Years ago I decided to put a very neutral color on the walls in our house. A few rooms have color on the walls but the majority of the walls have a neutral taupe color. Why? Because anything can go with “neutral colors!” You can put different colors in the room and they don’t “fight” with the dominate color that is on the wall…..:o)
Recently our pastor taught on 1 Kings 18:16-39 which he called the story of Elijah’s Super Bowl or World Cup. I couldn’t agree more. Elijah was the underdog in the world’s eyes. He was one standing against 450 prophets of Baal and Ahab. Both were confident in what they believed. Elijah was confident in the Lord. Ahab and the prophets of Baal had mixed idol worship with the worship of the one true God.
If you have never read the story, take time to read it. It is one of my favorites in scripture…many…many lessons. Basically the Superbowl was a contest of whose god was the one true God who would consume the offering with fire from heaven. Elijah asked the people in 1 Kings 18:21, “Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waiver between two opinions? If the Lord is God follow him; but if Baal is God follow him.'”
You see, the people were neutral. They wanted the best of all gods…wanting both. My dad used to describe it to me in terms I could understand–“One foot in the church and one foot in the world.” Telling me you cannot serve two masters and anything can be your master, if you let it. It is surrendering your will, your desires to God’s will and His desires. Idols can be anything from…food, sex, shopping, our appearance, alcohol, spouse, children, people pleasing, worldly success, to status..and on and on. Basically, idols are anything that you place ahead of God, anything that hinders your obeying and doing the will of God for your life.
Elijah was serving/listening and obeying the one true God. He knew that to serve God meant there could be no neutral which means “the walls of your life” have to be the color of Jesus. You can’t put just anything or go along with just anything. You cannot have idols in your life otherwise you will waiver. Things “will wage war” against each other…like colors fighting in a room, even if the war is in your inner thoughts and inner life.
Think of it this way–neutral in a car means you are standing still…not moving backward…nor moving forward. You could equate it to the scripture in Revelation 3:16 about being “lukewarm,” neither hot nor cold. Basically our Pastor, Dick Lincoln, made such a valid point of how impractical neutrality is in the life of a believer. He continued to teach God’s desire is for no one to live life in “hesitation” mode when it comes to following Christ.
He made three very important points in his sermon that are worth remembering for myself and sharing with you:
1. Attempted neutrality produces bad results.
2. Choosing the Lord is always right. It might be difficult. It could be costly. But we, as Christians, are called to STAND and BE DIFFERENT. When our life is painted in Jesus, we will not BLEND. There should be a contrast!
3. In the end, the Lord prevails. He wins 100% of the time. Don’t measure wins by the world. Measure them by God and scripture. Learn from Elijah–from God’s perspective, worldly odds have no meaning, no significance…except to demonstrate HIS MIGHTY POWER!