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The Paradox of Spiritual Power

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SERMON FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 7, 2007

THE PARADOX OF SPIRITUAL POWER  1 KINGS 19:1-8  BBC

INTRO: POWER - CAR THAT WOULDN’T START – A YOUNG 3RD YR. COLLEGE STUDENT WAS GIVEN A CAR TO GET AROUND CAMPUS, BUT IT WOULDN’T START WITHOUT A PUSH. HE’S OPEN THE DOOR AND WITH ONE FOOT ON THE GROUND AND THE OTHER ON THE CLUTCH…HE’S PUSH AND POP THE CLUTH AND BE ON HIS WAY. AS HE MADE HIS ROUNDS…HE’S PARK ON A HILL OR LEAVE THE CAR RUNNING. HE USED THIS PROCEDURE FOR TWO YEARS UNTIL GRADUATION WHEN HE DECIDED TO GIVE THE CAR AWAY. A YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL GRAD ON HIS WAY TO COLLEGE CAME BY AND WANTED THE CAR…THE COLLGE GRAD EXPLAINED THE ODD ARRANGEMENT IN GETTNG THE CAR STARTED….THE HS KID…BEGAN LOOKING UNDER THE HOOD..AND BEFORE COLLEGE GRAD EXPLANATION WAS COMPLETE THE KID SAID, HEY MAN I THINK THE ONLY TROUBLE IS THIS LOOSE CABLE…HE GAVE IT A TWIST, STEEPED IN THE CAR, TURNED THE KEY..AND TO COLLEGE GRAD’S ASTONISHMENT…THE ENGINE ROARED TO LIFE.

FOR TWO YRS…NEEDLESS TROUBLE HAD BECOME ROUTINE…THE POWER WAS THERE ALL THE TIME….ONLY A LOOSE CONNECTION KEPT THE COLLEGE STUDENT FROM PUTTING THAT POWER TO WORK.  THE PARADOX OF SPIRITUAL POWER IS THAT MAY OF US HAVE THE POWER AVAILABLE, BUT WE JUST NEED TO GET UNDER THE HOOD AND TIGHTEN OUR CONNECTION TO GOD.

 THE PARADOX OF CONNECTING TO GOD IS SEEN IN THE LETTING GO. SPIRITUAL POWER IS DISTRIBUTED WHEN WE LEARN THE DISCIPLINES OF LETTING GO

THESE PRACTICES ALLOW US TO RELINQUISH SOMETHING IN ORDER TO GAIN SOMETHING NEW. WE ABSTAIN FROM “BUSY-NESS” IN MINISTRY, FAMILY LIFE, AND WORK. WE STOP TALKING FOR A WHILE TO HEAR FROM GOD. WE GIVE UP BUYING ANOTHER MATERIAL POSSESSION TO EXPERIENCE GOD MORE FULLY. FIRST PETER 2:11 WARNS US TO “ABSTAIN FROM SINFUL DESIRES, WHICH WAR AGAINST YOUR SOUL.” IDENTIFY WHAT IS KEEPING YOU FROM EXPERIENCING GREATER STRENGTH AND PERSPECTIVE. DO YOU TALK TOO MUCH? ARE POSSESSIONS CONTROLLING YOU? ARE YOU TOO WORRIED ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK? CHOOSE DISCIPLINES THAT WILL HELP YOU BECOME MORE DEPENDENT ON GOD.

SOLITUDE—SPENDING TIME ALONE TO BE WITH GOD. FIND A QUIET PLACE TO BE ALONE WITH GOD FOR A PERIOD OF TIME. USE THE BIBLE AS A SOURCE OF COMPANIONSHIP WITH GOD. LISTEN TO HIM. REMAIN ALONE AND STILL.

SILENCE—REMOVING NOISY DISTRACTIONS TO HEAR FROM GOD. FIND A QUIET PLACE AWAY FROM NOISE TO HEAR FROM GOD. WRITE YOUR THOUGHTS AND IMPRESSIONS AS GOD DIRECTS YOUR HEART. SILENCE CAN OCCUR EVEN IN THE MIDST OF NOISE AND DISTRACTION. BUT YOU MUST FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON YOUR SOUL. THIS COULD MEAN TALKING LESS OR TALKING ONLY WHEN NECESSARY. AND IT COULD MEAN TURNING OFF THE RADIO AND THE TV.

