin in Chapter thirty two. But before we get there. Let me refresh your little bit of the background leading up to this chapter X. history two towards the end of the Book of Exodus prior to our story God has made a covenant with his people and we have God audibly speaking the ten command. In their hearing inviting them to a deeper level of commitment to him. And in those intense Mosen moments can you imagine being there listening to God's voice. I imagine God's presence was unmistakable. As the thunder and the lightning and Mount Sinai billowing with smoke and the earth is quaking and the trumpet blast is getting louder and louder with greater intensity until this voice comes booming out of Almighty God. And in that moment everybody responds and says Lord all that we have heard all that you have said Forgive me. We will do. And Scripture tells us that Moses again climbed up the mountain and when we went into the midst of that cloud where Scripture tells us he was sustained by God for forty days and forty nights. Almost six whole weeks. And we pick up the story in Exodus Chapter thirty two verse one. Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain the people gathered together to Aaron and said to him Come make us gods that we shall that shall go before us for as for this Moses the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt we do not know what has become of him really. The people knew where Moses was they could still see the cloud of God's presence over the mountain. But is Moses still alive. I don't know six weeks have passed. We haven't heard a thing from Moses. So with Moses gone. This mixed multitude is now crying out for some visible representation of God. And so they turn their back to the cloud and ask for an image. Now granted they haven't fully rejected God. They just want to worship him. On their own terms. That sound like many in society today. That are sound like us. That ever described me. And Aaron you recall is Moses sidekick and is on the way to see pharaoh that Moses picks up his brother and he is the one needed to speak to Moses Moses is fearful of his speech he says Aaron can speak because he has a sense to stammering tongue. And so he is faced Pharaoh. Aaron has time and time again he has seen the Lord's deliverance. In fact just before God speaks the Ten Commandments. He commands the air and come up with Moses up Mount Sinai. You can read about X.'s chapter nineteen. This is one of God's top leaders among his people. Aaron. And now with Moses absent. Erin you're in charge. It's you. And now that people want an image. What are going to do in your in the hot seat. The crisis. Cold for a man of firmness decision and on Feinstein courage one who held the honor of God above favor personal safety or even life itself. OK Aaron. What are going to do. The people are crying now and how will you respond. Patriarchs and prophets page three sixteen says this. Aaron feebly. Protested but his wavering his timidity at that critical moment. Only rendered the people more determined. A blind reason frenzy seemed to take possession of the multitude the crowd is becoming very irrational now and this new this there were some who remain true to their covenant with God a few who ventured to denounce the propose image making as idolatry. But they were set upon roughly treated and in the confusion and excitement. They finally lost their lives. The issue is one of worship the stakes are high and rather than Nobili stand for the on are of God I magine Aaron fears for his own safety. We read on verse two. And Aaron said to them break off the golden earrings which are in your ears of your wives your sons and your daughters and bring them to me where they come from eggs. Twelve tell us it came from the Egyptians us right from the pagans and what was God's purpose in that but none other than build a sanctuary verse three. So all the people broke off the gold earrings which were in their ears and brought them to air and noticed how willing they are to take it off to make a for God We better get going keep going. I'll get distracted verse four and he received the gold from their hand any fasted with an engraving tool and made a molded calf then they said this is your God Oh Israel that brought you out of the land of Egypt notice is not a new god this is the God who brought us through but now we have something we can see we can touch. It's visible. They want to worship God on their own terms. If only this leader would have held the line refused to compromise but there's far too often it's too easy to give in to what the people want instead of what they need first five when Aaron sought he built an altar before an heir and made a proclamation and said tomorrow is a feast of the Lord. Then they rose early on the next day offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings and the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Turned into a ruckus dancing and sexual interaction. Aaron basically permitted this insult to Joe Hosey if Aaron had unswervingly maintain his own allegiance to God the Spirit prophecy tells us. Rather his coma surance with which he carried on the plans simply emboldened them to go to the greater length and sin they had originally interest into their minds if he had stood firm. But now they were emboldened the issue was worship the stakes were high. I mean after all who