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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Revival

My House is Full but My Field Is Empty

As we have been doing for a bit, I have been recapping the message I got to deliver at our church a couple of weeks before our  Revival. We have talked about a few things regarding, “Revival,” and I closed with an oral presentation of this blog post to close things out and illustrate what it might look like to actually get revived. My wife and her friend sang this song to open our service. This is not them; they are actually much better! Don’t ever say blogging doesn’t pay, as there is nothing like literally having a message in one’s pocket at all times!

 

My House Is Full, but My Field is Empty

Luke 10:2

Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.


There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today,
Lots of food on His table and no one turned away.
There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by,
But a hush calms the singing as the Father sadly cries,

There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today. Indeed, there is much peace and contentment to be found around the Father’s table; he has promised us that. For those who are saved children of God, He gave us the promise that Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Why do we have so much peace? We can have that because although born sinners, as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, He loved us enough to provide a way to be restored to Himself,  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Lots of food on His table and no one turned away. What is it we are partaking of at our Father’s table? Jesus told us that; He told us that the sustenance He provides would last forever. Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. What we enjoy at the Father’s table will never run out, and we will never hunger or thirst again. But, there is more! The invitation to the Father’s table is an open one, and no one will be turned away, who comes to Him in repentance and faith; for whosever calls upon the name of The Lord shall be saved.

There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by. Hours? Try eternity, for we will be at our Father’s table forever! David, the Psalmist noted the following:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil;my cup overflows.Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

But we don’t have to wait for our passing from this life and eternity to enjoy the many blessings of God do we? All saved children of the Father know our blessings start the moment God’s Holy Spirit moves inside of us and we are saved and born again. That’s really when we first come to the table. So, what is the problem? Our chorus tells us what the problem is.

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields.

That’s right, we all love the blessings God bestows on us as saved children of His. But God needs workers. The fields are ripe for the harvest, as The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: 

Who will go and work for Me today? In the prophet Isaiah’s vision, we hear the Lord ask Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? In that occasion, the prophet promptly replied to the Lord Here am I; send me. Is that our answer when God calls us to reach out to a lost and dying world? Or are we a Moses, who resisted at first until God grew angry; or a Gideon, who required proof after proof; or a Jonah, who complied but even then remained angry at God’s decision to reach out to Nineveh?

So, then, what does does God want from us besides us sitting around enjoying His great blessings? Does He want us to just stay in his house, filling our bellies with His bounty? NO!

Push away from the table.
Look out through the windowpane,
Just beyond the house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain.
And it’s ripe unto harvest,
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house,
Oh, can’t the children hear
the Father sadly say,

We have our orders, and our instructions are clear. Push away from the table. Look out through the windowpane, After he had spent 40 days showing himself to the world and his disciples after His resurrection, Jesus had these famous words to say to them jut prior to leaving this Earth and returning to heaven:  Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Go, Go Go. That is what Jesus said. Go! At some point after that, just before he ascended to be with His Heavenly Father, Jesus reinforced the point when he further told the disciples that ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. As if to further reinforce the point, after Jesus disappeared into the clouds two angels appeared to the disciples and asked them, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?

Who was this instruction for? Was it just for the disciples assembled there? Well, obviously not! How would 12 men reach the uttermost part of the Earth? This command is for all people, of all times, in all places. It’s not just for preachers, or evangelists, either; again, this instruction is for us all.

The instruction is for NOW. Of course, Jesus did tell the disciples to return to Jerusalem and wait for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, which did occur on the Day of Pentecost. We no longer have to wait for that, because as saved believers we are already indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and have all the tools we need at our disposal! The time is now, because the harvest of souls is ready and waiting, see again Jesus teaching His disciples, Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. This command is not for the future; it is for now, and it is for us all.

So, why are we in the Father’s House, gathered around the table, and enjoying His sustenance? Well, of course it is because He loves us and wants to bless us. But perhaps there is more, and the narrator in the video on this post may have captured it perfectly. Why do we eat and rest in the first place? We do it to keep our bodies nourished and to recover from previous efforts, right? We do it so that we can go back to our endeavors at a later time.  Maybe that is why God blesses us in His house, not so much for simply our enjoyment, but to get back out there and resume our endeavors.

