In the rainstorm of last night – I was reminded to get back to the story of Elijah.
We are told that we should be in the scriptures daily – well that is from others who know the yearning their soul makes when they are not in the Word for at least a couple days. Doesnt matter if they read it all before – it is a LIVING WORD – and needs to breath life into today’s challenges and blessings. Then there are even advertisements for glossy printouts of “the 15 bible versions every christian should know by heart.” Well, why would we need the printout then? LOL. Clearly we do need prompting on occasion and we best internalize rather than simply memorize. Live it not list it. So important that we don’t just “be in the Word” but “be the Word IN” – meaning act, live, express ourselves WITH the Word WITHIN us – and allow the aching and wanting of the Word to be expressed THRU us.
This means living what you learn. Activating, not just achieving. Being led, not just leading. Speaking by direction not worldly circumstances. This is not necessarily easy.
Well, how? Read the Word to let it ruminate thru you. Know it so that when circumstances come up, you are to and you CAN step up in His actions not anyone else’s. No false god will help you then – ONLY GOD – real and true – ONLY JESUS – Lord and Savior – ONLY THE HOLY SPIRIT – active and comforting.
You sometimes have to speak the Word into the situation before you yourself believe it. We say God is in control, but then we too have to believe it.
Elijah spoke prophecies from God – especially dramatic in the confrontation with Ahab. But each new incident was new, and he was back to being a regular person and God’s actions were the miraculous movement in that moment. James, Jesus’s brother, wrote in His lessons that Elijah was just a common man, as we are. It was a great “coincidence” when just this week I heard a recorded bible lesson on those chapters of James, speaking about Elijah, AFTER I had been writing about Elijah for a week. This was not a coincidence!) What that radio lesson brought to me was at least one novel lesson to me, that I had not picked up in my reading, the sermonist said that the bull set aside to sacrifice in the fire contest against the fake prophet Baal, was representative of the sacrifice of Jesus. Elijah could prepare it – but God was the One who made the sacrifice count. I knew/learned from my bible studies and readings and ponderings in the Word that each sacrifice from Adam and Eve’s time forward, from Moses, from all the later “substitutionary atonements” was a representation of Jesus being sacrificed, yet I had never thought of this “contest” with Baal more than just a demonstration of God winning.
We are to remember that God is not “competing”, He already won. He does demonstrate however, on our behalf, His Power to illustrate His Power. All Miracles point back to the Word and it is already the most powerful TRUTH.
So – the Word, Jesus, old and new testaments, is working HIS way thru us – this is for us to know WHY as well as HOW God works – but mostly to just LIVE IN His Work. For the people watching Elijah, not only did the sacrifice of the bull demonstrate God was real vs the fake gods, it demonstrated that GOD (and no one else) was able to make it happen – and this connects us (and them by prophesy) to the sacrifice of His Own Son for His Purposes to give Grace to all who would love Him and those who did not love Him, but were (and still are) being shepherded to turn their hearts towards Him.
Shepherded. We are not just shepherded but also in the benefit of the ONLY one who can give us HIS Grace.
And like Elijah, each day we must believe in that Grace. We should not disbelieve or look away when we don’t see our answers instantly. If the Lord says something is so – He will keep His Word. If He wants us to say something, we should (ask Jonah). The rains WILL come. In our troubles, when we pray, we should not expect that raincloud to appear INSTANTLY, we should TRUST that it WILL come. And we should know that the reason He told us (told Elijah) it would come, GIVES US TIME TO PREPARE. God gives us and others time to repair and prepare. Gives us ALL time to repent. Even evil King Ahab, who was written to be really really bad, had a moment near the end of some humble repentance and he was spared by God’s pushing out of the punishment to Ahab’s next generations. GOD GIVES US TIME TO PREPARE FOR RAIN.
Elijah had to find himself in prayer a lot. When he prophesied the rain coming – he was SO anxious for it to come and sent out his servant to check over and over again. When it did come, God strengthened him to run ahead of his enemies. The Buffer of the Blessing. Do we have to wait out our blessings sometimes? YES. Do we also have to run out and check if JESUS has come – will come – is come? NO, He already did, will, is. We do have to look inwards and know that if we LOVE, if we sacrifice, if we share this love by and of HIM and this hope from HIM, that Jesus has already come. Prophets prophesize ahead, but Jesus ALREADY was in existence (ALPHA AND OMEGA). Now we can just ACT upon this Truth. Be the Word IN, know it, ponder it, live it.
Love it. Humbly love, without boast, that the Lord has picked you to deliver His Message. Then do just that.
James 5:16-20 The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
1st Kings 18:41-46
And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
“Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
“There is nothing there,” he said.
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”
Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.
1st Kings 21:20-28
Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!”
“I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’
“And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’ – “Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country.”
(There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)
When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.
Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”