Summary: This is the conclusion of my series "Are You Confused?" Part 3 focuses on the movies (images, thoughts, desires) that continously play in our minds.
Are You Confused – Part 3
This message will conclude this series titled, “Are You Confused.” In Parts 1 and 2, I focused on how Christians are confused about our identity and our authority as Christians. If we do not understand who we are as Christians we are confused. If we know who we are as Christians and yet are not walking in our authority, we are still confused. Even though we have been given all that we need to be victorious in the eyes of the Lord it is up to us to walk in the authority that we have been given. Remember, to be confused means to be “unable to think intelligently; not differentiated; disoriented.” Before we accepted Christ, yes we were very confused. However, if we do what Paul told the church at Rome, we will move from confusion to certainty. Paul told the Romans “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) In order for us to move beyond confusion, we must renew our minds! For the purposes of this message I want you to equate the renewing of your mind as changing the movie/channel that you are watching on TV. This will become clearer a little later in the message. The opposite of confusion is certainty. The definition of certainty is “a conclusion that is beyond doubt; complete confidence in the truth of something or an expected outcome.” Do you see the difference? When you are certain about something there is no confusion. My brother Barry in his July newsletter wrote about the movies that play within our minds. As I read what he wrote the Spirit quickened this message in my spirit (thank you Barry!) Let me share two examples with you where individuals were confused and how it relates to our confusion today.
When Joshua knew he was close to death, he called a meeting with all of the elders of the tribes of Israel. When they had gathered to him he began to tell them what the Lord God had shared with him. He replayed for their minds the things the Lord God had done for them from the time of Abraham until the present time. He reminded them of what they had experienced in Egypt and how God had delivered them mightily. When he had finished, each person listening to Joshua could see in their minds how they had been delivered. Now this is the verse I want to call out to you this morning. In verse fifteen of Joshua chapter twenty-four, Joshua told the people, “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) Joshua told the people to make a choice, either to serve gods their fathers served, the gods of the Amorites or the Lord God of Israel. The people were confused and thought they could serve multiple gods based on their circumstances. But Joshua was not confused and he drew a line in the sand. He told them to stop being confused and make a choice. Then he said, “….but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Even though he was dying, he made a confession of certainty of what his household would do even after his death. He was ensuring that there was no confusion for his family for the duration of their lives! Now jump over to First Kings chapter eighteen.
You all know this story. Elijah was returning for a faceoff with the priests of Baal. During this time the King of Israel, Ahab, had married Jezebel who influenced him to stop worshipping the God of Israel and start worshipping Baal and Asherah. When this happened, Jezebel began to persecute the prophets of God and the Children of Israel were caught in the middle. They were willing to serve whichever god they were told to serve as long as it kept them from trouble. The people were confused and needed proof that could not be disputed! Elijah called the priests of Baal to meet him at Mount Carmel to determine once and for all the one and only true God. Listen to what Elijah asked the people when they had gathered together, “Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.’ But the people did not answer him a word.” (1 Kings 18:21) Notice the question that Elijah asked the people. He asked them how long would they hesitate between two opinions which is a direct example of confusion. You see, because their leader had walked away from the God of Israel the people were now confused as to what was right; which God was truly God. So they had two opinions depending on who was asking. If Ahab or Jezebel asked, Baal was the god. If Elijah asked, then depending on who was around, the God of Israel was God. Elijah brought them together to clear up their confusion. You know how the story ends, when God rained down fire on the offering and consumed it all (the offering, wood, stone and the dust) the people knew with certainty Who was the one, true God. The people had to see the proof which Elijah delivered to them. In both of these examples the people were faced with choices that they did not want to make. They wanted to be able to “have it all” without choosing one or the other. The problem was that “having it all” meant that they had to denied one or the other. In other words, they could not have it all all the time! So they had to make tradeoff decisions based on their circumstances. They suffered confusion because they refused to choose.