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Seek the Lord while he may be found...
Marc Chagall - David

    B"H  Elul 16, 5770

The Time is Now

Making the Decision to Walk with God

by John J. Parsons

Isa. 55:6 (BHS)

"Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near"
(Isa. 55:6)

"How long will you go limping between two different opinions?" (1 Kings 18:21). This question from Elijah the prophet is meant for us to hear today. We are being called to make up our minds and turn (shuv) to the LORD. After all, what is more important to you than your relationship with God? Is there anything more important than this?

Abraham Heschel once wrote, "God is of no importance unless he is of supreme importance." Stated differently, it is impossible to be indifferent toward God.  You cannot serve two masters. Ultimately you will either hate or love him, but he will never let you be half-hearted toward him (Rev. 3:16).

Yeshua always forced the issue. Consider how often people were offended by his ministry. The gospel message is always offensive to those who make much of themselves. Accepting the cross of Yeshua means abandoning the whole religious game. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die."

The Scriptures warn that a "double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8). The word translated "double-minded" is dipsuchos (δίψυχος), which literally means having "two souls" or wills. A double-minded man is full of inner conflict and indecision. He is like the proverbial "divided house" that cannot stand. Indeed, the word translated "unstable" (ἀκατάστατος)  means "storm-tossed," like a ship buffeted by waves at sea. When Peter attempted to walk across the stormy waters, he lost courage and began to sink, but Yeshua took hold of him, saying, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (i.e., διστάζω, literally, "think twice").

The way to be healed of a fractured or divided heart is by earnestly making a decision. Purity of the heart is to will one thing (James 4:8). God is not interested in half-hearted or lukewarm followers. He sees through our lip service and knows our secret desires. No, God wants us to be passionately involved with him. He wants lovers - not admirers or mere flatterers. Simply put, God wants all our heart without reservation (Deut. 6:5).

The antidote for having a "double-mind" is explicitly given in the Scriptures: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (ἐγγίσατε τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐγγιεῖ ὑμῖν), cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:8). Note that the verb used in this verse (i.e., ἐγγίζω, "draw near") means to come close enough to touch someone or something. Understood in this light, we are encouraged to come so close to God that we are able to "touch" Him -- and to be touched by Him as well.

God responds to those who sincerely cry out to him (Psalm 145:18). He is "near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18). Indeed, salvation is as close as your own mouth and heart (Rom. 10:8-13). But how many are the days of your life?  How many opportunities for you to make up your mind?  "How long will you go limping between two opinions?" Choose this day whom you will serve...

The sages advise: "Repent one day before you die." But who knows the day of one's death in advance? Therefore live each day as if it were to be your last, and may God help you make the wholehearted decision to "seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near." Amen.

Hebrew-English Transliteration:

Hebrew-English transliteration

dirshu Adonai behimatzo, kera'uhu biyoto karov

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