An Israelite or a Philistine?
And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. — 1 Samuel 17:3
In the ever so famous story of David and Goliath sits this one little verse. Notice that it was VERY clear who was on what side. You were either a Philistine opposing God’s chosen people, or you were an Israelite on God’s side. To emphasize the point, the Bible says there was a valley between them. There is absolutely NO mention that there were people in the valley attempting to be on BOTH sides.
Today the lines are ridiculously blurred. There are still people on God’s side, there are still people on the side that opposes God, but there are a whole bunch of people in the valley trying to be on both sides. Let me explain.
I believe with all my heart that I’m on God’s side. I intentionally try to honor Him with my life every single day that I live. It hasn’t always been this way. In fact, I lived a lot of years in the middle of the valley. When I needed to be right with the world…I was on it’s side. When I needed to be right with God…I was on His side. This was absolutely the most miserable place I have ever been in my life. I never felt God’s power when I was in church, and when I was sinning I couldn’t be completely happy doing it. I was just living in this constant guilt that would not go away when I prayed or when I was sinning.
After one particular weekend of doing a whole bunch of stuff that was wrong, God forced me to pick a side. My instructions were very clear even though I never heard a single audible voice. “Adam, live for Me or live for the world, but make a choice! If you choose the world, I will not convict you of your sin again. You will feel the guilt no longer for your disobedience. Choose you this day who you will serve.” Today, I realize that He simply wanted me out of the valley.
All I knew to do was kneel by my bed and truly repent for the first time. I wasn’t just sorry for my sin, but I actually wanted to turn away from it. I wanted to get as far away from sin as I could. This led me to do two things that have absolutely changed the course of my life. I left a group of friends that did not choose God’s way of life, and I broke up with my girlfriend who at the time did not choose God’s way of life either. I must say, this left me feeling extremely lonely for a couple of years. Slowly, but surely God began to birth new relationships and surround me with people that loved Him and actually lived for Him. It was through these relationships that I learned to trust Him with my life…ALL of my life. Since then, I have learned a lot…
You can’t have God AND your sexual immorality!
You can’t have God AND your un-forgiveness!
You can’t have God AND your anger, fits of rage, malice, gossip and drama!
You can’t have God AND your foul mouth!
You can’t have God AND fill your mind with music that completely opposes Him!
You can’t have God AND embrace anything that the Bible clearly calls sin!
These are all things I had to deal with and things that still rear their ugly head from time to time. I don’t know what your list would look like, but I do know that we all have to choose! A person does not make God sick by completely opposing Him…a person makes Him sick by doing this halfway thing in which they try to manage Him AND sin. I believe this is what he means in Revelation 3:16 when He says “I would that you be hot or cold, but because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth.” Are you ever going to sin? YES. Can you embrace it and say “that’s just the way I live” ? Never!
Which side are you on? If you are in the valley…you are in no man’s land! Get out today…move one way or the other. Either be an Israelite or be a Philistine. But by all means, make a choice. Choose you this day who you are going to serve.
As for me and my house…we will serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:15)