God doesn’t want us to be wishy-washy followers. When He told His disciples, “Follow me,” He meant them to be so focused on Him that the things and people around them would “grow strangely dim,” as the hymn goes. Though we live in a world of endless distractions and temptations, we can remain loyal to Him—with the help of His Spirit.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
On again, off again
One day the thermometer reached 72 degrees. The next day it plunged to a high of 36. Such temp fluctuations happen often in the Midwest, especially close to Lake Superior and Michigan. We should be used to it, but the way we keep talking about it with others, we won’t ever become accustomed to the on again, off again weather changes that happen within minutes.
We’ve all encountered people who exhibit such fast changes in their words and actions, too. Their unpredictability is startling, to say the least, and makes us feel like we’re tiptoeing on eggshells. We wonder how they’ll react to our silences, our most benign words, and our innocent actions. I speak from the experience of having been around such mercurial souls. Such encounters steal our feelings of peace, exchanging them for anxiety and perhaps fear.
Jesus called for total loyalty of His followers. As His own devotion to us is trustworthy and predictable, ours toward Him also must be so. He makes it clear that we cannot be divided in our loyalty. “He who is not with Me is against Me….” (Matthew 12:30) We must not be on again, off again regarding our faith. Either we choose to wholly love and serve Him or not.
The early church was taught this truth and it’s meant for us today. James wrote: “…he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)
Jesus loves us so much that He wants all of us to accept His salvation, repent of our sins and vow to follow His teachings and example. Such a decision promises peace and joy and the hope of eternal life. It also demands that we keep ourselves from temptations that can cause us to be unstable and double-minded.
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39)
Lord, thank You for Your steadfast, rock-solid love. Help us stay on the narrow path of faith so we won’t live an on again, off again life with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.