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If the Lord is God then Follow Him

Elijah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Turn with me to , were going to continue our study on the life of Elijah the prophet in what could be called learning faith through a difficult calling. of course you remember that Elijah’s calling began rather difficult, h was called by the Lord to go confront the worst most wicked King that ever lived and tell him that the rain was going to stop, and there would be a famine.
God then told Elijah to go an hide at the brook Cherith, where God Himself would command the Raven to feed him there. after a period of time God then came to Him and told him to go to the town of Zarephath that He had commanded the widow to feed him there.
We saw how both the widow and Elijah were being taught the same lesson, that lesson was God’s provision is located in the place he sends you to, and His provisions only flow through the funnel of obedience....
Once Elijah arrived God kept His word, both to Elijah and the widow but then tragedy struck, the widows son died and God performed a miracle to teach the widow that He was the God who answers prayer, and meets every need to those who obey Him.
Now we come to chapter 18 let’s read it:
The first thing you notice is that this passage is every middle school boys dream, it has everything a middle school boy lives for, drama, characters, fire, bloodshed, and bathroom jokes all wrapped up in one biblical passage of the Bible! Perfect!
The second thing you need to know is that this text does not have points. it is a story that tells us principles about the God we serve the God who answers prayer.
But I think the point of this whole story of Elijah is found in his statement found in
1 Kings 18:21
1 Kings 18:21 ESV
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.
We live in a idolatrous world, and when I say that I dont mean that people have little statues sitting in thier homes, even though some do, but what I mean is this that we find ourselves living in a time when people have made for themselves idols of different things without realizing they are doing it. So let’s be clear, an idol is anything that you love more than God. Love is displayed by human beings in three different areas: TIME, TALENT, and TREASURE. So if you want to know what an individual truly loves simply follow where their TIME TALENT AND TREASURE goes.
Over the years I have had people ask me questions like should I tithe 10 percent of my gross income or 10 percent of my net. Good question but I think that question misses the point, if we love God there are a number of ways that we display that love, but the goal is this when we look at our lives is our love for God evident in how we spend our time, our talents, and our money?
I know many people who tithe 10 percent but if you look at their lives they have never given of their time, or their talent to the Lord. If God’s glory is the reason why we live and move and have our being then we should offer up a willing and joyful sacrifice of these things as a way of life not as things we must do if we want to be a good little Christian this should be something we feel honored to be able to give to our Lord as an offering of our life!
Yet today people worship many different God’s the God of comfort and ease, the God of convenience the God of self, the God of family, the God of material possessions, the god of political correctness.... the list goes on and on. Make no bones about it when these things take up the majority of our time, talent and treasures they can fall into the category of idolatry. We need to look no further than the words of Jesus to see how seriously the Lord takes these issues.
Luke 9:60 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Luke
Luke 14:26 ESV
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Now God is not advocating abandoning your family He is a father who loves His children and witholds from them no good thing but here what Jesus is saying very clearly is this: I MUST HAVE FIRST PLACE IN YOUR LIFE!
It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about time talent or treasure we should be looking to leverage the gifts God has given us for the most glory we can return to Him!
So we live within a culture that says listen you must do for you and bring as much happiness unto yourself and your family as possible and maybe serving the Lord will have a time slot and maybe it will not. This was the same culture of Israel during the reign of King Ahab. They just named him Baal he was supposedly the god of prosperity, he was also known as the god who brought the rain for the crops and this was how they financially prospered so in essence to worship Baal was to worship your own livelihood.
Elijah enters and says: STOP LIMPING BETWEEN TWO DIFFERING OPINIONS IF GOD IS GOD THEN FOLLOW HIM, IF BAAL IS GOD THEN FOLLOW HIM BUT DON’T HANG OUT IN THE MIDDLE.
At every turn Israel was told not to marry the pagans around them, and here you have not only an Israelite but the King who has defiled the command of His God and marrying Jezzebel and she came not alone but with 450 prophets of baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. What Jezzebel wanted Jezzebel got, and what she wanted was the prophets of the Lord massacred. They were massacred except for the fact tha a man named Obadiah hid some of them away and except for the fact that the Lord is not going leave Himself without a witness.
But now the people have intermarried into pagan culture, this is the warning, we are to be in the world and not of the world. When Elijah was called HE was called into a difficult situation, if we think the King was bad we dont know his wife, she was even worse. Here are a few points from the text that we can remind ourselves of as we try to take a stand for the Lord in the midst of a culture that hates God.

Often the People of God Are Viewed as the Problem NOT the Ones Who Have the Answers to them.

the word of the Lord came to Elijah and God told Elijah to go take a stand against the King again! We see this point in how Ahab responded when he saw Elijah:
1 Kings 18:
1 Kings 18:17 ESV
When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?”
1 Kings 18:
Wait a minute it was Ahab that built a temple to a pagan god it was ahab that did evil in the sight of the Lord, Ahab had brought this upon himself. But this is the way people view you when you take a stand for the Lord, you see them with their prorities out of whack and in love you go to them and you say I am really concerned about you because of this or that, God desires to be first in your life, and when you go there they become angry WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ME! If you listen closely you can hear the same tone as that of Ahab IS IT YOU YOU TROUBLER OF ISRAEL?!
1 Kings 18:18 ESV
And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals.
When you stand up to people and come to them trying to love them and sharing the need to be in God’s church, and the need to be taking in the word of God they will consider you to be the one who causes them trouble not them being out of the will of the Lord.
Elijah tells them you have done this to yourself because you have abandoned the commands of the Lord to follow after baal.
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