So, let’s enjoy our Father’s house and His table. Let’s thank him for and enjoy the many blessings He gives us. Let’s remember however, that those of us who are saved believers will enjoy that bounty for all eternity. There are, however those, who will not, unless they are reached, because  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

So, then, beloved, let us fill our bellies and get our rest. Then, let’s not sit around and do nothing. Let’s push back from the table, look out that window, and more importantly walk out that door into a lost and dying world and share Jesus Christ with them!

There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today,
Lots of food on His table and no one turned away.
There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by,
But a hush calms the singing as the Father sadly cries,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields.

Push away from the table.
Look out through the windowpane,
Just beyond the house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain.
And it’s ripe unto harvest,
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house,
Oh, can’t the children hear
the Father sadly say,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields….

Who will go and work in my fields

 

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Revival Is Not Primarily an Emotional Event

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We have talked about why we even need revival, why revival is not just an even and why revival is not primarily a tool of evangelism. Let’s move on and talk about how a revival should to more than just give us an emotional charge

Psalm 85:6

Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? 

God is clearly all for us expressing joy, and even emotive joy over the blessings He has clearly given us. In our verse above, the Psalmist clearly asks to be revived so that the people can rejoice. We see this in other places as well:

After his sin with Bathsheba and his restoration(revival one might say) David had the following to say:

Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

The congregation sang the following in song to celebrate their return from captivity in Babylon:

Psalm 126:2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.

Who can forget David dancing for joy upon the return of the Ark of the Covenant in 2 Samuel 6?

Obviously, joy and excitement at revival and restoration is very appropriate and highly encouraged by our Lord. Why then, do I raise this issue? What do we need to consider when we balance the emotional aspects of revival?

Did revival make me happy, or did it make me change? I can be whirling in the aisles and barking like a dog during service, but If I leave as the same person I came in as, then I was not revived.

Was the focus on the emotional aspects of revival, or on the sound preaching and admonishment of the Word of God? If the focus is on how excited I got, then I have become the focus and not God. If I, or anyone else was the focus, then we were not revived

Revival is NOT primarily for evangelism

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Many differing thoughts exist as to what a revival within a church consists of. For many, if not most of us, a revival is simply an event; it is something we attend or go to see. It is something our church does because, well, we always have. Many of us head out to revival, with some hope that, “Gosh, I sure hope somebody gets saved at revival.” I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but that is not what revival is for!

Don’t misunderstand me at all; if a person comes to a revival and gets saved, that is wonderful. Just as it is wonderful if they get saved on a regular Sunday morning, Sunday night, in their fishing boat, on the golf course, or any other place where God chooses to reach out to a lost person and convert them. The salvation of a lost soul should always be a cause for great and joyful celebration by the saved themselves; however, the salvation of lost souls is not the purpose of a revival.

Let’s look at the word itself. Re simply means “again,” while vive simply means “life.” So, what we see here is the revival literally means “life again.”  It doesn’t mean new life or the birth of life; it means the restoring of life that already exists.

Here are some other passages that seem to express the sentiment here:

Psalm 85:6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that THY PEOPLE may rejoice in thee?

Habakkuk 3:2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive THY WORK in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land

.  Revival then is not primarily an effort to give life to those who do not have it. It is primarily an effort to bring back to life those who already have it, His people so that they can be about His work.

Even though a revival is not primarily for evangelism, it will certainly produce it.

Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:46,47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

I think we have established in the previous devotional that Revival is not for the nonbelieving world primarily; it is for the believing churches of the world. It is not primarily for giving life to lost souls but is primarily reviving life in souls already possessing it.

A revived church will result in evangelism.  I found the following which captures the essence of the difference between revival and evangelism very nicely. I have lost where I found this, so good job to the one who did.

Revival is what the church experiences. Evangelism is what the church engages in.

Revival is the spiritual renewal of God’s people. Evangelism is confronting those without with the claims of Christ.

Revival is God crying to lethargic Christians: “Wake up — and get to work.” Evangelism is an awakened church crying to sinners: “Repent — and be saved.”

Revival is getting one’s own heart warmed. Evangelism is setting other hearts on fire.

Revival is periodic. Evangelism is continuous.

Those who understand the difference between revival and evangelism never say, “Oh, we didn’t have much of a revival — just a lot of church members warmed over!”

But that is revival.

A legitimate claim could be made that the day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter 2 represented the greatest Revival in recorded history. The Disciples had, as instructed, returned to await the event which was to occur, which was the giving of the Holy Spirit to them. The group that was gathered was given the power of the Holy Spirit, given new life, and revitalized with a new mission in mind.

