And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different options? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.

1 Kings 18: 21


Is this a problem for another time and place? The tension that resonated in a culture that is totally foreign to the one that we know today? Hardly! We may not refer to our alternative god as Baal, and we might not bring sacrifices to his alter, but there is no question in my mind that there is a conflict afoot in our times and within our cultures wherein the God of Creation is being replaced by the various gods of people’s choosing. It is easier and more comfortable to follow a god who I designed and whose requirements of me fit with what I wish to give. It is harder to yield myself to the God who asks me to surrender my heart and my mind to His will and to follow Him along a path of righteousness and holiness.


Essentially, this is the tension that exists in this verbal interchange between Elijah and Ahab, and it is the struggle that exists in our world today. The Israelites were attempting to pick and choose the allegiances that they offered up to the gods of man and to Yahweh, God Himself, and the path of man was winning out. Their social order and process of life were moving rapidly away from those that God had set out. So, the culture was becoming ever more secular and increasingly removed from the rules and the values that God desired for people to follow in order to walk closely with Him and, by so doing, to bring His love and peace into the world.


The Lord is jealous of our affections and of our attention. He wants all of us, for there is no part of our lives that does not fall under the heading of sacred; so, if we follow Christ, we do not have a secular portion in our lives. Everything that we do, and all of the words that we speak are acts of worship in some form. The Lord desires to inform and guide us through the totality of life. The Lord does not permit us to turn to sources of guidance beyond God’s Word and His Spirit; thus, when we wish to depart from His will in order to do as we wish, we are on our own. Following Christ is a full on, all of the time commitment that informs every aspect of life with the eternal wisdom and with unceasing love and grace.