DANCING BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
"How long will you waver
(literally, 'continue this wild and futile religious dance')
between two opinions?
If the Lord is God, follow Him;
but if Baal is God, follow him."
1 Kings 18:21
This morning I am convicted in myself of my sin. When I am steadfast, I hold to God and His Word, and am convinced of His love and His truth. Jesus and I walk in fellowship, and I bask in the warmth of His Word, and even the difficulties.
But when I am hard hit by certain things, and certain situations, I falter, and sometimes waver to the point of despair. I lash out at others, at God, and feel desperately alone. I dance around seeking some kind of resolution, suddenly unsure of everything, and hurt myself and those close to me by my unfaithfulness.
This sin of 'wavering' and 'dancing between two opinions' is my struggle. God is working in me to eradicate my doubt and fear, but it is a hard, deep work, and involves extrusion of my flesh through small openings that approximate the size of a needle's eye. Very painful, and for me, at times excruciating. The impossibility speaks to the power of God being our only possible means of success, and I don't even believe in the power of God at times.
When Elijah stood before Israel on Mount Carmel and spoke these words above, he was not speaking to heathen. He was speaking to those who had the truth, who knew the truth of God, who had the Word. It is important we understand this. God's challenge to us today is to you and me, those who know about Jesus Christ, who claim His Name, who label themselves Christians.
What will we do? Will we continue in our 'dance' between the world and the Lord? Will we continue to be wholehearted in good times, and dancing the dance of fear and anger in bad?
Only Christ, and His power, can deliver us from this.
"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?"
Paul answer immediately, having been through much pain and suffering, the crucifying of the flesh by cross, the daily dying he experienced for his love of Christ.
"Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord."
It is only Christ. He only can deliver, and make whole. It is His Spirit in us that leads and guides us away from sin, that empowers us to live holy lives. This unholiness in me, my tendencies to sin that I hate, cannot be eradicated by my hatred of it. No matter how badly I feel after I fall, I cannot rise into new strength and courage by my anger toward my own sin. It is only Christ's power that will deliver me.
Even Jesus, my Lord, Lord of all creation, and Lord of heaven, learned obedience by the same process through which He takes us now.
"Although He was a Son,
He learned obedience from what He suffered
and once made perfect,
He became the source of eternal salvation for all..."
It is my only comfort this morning that Christ is with me in this. He went through it all, and became my all-sufficient, perfect Savior through the things He suffered. His perfection means my perfection is possible in Him. When Peter says, "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" he meant that Christ in us will kill the wavering, dancing old man, and make us into strong, steadfast, powerfully holy men and women, if we only understand and persevere.
Yet we are called, as Elijah called Israel, to make the choice every day.
We must wake and make the choice each new morning. Will we dance around with the world, from fear, from greed, from lust, from anger? Or will we stand with Christ, letting Him do His work in us, letting Him be the answer for us?
Brethren, I pray for you and for myself this morning. Help, Lord Jesus. Many of us waver and dance between two worlds. Many of us haven't died to ourselves, our own dreams, our own goals, our own comforts and precious worldly things. We must have your power to step across that line, forsake sin today, and be Yours completely.
Forgive me for my grave sins of doubt, of fear, of uncertainty. These are at the core of all my stupid and senseless actions. Forgive me and cleanse me, Lord Jesus, and give me Your heart, soul, mind and strength to love and to go on to perfection.