FASTING—SKIPPING A MEAL(S) TO FIND GREATER NOURISHMENT FROM GOD. CHOOSE A PERIOD OF TIME TO GO WITHOUT FOOD. DRINK WATER AND, IF NECESSARY, TAKE VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS. FEEL THE PAIN OF HAVING AN EMPTY STOMACH AND DEPEND ON GOD TO FILL YOU WITH HIS GRACE.

FRUGALITY—LEARNING TO LIVE WITH LESS MONEY AND STILL MEET YOUR BASIC NEEDS. BEFORE BUYING SOMETHING NEW, CHOOSE TO GO WITHOUT OR PICK A LESS EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE THAT WILL SERVE YOUR BASIC NEEDS. LIVE A SIMPLE, FOCUSED LIFE.

CHASTITY—VOLUNTARILY CHOOSING TO ABSTAIN FROM SEXUAL PLEASURES FOR A TIME (THOSE PLEASURES THAT ARE DEEMED MORALLY RIGHT IN THE BOND OF MARRIAGE) TO FIND HIGHER FULFILLMENT IN GOD. DECIDE TOGETHER AS A COUPLE TO SET ASIDE TIME TO GO WITHOUT SEXUAL PLEASURES IN ORDER TO EXPERIENCE A DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IN PRAYER.

SECRECY—AVOIDING SELF-PROMOTION, PRACTICE SERVING GOD WITHOUT OTHERS KNOWING. GIVE IN SECRET. SERVE “BEHIND THE SCENES” IN A MINISTRY THAT YOU ARE ASSURED FEW WILL KNOW ABOUT.

SACRIFICE—GIVING OF OUR RESOURCES BEYOND WHAT SEEMS REASONABLE TO REMIND US OF OUR DEPENDENCE ON CHRIST. CHOOSE TO GIVE YOUR TIME OR FINANCES TO THE LORD BEYOND WHAT YOU NORMALLY WOULD.

DISCIPLINES OF ACTIVITY

DALLAS WILLARD WRITES, “THE DISCIPLINES OF ABSTINENCE MUST BE COUNTER-BALANCED AND SUPPLEMENTED BY DISCIPLINES OF ENGAGEMENT (ACTIVITY).” IT’S CHOOSING TO PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES THAT NURTURE OUR SOULS AND STRENGTHEN US FOR THE RACE AHEAD.

STUDY—SPENDING TIME READING THE SCRIPTURES AND MEDITATING ON ITS MEANING AND IMPORTANCE TO OUR LIVES. WE ARE NOURISHED BY THE WORD BECAUSE IT IS OUR SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL STRENGTH. CHOOSE A TIME AND A PLACE TO FEED FROM THE WORD OF GOD REGULARLY.

WORSHIP—OFFERING PRAISE AND ADORATION TO GOD. HIS PRAISE SHOULD CONTINUALLY BE ON OUR LIPS AND IN OUR THOUGHTS. READ PSALMS, HYMNS, OR SPIRITUAL SONGS, OR SING TO THE LORD DAILY USING A PRAISE TAPE. KEEP PRAISE EVER BEFORE YOU AS YOU THINK OF GOD’S MIGHTY DEEDS IN YOUR LIFE.

PRAYER—TALKING TO AND LISTENING TO GOD ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AND ABOUT THE CONCERNS OF OTHERS. FIND TIME TO PRAY TO GOD WITHOUT THE DISTRACTION OF PEOPLE OR THINGS. COMBINE YOUR PRAYER TIME WITH MEDITATION ON THE SCRIPTURES IN ORDER TO FOCUS ON CHRIST.

FELLOWSHIP—MUTUAL CARING AND MINISTRY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST. MEET REGULARLY WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS TO FIND WAYS TO MINISTER TO OTHERS. ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.

CONFESSION—REGULARLY CONFESS YOUR SINS TO THE LORD AND OTHER TRUSTED INDIVIDUALS. AS OFTEN AS YOU ARE AWARE OF SIN IN YOUR LIFE, CONFESS IT TO THE LORD AND TO THOSE YOU MAY HAVE OFFENDED.

