If you are a fan of NBC’s comedy series “The Office” you will remember how the fiancé of Dunder Mifflin regional manager Michael Scott is spending all of his money. He turns to his trusted accountant, Oscar, who advises that the best solution at this point would be to declare bankruptcy. Breathing a sigh of relief, easily confused Michael turns to the office staff, and as loudly as possible proclaims, “I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY.” Michael did not yet realize that in order to enjoy the benefits, bankruptcy is more than a declaration, it’s a lot of work.
The children of Israel have escaped the bondage of Egypt and are on their way toward the land of milk and honey. God has orchestrated incredible, undeniable miracles that led to their deliverance. Only the King of Heaven could split the waters of the Red Sea and lead his children by a cloud or fire across on dry land. Reaching the summit of a mountain, Moses ascends to receive the commandments of God before returning to the people.
With the patience of a husband waiting in a running car at 6:05 on his wife who was told 6 sharp, minutes seemed like an eternity, and the people began to wonder if they would ever see Moses again. The Exodus passage reveals they put off their gold earrings into the hands of Aaron who fashioned a golden calf idol for the people to worship. Exodus 32:5 (KJV) 5 And when Aaron saw [it], he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow [is] a feast to the LORD.
Holy. Cow. Notice that their declaration was unto the Lord. But their desire, the focus of their worship, was unto a golden cow. Declaration apart from desire is as destitute as asking God to bless food from the Golden Arches to the nourishment of your body. There’s an inescapable contradiction. That which is not healthy will not become nourishing simply because you say the right words. Verse 10 says this caused God’s anger to wax hot against the people He had just delivered.
You and I are not much different; maybe even worse. We don’t have to melt our jewelry to build an idol. We reveal what we worship by where we spend our money and our time. Most of all, we reveal our faith by our focus. Sure, we attend our church’s cookie cutter “worship experiences” as if we get credit or church points for going. All the while, our thoughts are with the game or food to follow. Our mouths say phrases like “this is the day that the Lord has made” while our desire is fixed upon the careers and customs that we have made.
From this idolatry we must repent, and Psalm 19:14 has the answer:
Let the words of my mouth, AND the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. David suggests that both our words and our thoughts are visible in the sight of God. So if our mouths say one thing while our heart says another, the omniscient God sees the hypocrisy. So, my friend, have you ever stopped to think about what you think about?
The reason our Christianity lacks traction is because we’ve boldly declared a faith on Sunday that eludes our focus on Monday. This Michael Scott faith not only appears humorous and foolish to the onlookers in our offices, it saddens the heart of the Omnipotent. God is less interested in you showing your faith by your words, and more interested in showing your faith by your works. Declaration + Desire = Delight