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No Middle Ground

John was a child every parent dreamed of. He had no vices, friendly and got excellent grades in high school. John wanted to be a doctor, and as everyone expected, he got accepted in a prestigious medical college. Med school caught John by surprise. He was overwhelmed by his schedule, homework, projects and lectures. John’s roommate Peter saw that John was struggling while preparing for his exam, so Peter offered him a drug that will help him focus. John hesitated, he never took drugs before, so he didn’t know what to do. Peter told him that it was just like a cup of coffee but better. John took the drug, and it did help him focus on the exam. He said to himself that he would not take that drug again unless he’s desperate. More tasks came, and John thought that it was a good idea to use the drug again. He learned that he could order the drug online or ask a few of his college friends to buy it for him. It seemed to be a good idea at the time to have a steady supply of the drug. Years passed, John could not live without taking drugs. The more he consumed, the more he needed them. The ones he used previously did not work anymore, so he had to find devious ways to get his hands on stronger drugs. John graduated and became a doctor. Sadly, his dependency on drugs progressed. To satisfy his urges, he started writing fake prescriptions to his family so he could get more drugs. Suddenly, his parents and relatives got arthritis and other illnesses. One day, the Drug Enforcement Agency knocked on John’s door and questioned him about fake prescriptions and drug use. Long story short, John got arrested. He was banned from practising his profession and was humiliated publicly. John’s story is an example that there is no middle ground when it comes to life. There are only two paths available for us, life and death. Either you choose to obey God’s will in your life and achieve success, or you could want to disregard His instructions and head to destruction. Most cases of teenagers who became pregnant say that they were sexually active early. I’m pretty sure it all started with a look, a smile, holding of hands, a simple kiss and then it got out of control. Smokers start with a single cigarette, gets hooked and do not stop until they get reports about tumours. Alcoholics began with a single shot, gets hooked and then develops alcohol dependency. Let’s look at a few verses: Matthew 6:24 New International Version (NIV) 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 1 John 2:15-16 New International Version (NIV) 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. I am not saying that we will go to hell if we do these things. What I’m saying is life will provide us with unending cycle of options, and we should be wise enough to choose God’s will for us over what’s easy, comfortable, pleasurable and pleasing to the eye. If we keep choosing God’s will for us, then we can fulfil His purpose in us which is the same as the best life that is beyond our comprehension. There is room for error, and God’s grace is always sufficing, but if we continue to make bad decisions we will sink deeper into the pit, and it will be more difficult to get out. It will be harder for us to get things right. How can we stay focused on God’s will for us? Let’s read the story of blind Bartimaeus: Mark 10:46-52 Contemporary English Version (CEV) 46 Jesus and his disciples went to Jericho. And as they were leaving, they were followed by a large crowd. A blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting beside the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth, he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” 48 Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, have pity on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him over!” They called out to the blind man and said, “Don’t be afraid! Come on! He is calling for you.” 50 The man threw off his coat as he jumped up and ran to Jesus. 51 Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man answered, “Master, I want to see!” 52 Jesus told him, “You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith.” Right away the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this story, but I want to focus on the following points: Choose to listen and seek the things about Jesus. Bartimaeus rested on a crowded street, and he could have heard all sorts of sounds and activities. However, when he heard that Jesus passed by him, he locked in on Jesus. In the same way, we need to seek Jesus and hear from Him every day. We must use all the options available to us to hear from God— the Bible, Bible app, Bible commentaries, Christian books, YouTube videos, podcasts, Christian books and so much more. Be driven about the things of Jesus. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was near him, he actively sought after Him and didn’t stop until Jesus heard him. Despite other people’s efforts to silence him, despite the odds that were against him, Bartimaeus made Jesus listen to him. We should be driven like Bartimaeus. We should be enthusiastic about the things of Jesus. We should be excited about prayer, bible reading, small groups and corporate worship.  Even when people are telling us to stop getting involved with church and ministry, we should press on because we know that God’s plans are better than the goals we set for ourselves. More importantly, we should be excited about God’s plans for us. Aside from the fact that God’s will is for us, we should be fulfilling all His commands in love. We know deep in our hearts that Jesus loved us first unconditionally. Believe in the things of Jesus. Bartimaeus gained his sight because he believed that Jesus has the power to give him sight. Jesus appreciated Bartimaeus’ faith. Don’t forget that God also gave us dreams and visions. We must believe that the plans God set for us will come true just like Bartimaeus believed that he would regain his sight. When the goal looks too hard for us, when our resources are not enough to cover our needs, and when our circumstances are not going our way, we must believe that we’re only at the beginning of the season, or even halfway, but the end of the season will be a time of celebration. It will be our moment of triumph. If we remain focused on Jesus, just as Bartimaeus received his sight, we will win the greatest desires of our hearts. The blessings will be mind-blowing. It will be higher than anything we could imagine and will be a journey from glory to glory. Remember, there is no middle ground; always choose Jesus. 

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