Whose Side are You on Anyway?
by: Mike Mc Lay
“How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21a). This question was posed to the people of Israel thousands of years ago by the prophet Elijah. What did the people answer? (Cricket noise). “But the people did not answer him a word” (1 King 18:21b). Their answer or lack thereof screamed to Elijah and God that we doubt the Lord is God. In fact we don’t even love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and might (Deut. 6:5). The people of Israel put the idols of Baal at the forefront of their lives, telling Yahweh to take a backseat. Hesitate literally means “to limp along on or between two twigs”. What kind of stability is in that?
If someone were to see your life, your worship of God away from church in your personal time, family time, work or school environment, would they see someone limping along? Lame in your devotion to the Lord? What if they pushed on your faith a little bit? Would you fall? Unstable in your beliefs, not grounded in the Word? Matthew compares two men who built their house on rock, the other on sand and when rain, floods, and slamming winds came the rock foundation stood, but the sand foundation fell because he didn’t listen to God’s Word. (Matt.7: 24-27).
It boils down to; do you doubt these words of His? Will you act on them or not? Because, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways,” (James 1:5-8). Like the children of Israel, James here describes a double minded man or literally two souled man, as someone who needs God’s wisdom in dealing with trials and persecutions, but they look to the world’s wisdom ignoring the omniscient God and His wisdom. In the commentary “James, Wisdom for the Community,” the author said, “This “straddling the fence” person is also unstable, and unsteady, fickle, a staggering soul who is vacillating not only in prayer but also in his daily walk.” Is this the description of your walk today, or yesterday, perhaps ever? My hope for those of you straddling the fence is that you would jump off whole-heartedly to the rock side, God’s side of the fence.
Do you hesitate between two opinions, limping around with no foundation, tossed here and there by every wind of doctrine? (Eph. 4:14) Don’t be! We need to be single minded men, stable in all our ways. We need to be like Elijah who when he prayed, “… fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. All the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “the Lord He is God; the Lord He is God,” (1 Kings18:38-39). They went from not answering a word to proclaiming the Lord He is God.
So, “If the Lord is God follow Him.” Let your life prove “the Lord He is God,” by allowing Him to be Lord and master of your life. But if Baal is god, (insert your favorite idol, hobby, or yourself) then follow it. Maybe, just maybe in the midst of your futile ways God’s grace will be magnified against the backdrop of total depravity and He will draw you unto Himself. We are sinners that fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), He is God, who saves by grace through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2:8-9). You need to know Christ as Lord. You must, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). Take a hard long look at God in His Word. How will you answer? You say you know Jesus, don’t doubt. You say you doubt? Then know Jesus. How long will you hesitate between two opinions?
Focus on the Bible, James, Wisdom for the community, Christopher W. Morgan & B. Dale Ellenburg 2008