" Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." - Galatians 1:10
There used to be this popular gospel song that would play every Sunday morning as I got ready for church called, "You Can't Straddle the Fence." It was a quartet that sang the song, and in harmony, they sang about the pitfalls of a compromised relationship with Christ...
I would hum along with the chorus, even as I knew God was ministering to me through that song.
I was a Christian that was definitely straddling the fence.
I was at the height of my career. I was a young politician with the world at my grasp, and I had one leg solidly on the side of the church, while the other leg swung freely on the side of the world. I attended Sunday morning church faithfully, however it was largely out of habit. I didn't have a relationship with Christ until I began to feel a grip upon my heart and a tug in my spirit desiring to know God deeply and intimately.
It was during this time that I began to feel God impress on my spirit, that in order to do the things that He had called me to do, I would need to make a choice. I would need to choose the plan He had outlined for my life, and in order to do so, I would need to release some things and even people that had become idols in my life. The things and people in my life had made it easy for me to straddle the fence and be a compromised Christian.
Perhaps, God has been pulling on your heart too. Showing you things and even people that you must let go so He can take you deeper in Him.
When God began to move on my heart, and show me things, and especially people that I needed to remove from my life, I was scared.
"What would they think?" "Would they still like me?" "Could I still be a politician and follow Jesus?"
There was one particular friendship that God told me to end immediately, and this caused me great pain. This person was an unbeliever and had great influence in my life and career and was also a dear friend.
I had always wanted to be 'tolerant' and 'nice' I never wanted to appear rude or mean to people, and God's requirement of me to end these relationships was hard. Either I would make the people happy by continuing our friendships and relationships, or I could make God happy by being obedient to Him and ending these relationships. I had to make a choice.
It wasn't easy but I made the decision to choose God's way. I did exactly what God told me to do, and with much prayer, and faith I swung both of my legs completely to the side of the Lord and I hopped off the fence.
I ended some long-term relationships that were leading me away from the Lord, and even left my career in politics to pursue full-time ministry. I'm sure some people thought I was nuts or had gone bonkers.
They didn't understand, some felt that I was taking the "Jesus stuff" too seriously, however, I knew what the Lord had impressed upon my heart, and that I could no longer be concerned about the approval or support of men.
I needed to be obedient to God and choose to follow after Him, regardless of what people said or how they felt about my decision to pursue Him.
In his letter to the church of Galatia, Paul shares that when he was a Pharisee, he used to try to appease men. Essentially, as a persecutor of the Jews, he wanted people to like him, but now as a servant of God that was no longer the case; as God's servant, he was no longer interested in the approval of men.
I'd reached this same point in my life. Regardless of my career aspirations, whether or not people or voters liked or accepted me, I had to make the choice to follow Christ. No longer would I be a compromised Christian with one foot in the church and the other foot in the world. My heart (and feet) would be firmly planted on the Lord's side.
Is God calling you too to make a choice? To pursue Him at all costs and not be limited in your witness or serving Him, because you are concerned with what people, friends or your family will say? I pray that you make the decision today to jump off the fence and give God your all. It's not about being radical or an extremist, but simply saying, that I choose to serve God with everything and I will not be afraid, nor will I shrink worried about what others may think.
I'm telling you there is such great freedom in walking boldly and strongly for Christ. For I am not ashamed of the gospel! I pray God's strength, faith, and blessings upon you as you make your choice.
'No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other." - Matthew 6:24
Kacie Starr Long is an author, talk show host and the proud wife of Alfred T. Long Sr. When not writing, Kacie enjoys sewing. She is the founder of Sew Hope, a sewing school for previously incarcerated men and women. Connect with Kacie at: www.InspiredOverflow.com and via her YouTube page for more inspiration and encouragement.