But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. (Ex. 32:11)

“IF ALL YOUR FRIENDS jumped off a cliff, would you jump off a cliff too?”

Ah, the treasured lemming rationale, employed by mothers to try to prevent their children from taking some foolish action suggested by their peers. Though recent studies have shown lemmings as not necessarily following this behavior, the stereotype is ingrained into our culture. One animal leads the pack, that mindlessly follow, regardless of how dangerous the direction.

Ancient Israel was quick to ignore God and follow foolish leaders into rebellion. They disobeyed God’s commands to the point where God declared that He was ready to destroy them. Moses rejected the path taken by the people and embraced God, pleading to Him on their behalf to spare the Israelites. He found his strength in God’s promises rather than the approval of the crowd.

We face a culture today that seems to actively oppose God and His commands. Even many in our churches seem more willing to accommodate the world around them than to seek holiness in the Lord. To take a stand for Christ can invite disapproval, ridicule, or, increasingly, persecution. Just as with Moses, God today is actively seeking those who will place obedience to Him above the crowd. Our calling is to Christ and not to popularity. We must be ready to go it alone, knowing that in Christ we are never truly alone.

Ignore the crowd and follow Jesus, no matter the cost.

Terry Magee lives with his wife in central Pennsylvania, where he teaches in his church. He enjoys both reading and outdoor activities.