Do we mold God into who we want Him to be, rather than seeking out who He truly is? Let’s look at what God’s people did shortly after their miraculous deliverance from slavery in Egypt.
“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[a] 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.” Exodus 32:1 NIV
The people don’t like waiting, so they demand an idol who will fit their selfish desires. Aaron is pressured into giving the people the kind of god they want.
2 “Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” Exodus 32:2-4 NIV
5 “When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward, they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” Exodus 32:5-6 NIV
Aaron calls this idol “the Lord”. Why? Because he isn’t giving them a new god. He is making God fit the image of God they want. This corruption leads to revelry.
“The Hebrew word rendered indulge in revelry … can refer to words that have sexual implications. Here it implies sexual acts done in the worship of pagan gods. Immorality often accompanies idolatry, even today.” David Jeremiah
“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.” Romans 1:22-24 NIV
7 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’” Exodus 32:7-8 NIV
The question that comes to mind is this: When God’s people create an image of God to fit what they want Him to be, (but still call that image “God”, even “Jesus”), are they worshipping the true Jesus, or a counterfeit Jesus? Paul warned Christians concerning false apostles who would preach about a Jesus who is not the real Jesus of the Bible.
“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
“For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold” 2 Timothy 4:3 AMP
Not everything being taught in Christian churches today is “sound doctrine”. There is only one way to recognize false teaching when you hear it, and it is this: You must read and study the Bible for yourself. That means reading the Word of God every day. It means reading the Word of God more than you read books about the Word of God.
When you read a popular Christian author more than you read the Bible, you begin to interpret the Bible through their “lens”. If it is false, it can take years to “unlearn” what you have been taught. On the other hand, if you read and study the Bible for yourself, you will recognize false teaching right away.
Many new Christians, in their excitement of knowing Christ as their Savior, read many books about the Bible. I believe the devil takes advantage of their hunger for God to lead them astray through false, yet entertaining, books that are so widely available today.
The only real protection against this is to read and study the Bible for yourself, love the Truth, and follow Jesus. Jesus said,
“If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].” Luke 9:23 AMP
With Love, Cindy
Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?