That mission was to turn the world upside down; that mission was to evangelize the world. 3000 souls were added to the church that day, and they continued on in that endeavor as we see in Verse 47 when “The Lord added to the church daily…”

Revival Is Not just an Event

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In the first point we covered in our little talk about “Revival,” we discussed the issue of why we might or might not need revival in the first place. I think we came to an agreement that, while we ought not to need it, that we unfortunately do. We then went on to discuss the nature of “Revival” as simply an even, or a thing that we do.

We toss that word around rather loosely sometimes, and I wonder if we really think about what it is, what it is not, and what we even expect of this thing we call, “Revival.”

  • We “go” to a revival
  • We say, “My church is having a revival.”
  • We ask people to “come to our revival.”

Revival….every night this week except Tuesday! All welcome!

Reading the above, as it was seen on a church sign a couple of years ago just made the question arise in my mind: So…what happens Tuesday? Does everybody have to get re revived come Wednesday?” 

I asked around some, and it was very common for people to say that they thought revival was just something their church does and has always done. That is still true, in that for many churches revival is simply something they do once a year to punch the revival ticket.  So, just some random thoughts here:

Revival is not something a church does, it is something the Holy Spirit causes to happen to a church.

I don’t go to revival, I become revived.

Why Do We Even Need Revival?

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As I have said, we are just poking around a bit regarding this thing evangelical churches do that we call, “Revival.” I really appreciate the comments people have made on the topic, and many great points have been made. As I also said, I am sharing what amounts to the notes of the message I got to deliver at our place a couple of weeks before the actual event. So, it may seem a bit informal and conversational in nature.

What is a revival? One of the definitions of Revival, from the Merriam Webster online dictionary, read in part as follows:

Revival: restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc.

I found the following definition in the online KJV Dictionary:

REVI’VAL, n. from revive.

  1. Return, recall or recovery to life from death or apparent death; as the revival of a drowned person.
  2. Return or recall to activity from a state of languor; as the revival of spirits.
  3. Recall, return or recovery from a state of neglect, oblivion, obscurity or depression; as the revival of letters or learning.
  4. Renewed and more active attention to religion; an awakening of men to their spiritual concerns.

Now that we have provided a book definition of revival, let’s talk a bit about thoughts about revival.

Why do we even need Revival?

Revival was a recurring event in the Old Testament. Israel had a common pattern of falling away, judgment, repentance, and restoration to God. From the very beginning, as Moses led the Israelites from Egypt all the way to the captivities of Israel and Judah, we see this very pattern.

An important factor is this constant falling away and revival has to do with the nature of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. Simply put, the ministry of the Holy Spirit was not on a permanent basis then. The Holy Spirit was never given to the Israelites as a whole, and individuals were never seemingly indwelt permanently by the Holy Spirit. As a result, the fallings away and restorations were simply part of life, more or less.

In Acts Chapter 2 we see a key thing; It was then that the nature of things changed forever. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the church that day, and from that day forward we see a steady progression through the Book of Acts in the permanence of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Now, we can see that believers are permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit upon their salvation.

So, what are the points and ramifications of all of this? If the Holy Spirit is at this time permanently among the church and permanently inside of every believer, how does that relate to our need for revival?

Well, the answer is a tough one. The simple fact is, we should not need to be revived. If the Holy Spirit dwells within us permanently, then it should be as simple as walking with Him. We all know the truth, however, and that truth is we do not. We remain, sinners, until God completes His work of sanctification in us and ultimately completely glorifies us in Heaven. Until then, we remain works in progress. Works in progress fail sometimes.

We do need revival, and we need it because we do not always allow the Holy Spirit to perform his work in us.

So, to answer the question asked: Should we need revival? No. Next question: Do we need revival. Yes

Wait a Minute, You Aren’t the Preacher!

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“Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest” Luke 10:2 

As we have been discussing, at our little church we recently did that thing we call, “Revival.” We do it every year; one year when the Holy Spirit seized us mightily, we did it TWICE in on year! We usually do it for 5 nights, but that year we did it twice, we only had it 3 nights on the second go around. I guess the Spirit was on a sabbatical or something. I’m not being sarcastic; really I promise I am not!

Of course, I am. We have, historically, “had Revival.” Meaning we have met for 3-5 days, heard a guy preach and exhort, then gone back to doing what we do. To my knowledge, we have never had a revival, in the sense that long-term change was produced among us. That is sad but is simply the truth.

