July 18, Saturday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI devotionals from July 13-19 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry LA.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

1 Kings 18:20-40

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.” And the people did not answer him a word. 

18A great war was about to take place between the Birds and the Beasts. The two armies assembled on either side—but the Bat hesitated which to join. The Birds that passed the cave said, “Come with us,” but the Bat said, “I am a Beast.” Later on, some Beasts who were passing by yelled out to him, “Come with us!” but he said, “I am a Bird.” Luckily, at the last moment peace was made and no battle took place.  So the Bat came to the Birds and wished to join them in the celebrations—but they all turned against him and he had to fly away. He then went to the Beasts, but soon had to retreat, lest they tear him to pieces in their anger. “Ah,” said the Bat, “I see now.  He that is neither one thing nor the other has no friends.”

A myriad of stories is found in the Bible of people choosing between faith in God and faith in something else. King Ahab and his wicked wife, Jezebel, placed their trust in something else—namely Baal—and as a result Israel suffered through three years of drought and famine. Others were found teeter tottering between Baal and Jehovah, which is what Elijah confronts Israel with in this famous scene in Mount Carmel. Elijah calls them to move off the center and to decide whom they will serve.

Just as in Elijah’s day, there are many who are uncommitted and unaware that their indecisive straddling is hazardous to their spiritual health. To straddle as a Christian is to misunderstand the very nature of Christianity. One may even attend church regularly, yet remain uncommitted, which can be compared to a soldier who will not join an army or a football player who does not join a team. There’s a difference between interest and commitment: When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit, but when you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses—only results.

Jesus says, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Luke 16:13). Jesus knows how devastating remaining in the middle of the road can be: the unbeliever’s indecision can cost eternity, and the believer’s indecision can cost him the opportunity to experience genuine love and freedom God has to offer His child.  Furthermore, it is repugnant to God: “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).

As followers of Christ, we must see that we will never realize the promises of God without first being fiercely committed to Him. We must stop thinking that our commitment will lead to loss of freedom and see the paradoxical truth—that we are only truly free when we are enslaved to Christ. Consider your commitment to Christ today. Pray that God will help you to clearly choose Him today with the many choices you will make throughout the day.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to renew myself to You today by committing wholeheartedly my life in its entirety. Expose the idols of my heart for what they are: empty promises and inevitable disappointments. I repent of trusting in things that do not bring me life, but only increasing thirst. You alone are able satisfy the thirst of my soul. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Hosea 14; Haggai 1

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