Divided Allegiance

1 Kings 18:16–21

“Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.”

So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent. (1 Kings 18:19–21)

Divided allegiance is as wrong as open idolatry. “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?” Elijah asks the people of Israel. The easiest thing to do when you are outnumbered or overwhelmed is to remain in that mediocre state of noncommitment. That was where the people of Israel lived, but Elijah never went there. He told them, “You cannot continue in this period of divided allegiance any longer.”

The strongest words that were given to the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, were given to the church at Laodicea. And the reason is clear: They were uncommitted. They existed in neutrality. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15–16).

Get off the fence of indecision, Elijah told the people of Israel. Either you are for God or against Him.

Perhaps you have known God for many years but have never truly been committed to Him. Now is the time to change that. Stop hiding your love for and commitment to Christ. Let the word out! Tactfully yet fearlessly speak devotedly of your faith. Start now. There are so many strategic ways God can use you in your business, your profession, your school, your neighborhood. You don’t agree with the ungodly cultural drift that’s happening around you? Say so! You sense an erosion of spirituality at your church, and you’re serving in a leadership capacity? Address it! Neutrality in the hour of decision is a curse that invariably leads to tragic consequences.

Our most effective tool is the prayer of faith. When it came down to the wire, when Baal had failed and God was about to do His work, the one instrument that Elijah employed was prayer.

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.