Have you ever spotted a parking space in a crowded lot only to find that when you get there your car will not fit? Sometimes this is because the person who parked next to your space didn’t respect the dividing line. Some like to park half in one space, half in another. Others seem to prefer to enter a space at an angle and, due to laziness or selfishness, they don’t straighten their car before running into the store. I call these people “diagonal parkers.”
Lines Are Everywhere!
There are dividing lines in parking lots to designate spaces. There are lines drawn at intersections so that pedestrians know where to cross the street. There are little, but important, lines drawn on rulers to show units of measurement. There are lines drawn on baseball diamonds, basketball courts, and football fields. Lines are there for a reason! They are meant to maintain order and give everyone a fair chance.
Lines help us know where we stand. We are either on one side or the other. Some people try to be on both sides of the line, as in the case poor parkers.
God’s Will or Man-Made Religion
In Exodus 32, Moses drew a symbolic line in the desert sand. He stood before his brethren, many of whom had worshiped a golden calf, and drew an imaginary line by saying, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me” (Exodus 32:26). That day, many took a firm stand with Moses and the Lord. Those who rebelliously stayed on the other side of that dividing line paid dearly for it (Exodus 32:27-28).
Jesus’ Will or Friendship with the World
Jesus also drew a line when He called those from the multitude to follow Him. In Matthew 12:30 he said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” With Christ there is no neutrality. Either we are for him or against him.
This same line still exists today. It creates a division between light and darkness (John 3:19-21), between “God and money” (Matthew 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:17), and between being “a friend of the world” or “a friend of God” (James 4:4; 2:23). We must decide on which side of this line we will stand.
Many choose to stand on both sides. To these indecisive souls Jesus says, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16). Strong language with serious consequences!
This dividing line is the difference between persevering in “the teaching of Christ” and going beyond what is written (2 John 9; cf. 1 Corinthians 4:6). On what side of the line do you stand?