wants to die at the hands of an angry crowd verse seven the Lord said to Moses go get down. For my people is that what your bible says. Not this time. Moses you get down there for your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted them selves stiff necked people skipping down to verse ten. Now therefore let me alone that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them and I will make of you a great nation. Moses. Now stop right there. If Moses would have been made of the same stuff as air and looking out for number one this is a no brainer. Well by all means God let me step over here is this out the way enough do what you need to do hate to see it happen will start with me I tell you that a whole lot easier. These people have just been a headache from the beginning. Let me give you countdown. Three two one can. Verse eleven then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God and said Lord why does your wrath burn hot against your people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power with a mighty hand. Why should the Egyptians speak and say he brought them out to harm them to kill them in the men. And consume them from the face of the earth turn from your fierce wrath and relent from this harm to your people remember Abraham Isaac and is your servants to whom you swore by your own self and said to them I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven all this land and I have spoken or I give to your descendants and they show inherit forever. So verse fourteen the Lord relented from the home which he had said he would do to his people is because of Moses selfless intercession on behalf of the people. That God changed his mind. Moses is not concerned with self preservation the prosperity of God's chosen people. God's church was dear to him then personal honor. Dear to him in the privilege of becoming the father of a great and mighty nation God's church came first. So Moses heads down the mountain they hear with sounds like war in the camp. Apparently there is a way that music can sound like war. And Moses looks upon the scene and his anger behaved hot and he throws down the can Ten Commandments symbolizing the breaking of the Covenant takes down the golden calf grinds it up in a powder puts it in the water and makes them drink their god. How powerful is that God and then we find Moses asking Aaron. What is up with this we read about in verse twenty one and Moses said the air and what did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them upon them so and said Do not let the anger of my Lord become hot. You know. Moses you know the people all their minds are set on evil. For they said to us he said to me make us gods as we shall go before us as with his Moses the men in the land of Egypt would you not know what has become of him and I said to them. Whoever has any gold let him bring it break it off so they gave it to me I cast into the fire and out popped this can I have. The most miraculous thing here. So now Moses God's fearless leader I believe has had enough. And in verse twenty six. We read then Moses stood in the interests of the camp and said whoever is on the Lord's side come to me. Moses takes the stand that Aaron. Should have taken. You can't force people to take your stand. But you can direct them to take a stand. If you are on the Lord's side come to me. You can't force people to take your stand but you can give the nod between you take a stand. I wonder if that's where Joshua gets this stuff choose you this day whom you will serve. He's there. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. There are times when we have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. You can't force people to take your stand but you can direct them to take a stand. That's what leaders do. They don't straddle the line and try to please everyone. Leaders take a stand. Sometimes all the people want or even longing for is for the. A leader to take a stand. So that they might to. Just take a stand. I'll follow you. They might be thinking. And then we read these disturbing lines. Going back to verse twenty six will continue on from there. Whoever is on the Lord's side come to me and all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him and verse twenty seven he said to them Thus says the Lord God of Israel let every man put his sword on his side and go in and out from the entrance to entrance throughout the camp and let every man kill his brother every man his companion every man his neighbor. So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. We like to talk about the three thousand that came to the Lord in the book of Acts. We don't like to talk about this three thousand here. But in God's abundant mercy. Don't miss this in God's abundant mercy freedom of choice and opportunity for repentance were offered to all were they not. All those who had so blatantly broken the marriage come in and so soon into the marriage. Were given opportunity to repent. But some persisted in their rebellion. And so those determined in their rebellion were cut off. Acting by divine authority the sentence was executed and it's not a pretty picture. But it was the mercy of God that thousand should suffer to prevent the necessity of visiting judgment upon millions are you with me. First thirty one. And then Moses return to the Lord and said oh these people have committed