Elijah had a tough battle but he was no super hero. However, he was heroically obedient. The Bible consistently shows us ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things by God’s power. What better way for God to put His power and might on display than by using a broken, flawed individual to accomplish His purpose? He continues to do that today in ordinary people just like you and me.
Elijah challenges the people of Israel with a question that we all need to ask ourselves. Its a question of devotion. Possibly an invitation to leave the double life of trying to please God and ourselves. Its the same indictment that was handed down to the people that James was writing to when he said;
…whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
The words of Elijah go like this;
21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21
I love that imagery: limping. When you limp, something is very wrong. You are injured, you cannot function properly. We don’t want to limp, but something broken or injured is slowing us down. When we try to serve God and do whatever we want, its as if we are limping through life. It happens to all of us. We desperately want to love Jesus with our whole heart, but we fall into patterns of selfishness and sin and we stumble and fall.
Jesus made it clear centuries later in case we don’t fully comprehend what Elijah is saying. You can’t serve two masters.
Far too often in my life I can look back and see times and places in my life when I was limping and stumbling through my faith. As you look at your life, does it feel like you are spiritually limping? If so, what is the cause? What do you need to take to God? Where are you making compromises? What do you need to leave behind?
Hebrews 12:1 urges us to lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1
Life may be very difficult at times, and we may need to part ways with things that bring us comfort by deny us growth. However, when our heart is set on Christ, he will better equip us to deal with the difficult realities in front of us and to help us persevere. I have known many people who assume that change is not possible and that God is not interested in changing. I have come to believe the reality that most people don’t turn to God for healing because deep down, they see all that needs to be done and just simply are not willing to make the appropriate changes. God will empower and equip us for change, but he expects us to join Him in the process. Most people are more comfortable with the discomfort they are experiencing daily than the discomfort that will accompany true and lasting life change. As tough as life can be, doing nothing has always been the easiest solution and is by far and away the most popular choice for people.
How is your race going? Are you running? Tell us about your victories. Are you stumbling? What do you need to cast off? Have you stopped running? How can we encourage you to get up and finish the race?