Stuck Between the World and God: How I Almost Died in Indecision

Stuck Between the World and God: How I Almost Died in Indecision

Some texts mark you for lifetime. As Jacob, you grapple with them, and even though you arrive away with a blessing, you leave with a limp. You think in different ways. You pray in another way. You love, talk, and act otherwise. Everyday living as it was prior to can be no more.

Elijah’s issue to the wavering people of Israel has been such a textual content for me. As a young higher education university student, by itself in my dorm area with a Bible I had just started off reading, I came to it:

How prolonged will you go limping among two distinct thoughts? If Yahweh is God, comply with him but if Baal, then stick to him. (1 Kings 18:21)

When I examine it on my futon, it was as nevertheless I witnessed the scene unfold firsthand.

“Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” The wicked king dealt with the prophet he experienced hunted like a deer in the forest. He sneered. Not frequently did the prey beckon the hunter or the fish, the fisherman. But here, weaponless and by itself, the prophet emerged from his hiding position to obstacle his pursuer, and all of his prophets, to a public showdown.

“I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, since you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals,” Elijah replied. “Now for that reason ship and assemble all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who try to eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kings 18:18–19).

Ahab fortunately complied.

News distribute promptly the people of Israel clamored all-around to see the spectacle. I took my spot among the masses. The pleasure was palpable as prophets and their gods ready for war. Baal’s king and his army of prophets stood in a person corner the Lord’s prophet approached on your own, taking his position in the other.

Pierced Devoid of a Weapon

But as the prophet sophisticated towards the mountain to confront off with the hundreds of prophets, Elijah’s eyes of fireplace rested elsewhere. He gazed at us, drew close to to us. The contestant walked around to the group, gradually wanting us about, and lifted his voice for all to listen to,

How lengthy will you go limping concerning two distinct views? If Yahweh is God, observe him but if Baal, then abide by him. (1 Kings 18:21)

Weaponless, he shot the initially arrow. Swordless, he reduce me to the coronary heart. By itself, I trembled to listen to a different talking.

As I examine people words and phrases, a life span of non secular indecision flashed ahead of my eyes. It took condition ahead of me. The amphibious creature, offspring of a hearty worldliness and brittle religiosity, reared its head. It bore the horrible splendor of a demon. This angel of mild had pleased and soothed my fifty percent-waking conscience for a lifetime, though remaining fake adequate to damn my soul.

This god I adopted took no difficulty with the lukewarmness — the begins and stops, the ins and outs of what I took to be Christian devotion. None of my prophets interrupted me, nor protested when I went my own way. For around a 10 years, my god was compliant, well mannered, civil. He did not inquire for significantly, nor threaten me, nor inquire me to do just about anything I did not previously concur to. He sat in the corner of the entire world, just smiling at me, his beloved.

If He Be God

The prophet, having said that, served yet another God. A jealous God. One particular who would not endure the waffling one more moment. And this prophet burned with his Master’s fire. Elijah made a decision that if he was going for walks headlong into his demise, he would leave his fifty percent-hearted men and women with a simple query: How very long, O faithless bird, will you go fluttering back and forth amongst two branches?

We, the people, had been the only ones undecided prior to that mountain. The monks of Baal were being determined, even to the point of shedding their blood. They reduce themselves with swords to invoke an remedy from Baal. King Ahab was also made a decision. He and his wicked spouse Jezebel hunted down Yahweh’s prophets and feasted with Baal’s. Elijah was made the decision. He stood on your own ahead of a non secular legion of darkness, positive that his God could swallow all these mighty minnows.

“A God, if he be God, need to be thoroughly followed. Any true God have to be totally obeyed.”

At this, a approximately novel considered pressed towards my thoughts: A God, if he be God, need to be totally adopted. Any real God ought to be completely obeyed. He demanded a selection. He have to be the most essential actuality in one’s daily life. Then the incredible conclusion that I professed for a long time at last caught up with me: I considered God existed. An eternal becoming, an infinite Particular person, a supreme monarch.

Elijah appeared me in the eyes and claimed, If the world or your flesh or you by yourself be god — stick to them. Try to eat, consume, for tomorrow you die. But if the God of Scripture is God, then cause, justice, and sanity alone cries aloud: If this Wonderful, Mighty, and Gorgeous God will have you, you need to comply with him — unreservedly, unquestionably, unhesitatingly.

How did I solution the prophet?

“And the individuals did not response him a word” (1 Kings 18:21). I joined the crowds in solemn silence.

The most daring among us held their tongue. Rough men did not protest. Not a chirp was read right before the mountain all beaks ended up stopped. What could we say in our protection?

If Christ Be God

Before the sunshine conquer upon the forsaken and bloodied prophets of Baal, right before hearth fell from heaven and gave the outmanned Elijah decisive victory, just before the folks rallied and slew the clergymen and Elijah ran for his lifetime, the prophet’s problem seared me: How lengthy will you go on indecisive?

How a lot of more times and months and yrs will move though you still pretend to have made up your brain? “If Christ be God, comply with him. If the planet, adhere to it.”

Has Elijah’s query shed its edge? To some others not refusing to affiliate with Jesus, nevertheless only adding him to a collection of other allegiances: “How lengthy will you go on fluttering among two branches?” Involving Christ and the appreciate of funds. Amongst Christ and this planet. Among Christ and your most loved sin. Among Christ and your cozy, uninterrupted lifestyle.

How lengthy, professing Christian, will you much too stay halfhearted, half-bowed? How substantially for a longer period will you persist with half-waking commitments to Christ? How extended will you feel to give him the unfastened adjust of your notice, the crumbled costs of your affections? “If Jesus is God, observe him but if your girlfriend be god, your popularity be god, your earthly pleasures and career be god — then stick to them.”

“I the Lord your God am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5). “You shall tear down their altars and crack their pillars and slash down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)” (Exodus 34:13–14). A person simply cannot participate in footsie with the consuming fire for extensive.

“One can’t play footsie with the consuming hearth for very long.”

The Christian God is God, and he will not sit idly by inside a pantheon of other gods and pleasures. He entertains no rivals. Friendship with the environment is adultery and enmity against him (James 4:4). This text, and this truth, God utilised to shake me awake and carry me to Jesus.

Dear reader, is your Jesus genuinely God? If he is God — and the Jesus of the Bible is God — then observe him. I long for fire to tumble yet again, pleading with Elijah, “Answer me, O Lord, respond to me, that this folks may possibly know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back” (1 Kings 18:37).

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