And Elijah came near to all 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. 1 Kings 18:21 ESV
Words written by skilled writers can change our understanding, cultivate ideas, and even start revolutions. “WE hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This declaration placed its writers in the crosshairs of the British Crown. Yet courageously they all signed this Declaration of Independence.
The best, truly remarkable writers are paid for their work. The Hollywood Screenwriters Union went on strike a few weeks ago. The actors followed a few days later. Both groups are standing up for what they believe is right. The passion of the writers and actors is on full display. For the average American addicted to entertainment, we just ask them to hurry up and work it out. We are waiting for programming like little lemmings with a remote control.
Screenwriters read another person’s story or book and convert those words into a script. They are readers who write. The actors then follow the script articulating the complexities of the story. You can see why the actors would join the screenwriters on strike. They need each other and make each other look good.
We can see the motivation of screenwriting for a paycheck, but how about those who write just to be writing? Take for instance this column. While I write as a volunteer, the ideas and words come by way of prayer. The Lord directs my thoughts about the column, and sometimes He surprises me with a subject that requires an in-depth study. The Lord knows my audience and tailors the subject to fit the needs of the readers. Sometimes those needs row against the cultural flow of society.
Elijah has just challenged King Ahab to a match between the power of Baal and the Lord God Almighty. Before the match Elijah asks the people to pick a side. They remain silent. Now, if you read the rest of this story, they jump in the winner’s wagon after the fact. I get it, King Ahab was the most ruthless and corrupt of all Israel’s kings, married to the original Jezebel, and he probably kept the people under his thumb by use of fear tactics. They just didn’t understand the God of Elijah. He had the real authority!
On several occasions, my name has been a subject in the Readers Write section in the opinion page. At first, I questioned what I had done wrong? How could these people be so upset? I thought to myself, “Do I really need this in my life?!” Even some of my friends became acquaintances. I had to take it all to God for his help and understanding.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. Psalm 18:6
The Lord reminded me during my prayer time that those who have written these things about you have read what I have asked you to write. It was true. He asks me to write things for a specific purpose. Maybe for just one person, only he knows. That changed the way I saw things.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
In his Message to the church in Laodicea we read this; ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,…”Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:15-19
We do not know the reason why people turn against God. I do know they sometimes become very angry at those who enjoy a real relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Their frustration will not deter me from loving them. I will pray for the Holy Spirit to touch their heart and heal their wounds. While their passion may be misplaced, conflicted, or argumentative, at least they stand for their beliefs. What about you?
1 Thessalonians 5:7 asks us to, Pray without ceasing.
The Word tells us to, Instead of worrying, pray. Philippians 4:6
Those who write to Readers Write are quite confident in their beliefs, highly intelligent, and willing to demonstrate courage. They put themselves “out there,” ready to defend their position. How about you?
The prayer of a righteous person has great power. James 5:16
Jesus covers you with righteousness and God has given you power through prayer. Let’s pray for our children, pray for the lost, and take authority over our families once again. We cannot remain silent any longer. Staying silent in this culture will have consequences!