Thursday, August 17, 2017

“Baal-out”

How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him, but if Baal is God, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21, NIV).

The silence was deafening (vs. 21).

If we were to ask the same question today, substituting for “Baal” whatever gods we cling to in our vain attempts to keep one foot in the world and follow God with the other, the silence would also be deafening.

Syncretism is defined as the attempt to merge religions, cultures, thoughts. And we are a syncretistic society. Like a moth tries to get as close to the flame as it can without being burned, we try very hard to assimilate as many of the world’s values while claiming to love God. This attitude is nothing new—Elijah accused Israel of the same and challenged them to make up their minds one way or the other.

The Apostle John would have likened Israel and the modern church to the church of Laodicea: “I know your deeds, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:15-17, NIV).

Elijah challenged the people to stop pretending. Be a follower of God or be a follower of Baal. The two don’t mix. The demonstration of God’s power on Mount Carmel convinced them—however temporarily—that they needed to follow God exclusively and wholeheartedly. The God of fire answered (18:24).

One day, the God of fire will answer again. What a shame it will be when the investments that so many of us have made in the world are consumed by the flames, leaving us with very little, or nothing, to lay at His feet.

…each one should be careful how he builds. For no one one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Christ Jesus. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burnt up. he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, NIV).

Time to decide. Either “Baal-out” or declare ourselves all in and follow God wholeheartedly.

 

Lynda is a missionary, speaker, educator, writer, editor, and cat lover. She was born and raised in Timmins, the heart of gold mining country in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Lynda has served with Fellowship International for more than thirty years, first in Colombia, a brief stint on home staff in Toronto, Ontario and, more recently in Venezuela. She is currently on staff at First Baptist Church in Timmins, Ontario where her primary focus is spiritual formation. The author of Divine Design for Daily Living, a 365 day devotional journey through the entire Bible (published in Spanish and English),  Lynda blogs Lynda’s Grain of Sand, maintains her own website Northern Breezes , and has been seconded by Fellowship International to serve on the Communications team of The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada.

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