The Peril of Hesitation

“And Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you go limping between two different opinions? 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).

Yesterday we considered David’s strong faith, but Elijah also demonstrated strong faith when facing daunting obstacles. For a short while, it was essentially one man against a nation. But many in Israel were not sure who they would follow: God, or their idols. What set apart Elijah? He believed in his God.

Elijah appeared at a time when Israel’s spiritual light dimmed almost beyond recovery. Idol worship abounded and few leaders opposed it. Like David, he knew he was no match for his opponents. They simply outnumbered him. In fact, the odds were so stacked against him that it was a bit comical. But David knew what his friend Jonathan knew:

“Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, ‘Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few’ ”  (1 Samuel 14:6).

Neither David or Jonathan attempted to match wits with their more powerful enemies, but they did compare their opponents to God. The enemies fell short.

But Israel hesitated. Why? They lacked faith in God. They knew they needed to put aside their worthless idols and live for God, but they lacked resolve to do so. Weak faith creates hesitation. Why? Weak faith sees only the problems and only the obstacles. But God develops our faith by putting us in situations that require faith.

David and Elijah lived their lives exercising deep faith, even though both experienced lapses of faith at times. When going up against a challenge, they considered not their own resources, but the attributes of God. They pondered His power, His knowledge, and His love. They fed their faith by the Word of God, and it produced great actions.

What action step do you need to take? Begin a Bible reading program? Enroll in a Bible class? Take that step today and set your fears and apprehensions aside. Trust in God and move on out for His glory. He will never leave you or forsake you.

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