Saturday, July 2, 2016

I've Got A Made-Up Mind

I Kings 18:21
“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions?’ if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

In a world that is filled with instability, where it seems as if there is no sure foundation, it is comforting to know that there is a foundation of truth and a way of life that is eternally fixed and unmovable; Jesus is that foundation. It is calming to me to know that Jesus is alive and that through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, He lives in me. My God is a living God and He will never leave me or forsake me. But I must remain true to Him as well.

In this life there is no sure foundation outside of Christ. The Word of God tells us that in the last days, everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The “everything” that will be shaken includes our faith, if it can be because it is weak. I have come to understand that a sure foundation in Christ is obtained only when we have a made up mind in advance, that no matter what happens, we will follow Jesus. When you are committed, sold out, and your mind is centered upon the work of the Lord, you will possess a stronger foundation than those who can’t decide whether they want to live for Jesus or for themselves.

James 1:8 - "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

I don’t know about you, but I have you seen a lot of unstable people lately, and most of them are or were running for president.  I have seen people who are running like a hamster in a cage; they run and run but they never really seem to go anywhere and they never finish anything. Are you one of those yourself?

Maybe it seems that you have circumstances that arise and continually draw you off the right path because you possess an unstable mind. Shall I go or stay, turn or go straight, listen or talk, stop or go? So many decisions and so little power to decide! No wonder we are a nation of schizophrenics! We have to have split personalities, one side of us to go in one direction while the other half goes the other direction. In the history of the church, there has never been a time of more confusion and indecision.

Life contains many choices, each one with a list of positives and negatives attached to them and many of them have eternal consequences. Many people, to keep from making the wrong decision, don’t make any decisions at all. They live their life in limbo, which in turn is actually the wrong decision. Are you confused yet? Have you already decided that this message is too weird, or too confusing for you? Please continue reading, there is a method in this madness.

I’m attempting to make the point to you that all of us live lives of indecision and confusion.
But there is one single decision that is so all encompassing and so great in its scope that it can settle every other confused place in your life! That decision is to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and surrender your life to Him! I am not talking about mental assent to His existence, I am talking about true repentance. I am talking about turning away from your sin, being washed in the waters of baptism in Jesus’ name for the remission of sin, and being filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I am talking about an altar of sacrifice: where you lay down your will in exchange for His, where you die to self and through the Resurrecting Power of the Holy Ghost, where you find power to stop walking according to the flesh and to live for Him, this is the only place where the unstable man can find real stability.

Some “Christians” go about in a state of indecision concerning the Lord. They have very little real commitment and any little disruption can derail their faith because they have never made a real decision to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to serve God. I want to make clear what I am saying: you will never be able to do great things for the Lord, “these signs” will never follow you, until you get rid of that double minded attitude and make up your mind once and for all that Jesus is your Lord and that your purpose in this life is to serve Him.

When your mind is made up, there will never be a question whether we will be in church or not. There will never be a time when we will let our ministry, or our calling suffer from inattention. There will never be a time when someone else will have to fill in for us because we aren’t on our post. This is the Lord’s Army! When He calls the roll from the “Book of Life”, you can’t afford to be AWOL! The penalty is eternal separation and a dishonorable discharge!

Double-minded people are people that you can never really count on. They talk big but do very little that is lasting. In I Kings, Israel was in this condition during the reign of King Ahab. The people had lived in confusion and delusion brought on by their courtship and marriage to idolatry. After several years the showdown was to finally come at a place called Mount Carmel.

1 Kings 18:20-21
"So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, how long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word."

Elijah wasn’t on Mount Carmel that day to play games. His mind was made up. There was no doubt that Elijah was trusting in God and would do whatever it took to overcome the enemy. His confidence was in the eternal God with whom there is no variables or shadow of turning. Elijah knew God, and was there on that mountain because he had decided to obey God in all that he did.

450 Prophets of Baal showed up that day to challenge Elijah to a showdown. It would be a “fight to the death”. Before the day was done either Elijah or those 450 prophets would be dead and Elijah wasn’t planning his funeral. King Ahab, the wicked King of Israel who was married to Jezebel, the most wicked queen in Israel’s history, had called all of the Children of Israel to witness the contest between Elijah’s God and Baal.

As Elijah looked out over Israel he saw a people who had wandered far from God. They had become so entangled with idolatry that they could no longer decide who the real god was so they worshiped them all. Satan loves indecision and the confusion it brings. If he can keep us guessing, he can fool us into following the wrong path.

The amazing thing to me is that when Elijah asked, “Who is on the Lord’s side”, no one spoke up for God. Maybe they were afraid. Maybe Baal’s prophets intimidated them. or maybe they just couldn’t make up their minds quick enough.

Before the day was done, the Lord God of Heaven, Jesus is His name, the great I AM, had answered by fire while the prophets of Baal got the silent treatment from their god of stone and metal. The Living God sent a fire out of Heaven that burned the sacrifice, the wet wood, the stones, the hundreds of gallons of water in and around the trenches and even burned the dry sand around the altar.
Our God is a Consuming Fire and He knows how to answer in a way that will turn people back to Him. Israel’s confusion came to an end that day on the mountain. They turned back to God and destroyed the idols and the prophets of Baal.

That is what true repentance is all about. Get rid of the old nature of sin and turn back to worshiping God. Sell out to Him completely and prove Him!

I want to ask you today, what does God have to do to get you to make up your mind once and for all? He has already sent Jesus to purchase our salvation. He performed miracles, signs and wonders before our very eyes! He has given us His written Word! He has washed our sin away and bestowed upon us His righteousness! He has promised an eternal reward in Heaven! God has done everything He can do help us make up our mind to follow Him.

And what do we do about it? We skip church, we forget to pray, we forget to read the Bible, we refuse to clean up our language, we fail to witness to the lost, we refuse to step up and volunteer to work in His kingdom, and then we wonder why we aren’t being used by God like someone else.

We need to develop the same attitude and commitment that Joshua had in Joshua 24:15, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Would that every Christian would have the same made up mind that Joshua had concerning the Lord.

There was no question in his mind what his job and calling was.

That man or woman who is double-minded will face the decisions to: will I study the Word or watch TV? Should I go to the lake or mall or go to church? Will I pray or get some extra sleep? Will I go to revival service or lay about at home?

I think it’s time to make up our mind just what we want to do about Jesus. Only when you have a made up mind can you become stable and accountable in all your ways. Only after you have proven faithful and dependable in your calling will God allow your ministry to increase.

I don’t know about you, but I've got a made up mind! I have decided to follow Jesus!  I am no longer stuck between two opinions. He is the God that showed up when I called out for help! He consumed my sacrifice and has given me a new life! He filled me with the Holy Ghost and I have the power to overcome my circumstances. He died for me, so I have determined to live for Him, no matter what comes my way!

1 comment:

  1. Forgive me Father for indecision and slow action in being an able sergeant in Your Army. Knowledge of missed opertunities do not fulfill the promise, let me become more mindful of circumstances around us allowing me to act in faith as You have equipped.