Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All Glory Laud And Honour"1 (Lyrics)
At twelve, my grandfather learned about straddling the fence.
When he was only of middle school age, his father died. In a time when women worked mostly at home and the man was the sole breadwinner, this put the family in a precarious situation. His two older brothers had already left home, so it fell to my grandfather to care for his mother, younger sister, and two older sisters. He could either man up and take responsibility or skirt his duties. Quitting school in the sixth grade meant that he would never secure a job that would pay well.
With the help of his uncle, my grandfather made the hard decision of getting down from the fence on the side of responsibility. He knew what he needed to do, and he did it.
Later, when he quit farming, he took a job at a local ice company where he worked the remainder of his lifetime through its changes to milk and then later to ice cream. Although his pay left a lot to be desired, again, he knew what he had to do, and he did it.
Elijah wasn't a fence-straddler either. The pagan god, Baal, was a fertility god. Elijah summoned 450 prophets of Baal to the summit of Mount Carmel and challenged them to a contest to see which god was God. Before the contest began, he challenged the people as to how long they were going to straddle the fence and live with a divided mind.
1 Kings 18:21 – Elijah approached all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people [of Israel] did not answer him [so much as] a word. (AMP)
Worshipping Baal allegedly brought prosperity and happiness. Our Baal can be anything that proposes to do the same thing. We can't choose both God and Baal. Jesus once told people they couldn't serve both God and mammon. Our mammon could be money or material possessions, but we can take anything and insert it in the place of mammon.
God presents us with the same question: How long will we live with a divided mind? We must choose God as well as the things that represent His nature. We can't serve Him and other gods, nor does He want half-hearted service from us after we choose to follow Him. He wants our undivided loyalty — not a divided mind.
We need to give God our all. He wants it — and deserves it. And when we choose to get off the fence, we'll experience life as we never have before.
Prayer: Father, give us strength to follow You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Amen.