When it comes to making decisions, it seems to me that, for the most part, people can be divided into two categories: those who are decisive, and those who are not. I tend to be one of the decisive types, whereas my beautiful wife Bonnie is not so much. For example, one time when we were on an airplane, sitting all the way at the back, Bonnie could not make up her mind about what sort of soft drink to get from the flight attendant. She thought and thought about it while the flight attendant made her way down the aisle, even turning and asking my opinion (which I of course freely gave, since I'm decisive and always have an opinion ready). Yet, when the moment of truth arrived and the flight attendant asked Bonnie what she wanted to drink, there were several long moments of hesitation because she still hadn't been able to decide.
Now, when it comes to ordering soft drinks on a plane, being indecisive is not that big of a deal. But as I was reading in 1 Kings this morning, I was struck by the fact that it IS a big deal when it comes to our spiritual lives. Listen to 1 Kings 18:21, which tells us, “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him’.”
For 85 years, the nation of Israel had been going back and forth between worshiping false gods and worshiping the One True God. And each time God challenged them on it, they would come running back to Him, saying they were sorry. But then, when God's punishment seemed to go away, they would go back and do the same thing all over again. Finally, God had had enough, and He sent Elijah to essentially say, “Enough! Make a choice. Which side are you on?”.
I think it's easy for us to look at this example and wonder what was up with those Israelites! They seem like the most indecisive group of folks around - constantly going back and forth between following God and not following Him. Actually, that’s a theme that's woven throughout their history - which makes it even easier to judge them for their indecisiveness. And yet, if we’re honest, I think we would all admit that there's some of this same indecisiveness in us; we can also struggle to live decisively for Christ every day.
This wish-washy approach to God shows up in our lack of obedience, our lack of trust, our lack of desire, and our lack of faith. Even those of us who are the most decisive in everyday life can struggle with this problem – we can be excited to serve God one day, and then the next day get too caught up in our own thoughts and plans to give Him the time of day. And while God is gracious and merciful, He wants the same from us that He wanted from the Israelites - a firm decision to live for Him, each and every day.
So today, pray with me that we will all be decisive in our choice to follow God - and that in doing so, we will be able to live consistently for Him.