Devotion: 1 Kings 18:20-21

After the confrontation with Ahab, Elijah and all of Israel gather together at Mount Carmel. A contest between the Lord and the idols is about to take place. Yet, before that contest is underway, Elijah holds out one last opportunity for Israel to repent.
“So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 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.” – 1 Kings 18:20-21 ESV
The problem here is not exchanging the Lord for the Baals, but trying to keep a foot in both camps. Elijah is simply calling the people to make a decision. Obviously, Elijah is proclaiming the truth here that the Lord (YHWH) alone is God and that people ought to follow Him. Yet, Elijah does not want half-hearted and incomplete commitment. The decision of faith is all or nothing.
Too often we too try to treat faith as a partial commitment. We offer up empty platitudes like, “Everything in moderation,” as if the Lord would be pleased with a moderate commitment to our faith in Him. The call of Jesus is the call to deny self, take up cross and follow him (see Matthew 16:24). Such a call does not broker compromise. It is an all or nothing commitment.
The choice then and now is simply that stark. And the decision then and now is too often met with silence. Perhaps the people are hedging their bets, wondering who will come out on top in the contest about to take place. We too can hedge our spiritual bets, oscillating between our faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior and anything else, such as materialism (life is about having the best stuff) or subjectivism (life is all about me) among others. Our God remains a jealous God and He will not receive partial commitment as faith.
So is there no hope for the Christian? After all, none among us can claim anything approaching perfect faith commitment and a rock-solid decision. This is the wonder of grace. Ultimately, your do have perfect faith, just not your own. The perfect faith you have is the perfect faith of Jesus, who was always for the Lord. So when the choice is before you to decide who you trust and serve, do not fall silent. Say, “Jesus” and trust in his faithfulness in times of decision.
The song is “Great Divide” by Heritvge.