“The people remained at a distance . . Moses approached . . where God was.” Exodus 20:21 NIV
“A safe and second hand experience of God never satisfies.”
My thoughts today are about “crowd mentality.”
Have you noticed that people follow a crowd? Get enough people together, moving in the same direction, and others want to join the parade. Everybody loves a parade! Even when they don’t know what the parade is about. It is easy and tempting to do; no one wants to feel left behind, left out. Don’t follow the crowd. The people at the front are often the wrong ones and the only ones who know where they are going, while everyone else just goes happily along to see what they find. And what they find is rarely what they were looking for.
You can see the effect of a crowd mentality everyday. The appearance of success breeds greater success – with restaurants, everybody wants to go there because everybody goes there – styles and fashions, new but no better than last year’s – entertainers and entertainment, the latest but not the greatest – TV shows and movies, the buzz of everyone but nothing fresh or new – and even churches, if so many others go there, why shouldn’t I, they reason.
If “everyone” is going somewhere, you don’t want to miss out. If “everyone” is doing something, you won’t want to be different. That is understandably true, unless you want to be a leader, instead of a follower; unless you want to be in the right place, instead of finding you wasted your life going the wrong direction.
The crowd is not always right; in fact, they seldom are. And the majority does not always know best. Read John 6:26/66-67 NIV. Then why do people follow crowds so much? Does a crowd suggest that the more there are, the more they must know. Following the crowd – especially if it is the wrong crowd – can take you somewhere you didn’t plan to go.
If you choose to sound like the crowd, look like them, think like them, and act like them, you will soon be like them whether you mean to or not. Jesus warned, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NIV.
And the crowd will not likely take you in God’s direction. I have observed that people gradually become more like those they are most around. The friends you spend time with and the activities you enjoy ultimately shape who you will become and how you will spend your life. Chose those carefully. You will have to be where God is to know God better, and be more like Him. That can feel lonely at time, if you are looking around to see who else is doing so. Let nothing and no one distract you from that noble cause. Eternity hinges on your doing that.
The wrong crowd keeps a safe distance from God. They don’t want to be changed; they want to be what they want to be, so they can do what they want to do. God would only interfere with that. Even the right crowd can be content to have a safe and second hand experience of God; that never satisfies. “The people remained at a distance . . Moses approached where God was.” Not much has changed today. I hope that you choose to have an up-close and personal, real and intimate relationship with God. That is one choice you will never regret.
My prayer for you is that you draw near to God and He will draw near to you.