“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.”
A sad statement is made in the verse above when Moses said, “For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves…” Why did Moses say such a thing to these people? He said it because he knew that they were following man and not God. He remembered how they quickly turned out of the way when he was on top of Mount Sinai. He remembered how they made the golden calf and worshipped it because they thought he was dead. Now, he understood that he was about ready to die, and these people would turn aside again because they never seemed to get focused on God.
One of the hardest tasks any man of God will do is to get those who follow him to be focused on God. A man focus always leads to compromise and sin; whereas, a God focus always keeps the saint walking the old paths. Just like Moses warned these people that after his death they would quickly turn away from God, you must be careful not to turn away from what you are supposed to be doing just because a man of God or your parents are gone. Several lessons can be learned from this passage.
First, you are never to be loyal to a man. One of the greatest misnomers in Christianity is that we are to be loyal to the man of God. This is one of the greatest deceptions the Devil has led Believers to embrace. You are never to be loyal to a man. Someone said to me that Paul told the Believers to follow him as he followed Christ, but what they didn’t take into account is that Paul was talking to a backslidden church. These backslidden Believers were so focused on man that the only way he could get them to refocus on Christ was to get them to follow him as he followed Christ. Be careful about placing your loyalty on a man because a man-focused loyalty always leads to disobedience when the man is gone.
Second, what is right when the man is present is still right when he is gone. What Moses told Israel to do was not his words, but they were God’s words. Just because a spiritual influence in your life is no longer alive doesn’t change the veracity of what they taught. If what they taught was right when they were alive, it is still right now that they are in Heaven. Doing right is never based on man, but it is always based on what God says. If it is okay to do something when a spiritual influence is gone, it is okay to do it when they were alive. Don’t let your focus on man cause you to stop doing right just because they are gone.
Third, always keep in perspective of Who you are serving. Focus your perspective on Christ and what He tells you to do so that when spiritual influences change, what you do doesn’t change. The greatest day of any Believer’s life will be when they stay focused solely on God and His Word. The reason that day will be so great is because you will not do things because a man tells you to do them, but you will do them because God tells you to do them. Moreover, it will also help you to easier see when man is going astray so that you don’t follow them into their wandering ways. My friend, let me encourage you to keep a right focus. If you quickly do wrong when your spiritual influences are gone, you need to let those wandering ways alert you to refocus on Christ.