Straddling the Fence

Bill Brinkworth

“But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. 40 Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner. 41 So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.”  II Kings 17:39-41Straddling the fence

Israel of the past is so much like many today.   They know there is a God.  They believe in Him, at least they claim it with their speech, but hypocritically worship AND live for other “gods.”

There are some sects, that although they claim to be Christian, incorporate praying to statues (idols) and people of the religion’s past.  To a Bible believer and follower that is clearly false worship honoring a different “god.”

Not all “gods” are as clear as those idols found in some religions.  Many of the “gods” are things that get more attention than our Creator and the lover of our soul should be receiving.

These false “gods” can be a job, a spouse, a person, a shiny new car, a house, or anything that makes us put something ahead of the only God. Although justification may be that “I need that thing”, “a man has to work”, or even “God understands that I am in a world and I have to do what I have to do to survive,” the attention those things receive shows God He is not the priority in one’s life.  He deserves to be.

God does not understand.  He commands us to put Him first!  He would not require of us something that is impossible to do. 
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deut. 6:5  Also: Mark 12:30.

“Well, if I put God first, I will have nothing to live on, people will laugh at me, and I will be an outcast!” most defend by their not putting God as a priority in their life. Much of the lost respect for Christianity comes from that kind of compromising done by so many that claim to be Christians.

God’s Word whispers back, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Mat. 6:31-33

God will take care of His own, especially those that are totally relying on Him. One needs only rely on Him.  That is the way He wants it.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philip. 4:19

We cannot have it both ways.  We should not live for the world, make it the highest priority, and then only tip our hat to God once a week. God should be our leader, not the world’s ever-changing whims. A Christian has no business straddling the fence between the losing and the winning sides.
“Ye adulterers [an apostate: a person that has abandoned his religion and principles] and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Janes 4:4

We are in the world and do need some things it offers. However, do not make what it temporarily offers your primary concern.  To do so is not putting God first.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Mat. 12:30 Also: Luke 11:23

Get off the “fence” of trying to be on both sides: God’s and the world’s.  God will provide and take care of you if you will just trust and obey Him.  Make the right choice today1
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:15 

“Walk by new rules towards new ends from new principles.  Make a new choice of the way.  Choose new paths to walk in, new leaders to walk after, and new companions to walk with.  Old things should pass away, and all things become new.  The man is what he was not and does what he did not.”  — Henry

This article was featured in The Bible View #677.

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