a great sin and have made for themselves. A god of gold. Yet now if you will forgive their sin. If you by will have a dash there in the Hebrew it's as if it's just cut off. I imagine Moses perhaps is so filled with emotion. It's just this this choke. This period of silence. If you will forgive their sins choke. But if not I pray blot me out of your book which you have written. And for another forty days Moses pleads with God. Acting as an intercessor for God's people. Just as Christ mediates for sinful man Moses acting here in the role of Christ mediating on behalf of the people. And while there are some strong parallels God and up permit Moses to bear the guilt of their sin as Christ did for us on the cross. Let's finish out this story Exodus Chapter thirty three now verse thirteen. X. is thirty three verse thirteen. Now therefore I pray if I have found grace in your sight show me now your way that I may know you and that I may find grace in your sight and consider that this nation is again your people. And he God said in my presence will go with you. And I will give you rest. Skipping down to the end of verse seventeen. You have found grace in my sight. And I know you by name. And in chapter thirty four we read that upon coming down off the mountain Moses face glowed from being in the presence of God. You see the closer you are in communion with God the clear our knowledge of his requirements the more we are conformed to the divine image. But looking at this story as a whole now. Isn't it interesting. Does any of this sound familiar. For today crises in are seeing on behalf of his people and Revelation tells us that the final events will center around what main issues. Is it not worship. How will we worship as God dictates or as man dictates. On God's terms or on my own terms. On God's holy seventh day sabbath set apart since the creation the memorial of his creation or on a day ordained by man without biblical support and again the stakes will be very high. We're done with the exodus for now but I want you to turn to Revelation thirteen. Revelation thirteen. And with just read a few snippets here. You don't have time to break all this damn if you get lost and confused in the next few moments of this sermon contact one of us and let study in depth. Some of these passages Revelation Chapter thirteen verse eleven we read then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. Here we have what most interpreters accept as the United States in Bible prophecy who verse twelve says will call the earth and those who dwell on it to worship the first beast whose Deadly Wound was healed. Protestant scholars through the centuries have identified this first beeps as the papacy. That was in great power from five thirty eight to seven hundred ninety eight but in seventeen ninety eight. It took what seemed to be a fatal blow. So here in Revelation thirteen we have this beast coming up out of the earth after seven hundred ninety eight a nation rising to great power after seven hundred ninety eight with two horns like a lamb church and state and it will cause people to worship the first beast and then the punchline. Don't miss this verse fourteen. Telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image a likeness of to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived and was granted was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast and the image of the BE should be both speak and cause as many who should not worship. There it is the image of the beast to be what killed. Again the issue will be one of worship. Again the stakes will be high again people will be forced to choose the seal of God his name title territory and capsule lay in the seventh day sabbath. Or the mark of the B. verse sixteen and seventeen he causes all both small and great rich and poor free and slave to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads and that no one may be able to buy or sell except for those who. Have the mark of the name of the beast or the number of his name talk about peer pressure. No you can be sure. This issue will calm up again. Again people will be called to make a decision. Before divine judgment is pronounced upon the earth. The issue will be worship the stakes will be high. The question is will you be willing to stand up and stand out. That's the question. So you may be familiar with and read. No one for his stewardship or second coming. Presentations within the avenues church. And he makes what I think is a really neat illustration Perhaps you heard him. Tell you this one before but currently we have right about six point nine billion people in the world today six point nine billion by the way it's doubled in the last fifty years. But anyway. Two point one billion of those are Christian that involves Protestants Catholics everybody two point one billion. Only twenty million. Of those are seventh day Sabbath keepers. Now includes Aves seventh day Baptists and they Church of God. Everybody. So if you divide two billion by the twenty million Sabbath keepers that would be all of Christians by seventh day Sabbath keepers. Come out to about one hundred almost exactly a hundred so basically you have one Sabbath keeper for every ninety nine Sunday keepers. Let's just keep it simple. Ones have to keep every nine Sunday keepers which includes people like Rick Warren. Joel Jakes Chuck Swindoll