This week, I drank my first cup of coffee. And I have had at least one cup every day since. It’s not that I like it, really. It’s just that I need the caffeine, and my husband seems to think it’s a better than my Diet Mountain Dew. So, believe it or not, at 48 years of age, I have become a coffee drinker. Isn’t it interesting how quickly things can change?
In today’s sermon from 1 Kings 18, our pastor recounted the story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel. It’s a sad story with comedic moments, one of my favorite Bible stories actually. At first glance, it seems to be about a showdown between Elijah and 450 prophets of Baal. But as Pastor Tim Harris quickly pointed out, it’s really about a battle that was taking place in the hearts and minds of the people of Israel.
“How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions?” Elijah asked the people (verse 21). “If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!”
But the people actually liked having it both ways. They wanted to reap the benefits of a relationship with God. But they also wanted to make sure they didn’t tick off Baal—you know, just in case.
Interestingly enough, however, just 18 short verses later, we find “all the people” face down acknowledging the one true God. Hmm, it’s interesting how quickly things can change.
It makes me pause to consider my own loyalties. Are there things in my life that threaten to become idols? Is my devotion divided between the Lord and other things? To whom does my heart really belong, and does my life reflect that commitment? It’s so much more serious than switching from cola to coffee.
You’ve probably heard the statement, “If you don’t like the weather in Kentucky, stick around a minute. It will change.” I sincerely hope that same sentiment is never used to describe me.
“If you don’t like the way Tricia is acting, give her a minute. She will change.”
“If you don’t like what Tricia is saying, just wait a while. She will say something different.”
“If Tricia doesn’t act like a Christian today, come back tomorrow. She may then.”
It should never be so.
James 1:6 says, “…be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”
God, help me not to be that kind of person, that kind of Christian. God, help me to stay steadfast in Your love and Your will. And when I am tempted to make something else a god in my life, when I am tempted to change sides or straggle the line, please remind me of this story and these words, “If the Lord is God, then follow Him!”
If you would like to listen to Pastor Tim’s sermon, check out the Woodburn Baptist Church website later this week. The sermon, “All on the Altar,” will be posted there.