SUBMISSION—HUMBLING YOURSELF BEFORE GOD AND OTHERS WHILE SEEKING ACCOUNTABILITY IN RELATIONSHIPS. FIND FAITHFUL BROTHERS OR SISTERS IN CHRIST WHO CAN LOVINGLY HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND GROWTH IN CHRIST.

BILL DONAHUE, LEADING LIFE-CHANGING SMALL GROUPS, (ZONDERVAN PUBLISHING HOUSE, GRAND RAPIDS, MI, 1996), PP. 51-52

EXPL: IN THE TEXT THE PARADOX IS THAT ELIJAH WHO HAS JUST DEMONSTRATED THE AWESOME SPIRITUAL POWER OF GOD  IN VICTORY…

VICTORY OVER THE FALSE PROPHETS OF BAAL

VICTORY IN THE END OF THE 31/2 YR DROUGHT

VICTORY IN BEATING AHAB BACK TO JEZREEL

IS NOW LANGUISHING IN DEFEAT AND DESPAIR AND DEPRESSION.

HE WAS THE “MAN” BUT NOW HE IS WHINING AND CRYING AND BELLYACHING…BECAUSE THE EVIL PAGAN QUEEN JEZEBEL, THREATENS HIS LIFE…AND HE IS BLINDSIDED AND ENTERED INTO A VICIOUS CYCLE DOWNWARD OF DISCOURAGEMENT.

HE WAS NOW A MAN UNDER ATTACK…BY THE WILES OF THE DEVIL…

ATTACK OF ..

FRUSTRATION – CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG, CAN WE ALL GET REVIVED

FATIGUE – HE WAS DIRED, DRAINED AND EXHAUSTED…FROM CARMEL…TIRED AND LACK OF REST AND PROPER DIET SET US UP FOR THE INVITATION OF THE EVIL ONE TO TEMPT AND TRY US.

FEAR …AND THIS IS THE ONLY TIME HE EXHIBITS FEAR…BEFORE THIS HE HAD A PRICE ON HIS HEAD, NOT JUST BY AHAB AND JEZEBELL…BUT BY THE NATION. IN FACT, OBHADIAH CAME ACROSS ELIJAH AND WAS FEARFUL…BECAUSE HE THOUGHT HE WOULD LOSE HIS LIFE. AND NOW ELIJAH…HAS ONE THREAT FROM AN EVIL QUEEN AND IS NOW RUNNING FOR HIS LIFE.

FOCUS - YES…SPIRITUAL VICTORY DOES NOT GUARANTEE CONSISTENT FOCUS OF FAITH. WE ARE PRONE TO TAKE OUR EYES OF JESUS IN THE MIDST OF VICTORY.

FAITHLESSNESS AND FORGETFULNESS - WHICH LEADS TO FAITHLESSNESS, TEMPORARY LASPE OF FAITH…CIRCUMSTANCES AND SEASONS CHANGED AND CHALLENGED HIM… AND THEN WE FORGET …I BELIEVE BUT HELP MY UNBELIEF… THUS… HOW QUICK WE ARE TO FORGET WHAT GOD HAS DONE! 

AND THE COMBINATION OF THESE FACTORS WILL LEAD TO FAILURE.

VICTORY OVER THE ENEMY CAN MAKE US VERY VULNERABLE  MORE  ATTACKS OF THE ENEMY. MORE ATTACKS LEAD TO ELIJAH TO RUN FOR HIS LIFE.

THE REMEDY TO THE PROPHET ON THE RUN….

REST, - GET SOME SLEEP

REVELATION  – THE ANGEL OF THE LORD, THE PREINCARNATE APPEARANCE OF JESUS.

ARISE AND EAT - PROPER DIET,  

REST AND ARISE. AND HE ATE THAT MEAL…AND IT SUSTAINED HIM FOR FORTY DAYS.

PROP: THE SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE OF LESS WILL YIELD THE SPIRITUAL POWER OF MORE.

WHEN WE TURN DOWN OUR PLATES AND BEND OUR HEARTS IN PRAYER…GOD SHOWS UP.

