Read Exodus 32:1-14.

Every day, you and I must choose to pursue either image or integrity. Image is all about how we look and what people think of us. It’s style over substance. Integrity, on the other hand, is doing what’s right, regardless of what people think. Everyone is tempted to choose image over integrity. It’s a daily showdown none of us can afford to take lightly.

Aaron knew this temptation well. While Moses was atop Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments from the Lord, Aaron was down below with the people, and there was a mutiny brewing. The people were tired of waiting and wanted an idol to worship. Aaron was not the sort of man to put an end to their mutiny, regardless of what it might cost. Instead, he discovered that he was prone to compromise. Simply put, Aaron wanted to be liked. He was living for an audience of millions. So, he did what they asked: He made them a golden calf to worship.

Wanting to be liked will always lead us to compromise. But in Christ, we have the power to resist this temptation. We have been changed—made new—to live for an audience of one. We know what He says about us matters infinitely more than anything else. In His strength, we can choose integrity over image because we are not alone. Our God is with us.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for the ways I try to please man rather than please You. Help me to see the ways I seek praise for myself rather than Your delight. May I find full satisfaction in Your pleasure with me as I cling to Your Word and seek Your face. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“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 who will go before us’” (Exodus 32:1).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Treasure That Lasts: Giving Up Gold for Glory, Part 12: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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