On The Fence

“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 – ESV)

To be “on the fence” is to be halted between two opinions. The key word here is HALT. When you cannot decide whether to follow GOD with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength or whether to follow the course of this world you end up doing nothing.

“Now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate. And they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?”  (2 Kings 7:3 – ESV)

These men had several, seemingly negative, choices they could make. They could go into the besieged city and die of famine. They could give themselves into the hands of the enemy and face the possibility of being killed. Or they could do nothing and just sit and wait to die. They decided that to sit and do nothing was the worst choice.

“As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”  (2 Corinthians 1:18-20 – ESV) 

GOD’s Word is never yes and no. ALL THE PROMISES of GOD in Christ are YES.  GOD’s Word is always YES!

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,”  (Deut. 30:19)

There is no middle ground as far as GOD is concerned. GOD sets forth His Word in black and white terms. Here is life. Here is death. Choose life. He tells us the two choices and He also tells us which one is the correct one. But man, having freedom of will, must do the choosing. To often we find ourselves halted between two opinions. Yes – No, Yes – No.    “On the fence” is a heart rending place to be.

“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond 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 24:14-15  ESV)

Although the Children of Israel walked mightily with Joshua and took possession of the promised land, they still tried to “have it both ways.” Before Joshua died he challenged them to choose. Serve GOD or serve the gods of this world. Make a decision. Take a stand. The choice for Joshua was clear: “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!”

In truth, there is no middle ground. If we are not serving the true GOD then we are locked into the course of this world. The real problem is your heart. “On the fence” you are torn inside between giving your all for GOD or setting GOD aside and walking the course of the world. We cannot do both, so why not give our all for GOD?

“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24 – ASV)

Mammon are worldly things. In the context, treasures on earth are thoughts about food, clothing, housing, and riches. Fears and worries about these worldly things steal your heart. In contrast, treasures in heaven are thoughts centered on GOD. When your heart is clearly focused on GOD, then He takes care of your worldly needs.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  (Matthew 6:33 – ESV)

Give your all: your heart, soul, mind, and strength to serving GOD and He has promised to take care of the rest. GOD’s Word is simple. Trust Him.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  (James 1:5-8 – ESV)

GOD’s promises are ALL YES! There is no variance with GOD. Ask Him what to do and He will give you the answer liberally (without a second thought!) GOD does not upbraid: He does not reprove you for not already knowing what to do.           

The simplicity of the Word is: Ask GOD what to do and GOD will absolutely give you an answer. The key is to completely trust GOD. When you waver between two opinions: yes – no, yes – no, GOD’s Word says you are driven like a wave of the sea: back and forth, back and forth.     

When you sit ‘on the fence’ between believing and not believing you receive nothing.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:3-8  ESV) 

We cannot be a friend of the world and also be GOD centered. It is pride to think that we can. Many are being held captive: halted between two opinions. We resist temptations by drawing near to GOD. Submit yourself to GOD and the sinful nature will flee.

A pure heart is not double minded.

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”   (Revelation 3:15-16  ESV)

To be “on the fence” is to halt between two opinions, to say both YES and NO to GOD’s Word, to try to serve GOD and mammon, to be double minded, to be lukewarm. Why sit we here ‘on the fence’ until we die?  Let us say with Joshua: “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!”

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 – ESV)

Based on a Cortright Teaching