 

INTER: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE TEXT THAT WILL HELP US TO UNDERSTAND THE PARADOX OF SPIRITUAL POWER.

 

TS: AS WE LOOK AT ELIJAH WE WILL LEARN MORE OF THE PARADOX OF POWER.

MPI. SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE OF THE PLATE AND PRAYER MAKE US SENSITIVE TO  GOD’S GRACE V. 8

SO HER AROSE, AND ATE AND DRANK: AND HE WENT IN THE STRENGTH OF THAT FOOD 40 DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS AS FAR AS HOREB, THE MT. OF GOD.

REST CAN STILL HAVE US ON THE WRONG ROAD – BECAUSE ELIJAH WAS WRONG TO RUN AWAY, RUN INTO THE WILDERESS, HE RAN OUT OF THE WILL OF GOD…AS A PROPHET HE SHOULD HAVE STAYED AND BEEN WHAT HE WAS CALLED…A PROPHET.

ELIJAH….RUN TO HOREB, HOREB IS THE SAME AS SINAI, THE SAME PLACE WHERE GOD GAVE MOSES THE LAW.  ELIJAH WAS OFF BASE….AND HE WAS HEADING FOR A PLACE WHERE GOD WAS KNOWN TO MANIFEST HIMS PRESENCE. ELIJAH WANTED TO SEE GOD, HE WAS LONGING FOR GOD, HE WAS LONGING FOR A DRAMATIC SHOW OF GOD SO ALL WOULD KNOW THAT GOD IS GOD.  CARMEL WASN’T ENOUGH BECAUSE IT DIDN’T CHANGE EVERYBODY’S HEART…. BAAL WORSHIP WAS STILL GOING ON, JEZEBEL WAS STILL UNGODLY ….AND JUDGMENT OF  CARMEL DIDN’T SATISFY ALL….SO HE RAN TO HOREB.

ELIJAH DIDN’T REALIZE THAT GOD DOESN’T DO THINGS THE WAY WE LIKE OR WANT; HIS THOUGHT AND WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN OUR…AND WE ARE TO TRUST HIM REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT IT MAKES SENSE.  ELIJAH WANTS TO SEE GOD, AND ELIJAH TURN DOWN HIS PLATE SO GOD CAN SHOW UP.   IT WAS A SELF IMPOSED FAST TO SEEK THE LORD.

IMP. WHEN WE RUN FROM GOD BECAUSE WE THINK THAT HE HAS NOT DONE ENOUGH……THINGS MAY GET WORSE BEFORE THEY GET BETTER. WE MAY GO IN THE WRONG DIRECTION TO HOREB WHEN GOD WANTS US TO RETURN AND STAND IN THE POWER OF GOD. THE GRACE OF GOD ALLOWED ELIJAH TO WANDER, TO WONDER, TO FAST AND TO PRAY. THUS WE MAY HAVE LAPSES IN OUR FAITH…GREAT FAITH MAY NOT ALWAYS YIELD STRONG FAITH. WE BELIEVE BUT HELP THE PART THAT DOESN’T BELIEVE AND DESPITE OUR DOUBT …GOD IS GRACIOUS.

INCONSISTENT ISRAEL – VICTORY AT THE RED SEA, THEN IDOLATRY OF THE GOLDEN CALF

MOSES – LEAD ISRAEL OUT OF EGYPT, SAW THE GLORY OF THE LORD ,..BUT IN AN ACT OF DISOBEDIENCE HE “STUCK THE ROCK” AS OPPOSED TO SPEAKING TO IT TO BRING FORTH WATER.

PETER WAKED ON WATER – THEN TOOK HIS EYES OFF OF JESUS; PETER MADE THE CONFESSION THAT CHRIST IS THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD AND THAT HE’D NEVER DENY HIM ONLY TO CHALLENGED BY A LITTLE GIRL AND THEN FOUND CUSSING LIKE A DRUNKEN SAILOR.

PAUL WHO KILLED CHRISTIANS BECAME GREAT CHURCH PLANTER, PREACHER TEACHERAND PASTOR..HE SAID...

2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 AND HE SAID UNTO ME, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE: FOR MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS. MOST GLADLY THEREFORE WILL I RATHER GLORY IN MY INFIRMITIES, THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY REST UPON ME.

