Shining Face | Devotion 4: No Perfect Churches
There is an old quip that used to get passed around the church, “If you find a perfect church, go ahead and join it, it won’t be perfect anymore.” The fact is, the church is made up of imperfect people trying to live by the Spirit to fulfill God’s purpose. Even though we may all agree churches are not perfect, it can prove difficult to live with grace and mercy towards each other.
As we study the life of Moses, I think we see a picture of this. Israel continually messes up. They get off course, and Moses becomes frustrated. Moses complains about the people, and God demonstrates His love and goodness by giving grace.
In Exodus chapter 34, Moses returns back up Mount Sinai to get a new set of stone tablet commandments. I imagine this was not a fun walk up the mountain. If it were me, I would struggle to want to make this trip a second time as I thought about the idolatry that happened on the previous occasion. However, Moses is obedient to God and takes the stone tablets up the mountain a second time.
At this point in his life, Moses is clearly at a breaking point of frustration. I think we have all been there with our church before. We feel upset or hurt by something that does or does not happen. Maybe it is a program we loved is no longer happening, the bathroom is painted a new color, or an idea we have does not get the backing of the church. Whatever the case may be, most of us have times or places where we feel downtrodden within the church. Even though our natural response, as was Moses in chapter 33, is to ask God what in the world is going on, God makes a huge point to Moses and us in chapter 34.
Verse 10 says, “And He [God] said, ‘Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.’”
No matter how we feel about the peripherals of the church, we must always remember that God has made a covenant with the church. It is a covenant established by the blood of Jesus to work in and through us to accomplish an awesome work. It is easy to fall into the trap of frustration and complaining like Moses, but we must continually remember and recognize that God has established this church and we must submit to His will and purpose focusing on what is actually significant – to reach the world, gather together, and grow in the Word.