I think some would like to see a change; I think quite a few actually would like to see a renewed working of the Holy Spirit so that we would see real change in our assembly, our families and our communities.  Our pastor certainly wants to see this, and a few of the more steadfast among the body is willing to jump in with him. So, he made a real commitment this year to do more than just “having Revival.” He laid some groundwork, along with the preacher who was to be our Revival Speaker, to help us prepare our hearts and minds for this in advance.

One of the first things had to do with me personally. The Pastor came to me about 3 weeks out and asked me to bring the message on Wednesday night two weeks out from Revival. Using the word he used was unusual. Normally, if he won’t be there, he says something like “give a devotional.” Oh, that’s the other thing; he was NOT going to be absent. He was going to be there just like normal on a Wednesday night. Then, he said something like this, “You can talk about whatever you want; Revival would be good, but whatever you want.”  He said he would open things up as normal, then turn it over to me for what he termed “A Message from the Pews.”

This is a strange occurrence. The truth is, preachers, love to preach and rarely give up the chance to preach. Also, ours only has a fill in when he will be absent. Normally, one of our Deacons fills in that case. I finally got it in my head what was going on. I had been pestering him about Revival forever, and why we never seem to change afterward. I think he just got tired of me yacking at him and figured I could just tell everybody! I seriously think that, as he tires sometimes of saying the same things to the same crew with nothing changing that a different voice would maybe help.

So, we hatched a plan and waited. I had to let a couple of people in on it; my wife and a friend knew because I picked them to sing a special song for us(that was almost insanity for us on a Wednesday night, because we NEVER have special music on Wednesday night!) They sang the song, “My House is Full, But my Field is Empty,” which would later become part of the evening message. Also, normally on Wednesday, it’s jeans and boots for me. When I showed up in slacks and a collared shirt, some seemed to wonder what was up.

At any rate, everything went off fine and dandy. God’s like that isn’t He? Here are the points I covered for this message, and over the next few days, I will break them down a bit.

 

Why do we even need Revival?

 

Revival is NOT primarily for evangelism

 

Revival Is Not just an Event

 

Revival Is Not Primarily an Emotional Event

 

It’s Time to “Go.” My House is Full but My Field is Empty

What the Heck IS a Revival, Anyway?

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As I pick up blogging where I sort of left off a few weeks back, I find myself not sure exactly where I feel led to take this thing. So, just bear with me while I make the trip. I really like the very straightforward devotional stuff, but also seem to have all this STUFF rambling around in my head that needs to get let out. I think I may start letting some of those things out, and see where they go.

A couple of weeks back at our church, we had, “Revival.” Yep, revival. Meaning we had this “thing,” where we meet for 5 weeknights in a row and listen to some guy from out of town hurl exhortation at us until he turns purple. Then, we go back to business as normal. That’s what it’s all about eh?

Of course, it is not! But, then what is it all about? I have about a billion thoughts in my head on it and want to just sort of toss some of them out over the next bit if readers don’t mind.

I do know that this year, we took a different approach to the whole thing because we(some of us, anyway) actually recognize that what we have done for literally decades has accomplished….a big fat nothing. We did some neat stuff, and I think we may actually see some change this time.

Meanwhile, I’d welcome thoughts from you out there on the topic. What have you seen? What does it mean to you? Is it needed? Is the idea even Biblical. It’s all fair game, so have at it if you wish.

 

 

Daily Devotion-September 11, 2015-The Elijah Factor or How 1 Man Made a Difference-Time For a Showdown

1 Kings 18:22-25

Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire underAnd call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.


It’s finally time for the big showdown! I use the term showdown very loosely, as we all know there was never really a showdown, don’t we? We know it, and Elijah knew it. Of course, Got knew it as well. The end was decided, and only Ahab, the prophets of Baal, and the people of Israel had any doubts about who was going the be the victor here.

Elijah was ready. He had been shaped and formed over the course of three years and was fully prepared and willing to engage in this contest with the King, the prophets, and the idolatrous people. He even made it clear just how ready he was when he said to the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Of course, he knew that was not true, as he was sell aware of the 100 prophets of God Obadiah had hidden away in caves. It seems that what we have here is a little hyperbole simply for illustrative purposes. What did this illustrate? it pretty clearly lays the ground work, that God doesn’t need large numbers to accomplish His work. God and one person is more powerful than all of the opposition that can be mustered.

