Caught in the middle

choose

Somewhere between the hot and cold.
Somewhere between the new and the old.
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be.
Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find me.

These are the opening lyrics to Casting Crowns hit song Somewhere in The Middle.  I have listened to this song several times in the past, but more recently, the lyrics have really hit a little deeper.  It’s funny how God can get a hold of your heart and all of a sudden, songs, stories and verses have a different impact.  This song speaks about the struggle of a lukewarm lifestyle.  Being caught in the middle of what once was, and what should be is one of the toughest struggles I have ever known.

The next statement on the profile of the lukewarm is this: Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength.  They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn’t really possible for the average person; it’s only for pastors and missionaries.

Wow.  Just think about that for a few minutes.  Better yet, chew on that idea for a few days.  I love God, but not enough to give him all of me.  That’s what we’re saying if we find ourselves reflected in this statement.  Now, the classic Sunday School statement to this would be, “Jesus died for you, you should be willing to do the same.”  In one sense, that is exactly what we should be willing to do.  We owe Him that much.  We are human, and we love ourselves just a little bit to much to do that – most of the time.  There are great martyrs for the faith that have given their very lives for the sake of the gospel.  What a testimony that would be.  But I think Jesus is more interested in us willingly giving him access to our whole life – loving Him enough that we don’t hide anything from Him.  We speak up and defend our love of Him.  We pour ourselves into His Word, and never miss a day to stop and pray and talk with Him.

I love God, but not enough to give him all of me.

 We choose Him over us – every time, no questions asked.  When we make decisions, we stop and consider the eternal perspective.  We base our life choices on His glory, not our own.  That is the devotion I think Jesus wants from us.  The best part is this – we can do it!  We don’t have to be some super Christian with a fancy title.  God gifts us all uniquely, just the way He wants us to fit into His perfect plan.  When we commit our life to Him – and that’s what you’re doing when you ask Him to save you, we are dying to ourselves so we can live in Him.  Remember, there really is no half way – He deserves all of us.

Looking back, I am ashamed at how I have used excuses such as, “it must be easier to be closer to God when you are a pastor, because that’s your job, to study, learn and preach.”  Shame on me.  Just because I am not working in full-time ministry doesn’t mean I can’t be full-time committed to a life that is all about Jesus.  His job for all of us is pretty simple.  Love me, follow me, live for me, and tell others about me.  When He is the object of our affection and He consumes our thoughts, and is the one we base all our choices and decisions on, then we’ll experience the type of love and relationship He intended from the very beginning.

It’s time to stop making excuses.  It’s time to stop being comfortably caught in the middle.  Jesus has amazing patience, and exercises a short memory.  Have you been living a life in the middle?  Have you been playing it safe behind empty excuses?  What will you do about it?  Me, I leaving the comfort of the middle and running to the deep love of a fully committed relationship with Christ.  Matthew 22:37-38 says, “Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.”  Jesus laid down His life for me.  That’s love.  How can I choose to do anything other than love Him with everything He gave me?

Lord, thank you for the blessing of a life committed to you.  Thank you for never leaving me, and never turning away from me, even when I hung back in the middle.  I pray you will forgive me for not being fully committed to you, in all areas of my life, with my entire being.  I commit to you, all of me.  I lean on you for my everything, and I boldly move forward with eyes fixed on you.  In your name I pray – Amen.

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