I am really bad at making decisions. Whether it’s choosing where to eat, which product to buy, or even what color to paint a wall (I took a Facebook poll when I had to choose a color for the kitchen wall), I’m not good at making a choice.
The problem isn’t that I don’t know what I like. Instead, I usually know what I want, but doubt creeps in when I have to choose. Then I waver...I wobble….I go back and forth between ideas, wondering if I’ll have regrets later.
It’s an annoying cycle ending with someone (usually Jamie! Poor guy) saying, “Just make a decision already!”
I thought about this cycle the other day when I read 1 Kings 18. It’s one of the all-time great showdowns in the Bible. Elijah has challenged King Ahab and all of the prophets of Baal to the ultimate contest. Each side would build an altar and pray for rain. Whoever responded would be the one true God.
On the morning of the challenge, the king, the prophets of Baal, and Elijah were all in place. As always happens during this type of spectacle, crowds gathered to see what would happen. It was to these crowds that Elijah said, “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)
You see, the problem wasn’t just with King Ahab, Queen Jezebel, and her prophets (although they were leading the people in the wrong direction.) The real problem was in the people's hearts who were wavering back and forth between worshiping God and worshiping Baal.
They wanted to experience the blessings that went with being God’s children—His chosen people— but they always wanted to be just like the nations around them. This included serving and worshiping the idols of the nations around them.
However, this is not possible.
Throughout the first five books of the Bible (their books of the Law), God made it clear that they were not to worship any god but Him. (Exodus 20:3)
He told them to have nothing to do with the idols of the nations around them—-they weren’t even supposed to talk about them. (Exodus 23:13)
He made it very clear that He was a jealous God Who wanted an exclusive relationship with them. (Exodus 34:14) They couldn’t be married to Him and date other gods.
Still, the Israelites tried repeatedly to blend true worship of God with idolatry.
In 1 Kings 18, Elijah said, “Enough, you have to choose.”
Today, I believe the Holy Spirit is saying the same thing to many in the modern church who are imitating the ways of the Israelites.
They call themselves Christians, go to church and practice Christianity, but they also want to “flirt” with the culture's gods. Because false religions and worshiping false gods have become such a normal part of our society, these practices have crept into the church and the lives of many believers almost unnoticed.
Sadly, too many Christians now find it perfectly acceptable to practice yoga,
follow their astrological sign,
play with Ouija boards,
or indulge in any of the practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, pantheism, or any other religion.
Yet these things are all worshiping false gods!
Even watching movies or television shows about ghosts, demons, witches, or warlocks invites the occult into your mind.
When we do these things, we follow the example of the those who wanted the blessings that went with being God’s children, but they also wanted to worship idols. It can’t be both ways.
Yes, I know I’ve written about this before, but the problem still exists. Christians are still falling for the lie that these practices are innocuous and won’t cause any harm to their lives or their relationship with God. Yet, nothing is further truth.
The truth is that as much as God loves you and wants a personal relationship with you, He wants that relationship to be exclusive.
While many want to believe that “flirting” with idolatry is no big deal…it’s just exercise, just a way to relax, just a movie, just fun…in God’s eyes, idolatry is a huge deal.
Today, the Holy Spirit is saying the same thing to the modern church that Elijah said to the Israelites: “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)
If there is even a hint of idolatry in our lives, it’s time to repent and get rid of it.
Without wavering or wobbling, it’s time to choose.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.