Billy Graham you get the picture. My question is how can this one per. Of the Christian world be right. It's not very popular anymore but you remember the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Maybe so your favorite show. That's OK So let's say this man has answered all nine questions correctly and the final question for a million dollars. OK they're playing the scary music now the lights are going. Everything's happenin. Final question which day is the Bible Sabbath. Luckily for him it's multiple choice. OK a Sunday first day of the week be Wednesday fourth day of the week. C Friday six days a week or D. set or day seven day of the week. And it's part Manny he has no idea. He's just sweating bullets up there. But you know what he's OK because he still has one lifeline left. He's going to poll the audience. OK you're going to use live my OK that sounds like a good idea to do and also in this huge graph comes up. And what does it say. Everybody is just way up here and a Sunday first day of the week. This is what we call a no brainer right. What is the right answer. D. the seventh day of the week. Friends the issue will come up again. It will be an issue of worship worship is highlighted three times in the three Angels' messages of Revelation fourteen worship is highlighted five times in Revelation Chapter thirteen. And speaking of the last world powers in play and the stakes will be high and on that day. What kind of man will you be what kind of woman. Will you be what kind of leader and Pathfinder. Will you be. When you follow the crowd for fear of your life. Or will you stand up and stand out. That page action and profits. Page three twenty three. It says this. If Aaron. Had courage to stand for the right. If. Irrespective of the consequences. He could have prevented that apostasy in quote. If he had stand two brothers two leaders two very different approaches to leadership. Approach number one will give the people what they want. Lead to please play politics. Do whatever is most convenient. Approach number two follow the Parag active of God refuse to can't compromise stand up and be willing to stand out. And in time I believe there will be a group of individuals who are willing to stand at all costs. Who are not afraid to take a stand. To stand up and stand out in the name of Jesus Christ. So as all the people are or one or even longing for is for a leader that might take a stance that they might to just take a stand all follow you. The news right now especially in this political season is full of non committal commitment. You know what that is. We're committed. But we're not. We do but we don't we are but we aren't we will but we won't. It's time to say here is where I stand. People are hungry for leaders that will say here's where I stand. And you might be saying. Well. OK I get it but that's that's not my style. Friends I'm sorry we're not worried about your style this morning we're worried about your calling. As a leader in this church as leaders in your Sabbath school class your Pathfinder club as leaders in your dorm. As the spiritual leaders in your home as leaders in your sphere of influence be at work or any place else. We're not worried about your style but your calling. Take a stand. Take a stand. And so in my view saying well yeah but that that can be costly. Of course it's costly. What about the leader of Calvary. Don't you think he weighed the cost. Prayed all alone in the garden stood alone in the judgment of all died all alone on the cross. Don't you think it's costly Of course it's costly. But in the name of Christ. Take a stand. Stand up and stand out. You can't force people to take your stand but you can direct them to take a stand. To see this day whom you will serve but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. So my appeal is very simple this morning. If you want to say to the Lord I want to take a stand for you today. I want to stand in that locker room in that break room in my living room in the saddest school room in the boardroom whatever if you desire to stand up for Jesus by his grace and by His power in filling you but you say Lord I want to stand for you. I want to be faithful for you. I don't want anything to have to go against my conscience. I want to stand up. I want to stand out regardless of the Cross or the cost. Perhaps in light of the cross. Will you help me in this difficult situation. That you have brought to my mind or will you help me to stand. If you want to make that appeal to the Lord just now I invite you to stand on your feet. Praise the Lord let us pray. Dear lord we have to ask now for your forgiveness. For the times when we have let you down. When we have marginalized you. When we have taken the path of least resistance for fear perhaps of what it might cost. But the reality is we could not stand. And ask. Had you not first stood for us. Lord we desire to fulfill that mandate to stand for you to make the tough decision regardless of the cost but Lord we can do it on our own we need your infilling spirit. To give us the courage. The power. Or to overcome. But we know that your faith that you have to be there for us. So by your grace. May we stay for you today. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more service lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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