BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS HOW LONG HALT YE?
ELIJAH THE PROPHET said unto the people:
"How long halt ye between two opinions?
If the Lord be God, follow Him;
but if Baal, then follow him."
It is recorded, "But the people answered him not a word."
The reason they answered not a word is that they were afraid to "choose ye this day,"-they did not BELIEVE within their hearts. They were traveling the hellish path of indecision, believing that the LORD is one, and then having altars to ten thousand household gods and beliefs.
Indecision is a sure poison which will slowly consume every bit of life, joy and vitality from the temple. The gesture which causes a miracle to take place is Decision. The "stretch forth thy hand" is made at the point of decision against every established belief in a power opposed to God. The convulsing question of Elijah struck the people dumb.
"How long halt ye between two opinions?" Why will you continue to get caught in the vise of two beliefs? If you believe God can heal you, you are through looking to other devices and people for help. When you are through, you are through,-and you are at the point of, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him."
Between the two opinions, i.e.,---taking thought of the how, why, when and where, to the action of stretching forth the hand and the making of the gesture, lies the vast and wonderful consciousness of God. "Choose ye this day (that is today) whom ye shall serve." And then, "having done all, stand and SEE the salvation of the LORD." "If God be God, then follow HIM."
Stop shadow boxing. It leads nowhere. No prize fighter imagines he is going to defeat the shadow which he himself is casting,-yet the human mind shadow boxes with the self-created images of disease, and tries to defeat the opponent which is within and which is casting the shadow.
Stop fighting with things, people, conditions and places, and go WITHIN,----and SEE where the change takes place. "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested." Are you going to stand, ---or are you still shaking with fear and doubt?
"And Elijah said unto the people:
I, even I, ONLY remain a prophet of the Lord;
But Baal's prophets are four hundred
and fifty men."
When we begin to understand the ONE as contrasted against the more than one, we see the WAY instead of the ways, and the POWER, instead of the thousand and one devices of pseudo-power to make demonstrations by personal pleading or equations, systems, or personal teachings.
When the test of actual ability comes, it is always the same story. There is much talk about the power to heal, to prosper, to bring happiness, for a price. The results are so pitifully lacking and the excuses are so great. It is refreshing, at least, to see Elijah exposing this pseudo-power. He invites the believers in two powers to prepare an altar, and to kill two bullocks and lay them thereon,----and then call upon their god or gods to set fire to the offering, saying that he will do likewise.
When all this detail had been carried out, Elijah said: "Call upon the name of your gods and put no fire under." And so the priests of Baal began to pour out a hecatomb of words, affirmations and prayers to their gods. And Elijah, having a well developed sense of humor, said unto them:
"Cry aloud: for he is a god;
Either he is talking, or he is pursuing,
Or he is in a journey,
Or peradventure he sleepeth, and must
He is uncovering the personal god, made in the image and likeness of man, with all the emotional flavor of the human mind.
And so, as the story goes, they went through their bag of tricks;---they cut themselves, they chanted, they prophesied. In other words, they tried every maneuver of the human thought,---still nothing happened. It-is interesting to watch the human thought trying to man-handle God.
Then Elijah laid his offering on the altar, digging a trench about it which he filled with water, after having drenched the offering and the wood thereof with it. And not being satisfied with this complete challenge to the human thought and its belief in physics, he insisted they go through the whole thing again, drenching the altar anew with four barrels of water. Then he PRAYED,---and then it happened. The fire descended,---consumed the burnt offering,----licked up the water in the trench thereabout.
The symbology of the Bible is wonderful, the illustrations therein are drastic in their treatment;---there are no half measures. It is either all or nothing,---and so is it with the man who makes his decision and stands by the ONE GOD instead of following some of the lour hundred and fifty different priests of Baal. All their combined affirmations and systems will not strike a spark of fire. There is nothing within them which will set the fires. One system after another comes and wanes, proclaimed as the only. You have seen this.
This dramatic story seems vastly outside the precincts of man, ---but the amazing part of it is that the same power delineated in the illustration is that which passed through you into manifestation, just as it passed through Elijah. ONLY BELIEVE, said the Master,---and presently this ONLY begins to sink in and become active. Yes, even the water in the trench was licked up,---every supposed law of physics is set at naught. Everybody knows it is foolishness to expect to cure an incurable disease. It is all right to "talk" about the cure of such things, but when you are faced with it,---then what? How about moving over a space or two into the dimension of the power operating through Elijah, where the appearances were put to naught, and the fires burned the offering, wet though it was. Do you believe? I am speaking to you,---or are you trying to make God do your bidding as did the disciples of Baal?
"God sent not his Son in the world
to condemn the world,
But that the world through Him might
The only reason of Jesus was to set aside the fate patterns established by the priests of Baal,---and to put at naught all their findings and learnings. God does not ask that conditions be right. When He is called upon, He answers more surely than an electric switch when touched. To suppose you can demonstrate this power as a side issue in life is to experience the fruits of ignorance.
"The only fires that can burn you are those set by yourself." (Homer)
Eventually, you SEE and discover yourself,----the Son of God, perfect and eternal.
"But we all, with open face
Beholding as in a glass the glory
of the Lord,
Are changed into the same image
From glory to glory."
Do you hear what it says?---"ARE CHANGED," (do you follow ME) "into the SAME (identical) image." Can you begin to FEEL,---believe? Or will you run to a priest of Baal and seek a way and means of demonstrating this already established fact?
As the road sign is invisible at night until the light of your car is turned upon it, so is the love of God invisible until the recognition is made. The Love of God is always present, as are the road signs, but without recognition apparently invisible. The healing power of Jesus Christ does not take place until acknowledgement of its existence was made: "Believest thou that I am able to do unto thee?"
There is a hearing through the non-hearing. When God speaks it is in a "still small voice",----and is inaudible until recognized.
Walter C. Lanyon