Elijah goes even further to illustrate the point the God will prevail in this seemingly uneven contest. Put no fire under is used three times in this particular section of our story, and it seem notable. Being the god of weather and the storms also meant that one aspect of Baal was that of being the god of lighting. Surely the god of lightning could send fire from heaven to burn the sacrifice, right?

Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. Elijah made the contest yet further skewed towards his opposition, granting to the prophets of Baal not only the chance to go first in the contest, but to take all the time they needed to get their god to cooperate.

The rules have been established, the preparations made, and the “contest” is about to begin.

What do we see quite clearly here? Confidence is what see here. Elijah knew the outcome in advance, because he knew who was producing the outcome. He was more than willing to stack the deck against Himself, because he knew it did not matter. He had spent three long years talking with God, learning from God, and being prepared by God for just this very moment. Elijah KNEW. Not only did Elijah know, but he wanted the people of Israel to see clearly just who the true God was.

Are we that confident? We know the end of the story as well; God has told us what the end is, and God wins. We can know that just as confidentially as Elijah did as he went head to head with God’s enemys and also proclaimed God’s truth to those willing to listen. Today, in our nation, those two groups still exists: those who hate God and seek to destroy him, and those who are honestly seeking and willing to listen.

Are we ready for our mount Carmel?

Daily Devotion-September 2, 2015-The Elijah Factor Or How 1 Man Made a Difference-The Prophet Speaks To the Nation

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.


Read all of 1 Kings Chapter 18 here

Well, there every body was, assembled on mount Carmel: Elijah, Ahab, the prophets of Baal, and the people of Israel. Elijah had a message for all of them, but first and foremost, he had a message for the people of Israel who had turned their backs on God and fallen into idolatry.

Elijah presented the people with a very clear choice and question. Today, will you serve God, or will you serve Baal? He said they were halt between two opinions; they were limping between loyalty to the one True God and the idols they were serving, not committing fully to either one. Elijah presented them a clear choice: serve God, or serve Baal.

What was the answer of the people? Complete silence; the people answered him not a word. Elijah asked a simple question, and not a person said a word in return. Why was this so? Maybe they were guilty; here we see a case of guilt shutting people up:

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Maybe they just didn’t know which way they planned to turn,  Perhaps they literally awaited the results of this contest to see which god was truly the more powerful. It really doesn’t matter why they didn’t speak, as the end result was the same.

They were limping back and forth between serving the God of Israel and the various gods of the day, particularly Baal. They wanted it both ways. They may have called themselves believers and children of  God in name, but had allegiance to neither totally. Later in God’s Word, James would cover this same issue when he told us:

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

We have been considering revival in our land as we work our way through the story of Elijah, and we have made many comparisons between the land in that day our our land today; let us make some more. There we had a nation wallowing in and accepting sin; we have that today in our country. There we had an almost wholesale rejection of the things and people of God; we have that today in our country. There we had a country being led astray by ungodly leaders and examples; we have that today in our country.

Finally, we see in Israel people who did not want to choose; they wanted it both ways. Do we see that today? How many people in our nation today, if asked, would refer to themselves as Christian? Even today, the majority would identify themselves exactly as such. Yet, how many of these if OTHER people were asked, would be identified as Christians? Do we identify ourselves as Christian or are we KNOWN as Christian? Are we limping back and forth between worshiping Jesus Christ and our idols? Wait! You say, I don’t worship idols? Are we sure?

Of course most of us don’t head up on a mountain to worship Baal, or down the the groves to worship Asherah; our idols are different today. Nonetheless, they are there. What are our idols today? Well, if we classify an idol as anything we place in a place of higher importance in our lives than Jesus Christ, they are many! Money, jobs, our sinful lifestyles, sports, and our “stuff” are all things we place higher on our priority list than God. We, also, limp back and forth, thinking we can call ourselves Christian while keeping our toes in the pool of the world. We think we can call ourselves Christian, yet find ways to support and accommodate things clearly counter and in conflict with God’s Word: sexual sin of all varieties, the watering down of God’s Word to make it appealing, the teaching that Faith exists to improve our lives and make us wealthy and healthy; these are all things we limp back and forth between.

Do we want our nation to become revived? Then, we have to ask ourselves the same question that Elijah asked the children of Israel. Who will we serve today: The Lord or Baal?

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