In the Middle
August 8, 2008 • By Ed Wrather
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” - Luke 9:23 NKJV.
And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write… “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” - Revelation 3:14-19 NKJV.
As Christians we should periodically examine our commitments. Our determination to be faithful to commitments makes up the true Christian life. Before we can become a Christian, we must commit ourselves to turn from sin (repentance) and commit ourselves to have Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Out of the continuation of those commitments flows the Christian life.
Too often after a few years of being a Christian (If not long before), we see people begin to back away from those original commitments. They begin to try to find a middle ground between the world and the Lord. We see many living exactly that way with their lives. They come to church just on Sunday morning if they come at all. They put on their happy faces and know all the Christian things to say. But through the week their Christianity has very little real value to them.
There’s an old saying that is still very true: “If you sit in the middle of the road you will be run over!” If we sit in the middle of the road with our Christianity we will be run over by life. We may try to blame the Lord for it, but we really have no one to blame but ourselves. The Bible often warns and challenges us to living completely, totally for God. Joshua said, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).” Elijah said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him (1 Kings 18:21).” And our Lord says to many who make up His church, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth (Revelation 3:15-16).”
As human beings we like to think that there are no absolutes, and that we can have a little of God and little of the world. However, God thinks in terms of absolutes. You are either totally for God, or you are totally against Him. Here is how Jesus puts it, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).” The result of living in the middle is a lack of life. Instead of the “abundant life” that Jesus came to give (John 10:10) you will have a sorry substitute and the substitute life will give you very little peace, and very little joy. Living in the middle will result in your being like a ship without a rudder being blown this way and that because the Lord will not be guiding you and directing your steps. What happens to a ship without a rudder? Eventually, it will be blown into the rocks or capsized by the waves and destroyed.
Has life run over you? Maybe it is time to get out of the middle of the road!!