“So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. Elijah came near 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. Then Elijah said, ‘I only am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Let two bulls be given us, and let them choose one bull… and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. You call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.’ All the people answered, ‘It is well spoken…’ And they took the bull that was given them, prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, ‘O Baal, answer us!’ But there was no voice… And they limped around the altar that they had made… As midday passed, they raved on.., but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention…
“Elijah came near and said, ‘O Lord,.. let it be known this day that you are God, that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord,.. that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.’ Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.’” 1 Kings 18:20-24,26,29,36-39
The trouble with little-g gods is that they steal, kill, and destroy. They steal affections, away from what is true, noble, right, and excellent. They kill discernment, clouding over vision with la la and altars of our own making, grandiose intentions of self-sacrifice and the better good. They destroy authentic worship by replacing Spirit with feelings, and truth with opinion. (John 4:24; 10:10; Philippians 4:8)
Does my personal preference trump God’s prescribed way, my limited sight His wider, all-encompassing one? Have I entrenched ‘safety limits,’ restricting the risks I’m willing to take and discomforts I’m willing to bear for Him? Or will I test and trust the Lord, who is high and lifted up above my provincial world, and say, “Here am I, send me”? (Isaiah 6:1-8)
We can follow our gods so long, thoughtlessly, and habitually that we do not even realize we’re limping, impaired in judgment, vision, and strength. Would we pause to assess whether we’ve abandoned one-on-one intimacy with our Savior to join the 450, numbed to the dumbness of crowd speak and practice? God hears our prayers and speaks with fire when we turn from dancing with the masses to direct communion.
Lord, identify and eradicate every god I limp alongside. By Your Spirit, may I serve and exalt You, the living and true, all my days. (1 Thessalonians 1:9)