APP: DO’S AND DON’TS…DON’T UNDERESTIMATE OR OVER ESTIMATE YOUR FAITH.

DON’T LET FEAR AND DOUBT CLOUD YOUR FOCUS

DON’T DESPAIR OVER YOUR LIFE

DON’T BE SELF- CENTERED IN THE FOCUS AS A RESULT OF THE ATTACKS OF ONE JEZEBEL

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE ARRIVAL OF REVIVAL

DO GET YOUR PROPER REST AND NOURISHMENT.

ILL: GOD’S GRACE

A CONVICT, WHO HAS JUST FINISHED HIS TERM OF PENAL SERVITUDE, WISHES TO LEAD AN HONEST LIFE. HE COMES TO A MAN WHO HAS A LARGE JEWELRY ESTABLISHMENT AND WHO REQUIRES A NIGHT WATCHMAN. HE IS ENGAGED TO WATCH THIS BUILDING THROUGH THE QUIET HOURS OF THE NIGHT WHEN HE HAS EVERYTHING UNDER HIS CARE AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO ROB HIS EMPLOYER. ON THE FIRST EVENING, HE MEETS ONE OF HIS OLD COMPANIONS, WHO QUESTIONS HIM, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?” “I’M THE NIGHT WATCHMAN.” “OVER THIS JEWELER’S SHOP?” “YES.” “DOES HE KNOW WHAT YOU ARE?” “NO, KEEP QUIET; IF HE KNEW, I SHOULD BE DISMISSED.” “SUPPOSE I LET IT OUT THAT YOU ARE A RETURNED CONVICT!” “OH, PLEASE DON’T; IT WOULD BE MY LAST DAY HERE, AND I WISH TO BE HONEST.” “WELL, YOU HAVE TO GIVE ME SOME MONEY TO KEEP QUIET.” “VERY WELL, BUT DON’T LET ANYONE KNOW.” THUS THE POOR MAN WOULD LIVE IN FEAR, LEST IT SHOULD COME TO THE EARS OF HIS EMPLOYER WHAT HIS PREVIOUS CHARACTER HAD BEEN. LET US SUPPOSE, HOWEVER, THAT INSTEAD OF THE EMPLOYER’S ENGAGING THE MAN IN IGNORANCE OF HIS CHARACTER, HE WENT TO THE CONVICT’S CELL AND SAID, “NOW I KNOW YOU—WHAT YOU ARE, WHAT YOU’VE DONE, EVERY ROBBERY YOU’VE COMMITTED, BUT I AM ABOUT TO GIVE YOU A CHANCE OF BECOMING HONEST. I’LL TRUST YOU AS MY NIGHT WATCHMAN OVER MY VALUABLE GOODS.” THE MAN IS FAITHFUL AT HIS POST. HE MEETS AN OLD COMPANION WHO THREATENS TO INFORM HIS EMPLOYER ABOUT HIS PAST. HE ASKS, “WHAT WILL YOU TELL ABOUT ME?” “THAT YOU WERE THE RINGLEADER OF THIEVES.” “YES, BUT MY MASTER KNOWS ALL THAT; HE KNOWS ME BETTER THAN I KNOW MYSELF.” OF COURSE, THIS SILENCES HIS COMPANION FOREVER. JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY MASTER WHO IS “FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH.” JESUS CHRIST IS GRACIOUS TO YOU AND ME BECAUSE HE KNOWS THE TRUTH ABOUT US, THAT WE DESERVE NOTHING BUT HELL. BUT THROUGH HIS GRACE HEAVEN CAN BE OUR SHARE, IF WE PERSONALLY AND BY FAITH APPROPRIATE HIS GRACE.

[1]

MPII. SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE OF THE PLATE AND PRAYER MAKE US SENSITIVE TO  GOD’S PRESENCE V. 9-14

 

1 KINGS 19:9 AND HE CAME THITHER UNTO A CAVE, AND LODGED THERE; AND, BEHOLD, THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO HIM, AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, WHAT DOEST THOU HERE, ELIJAH? 10 AND HE SAID, I HAVE BEEN VERY JEALOUS FOR THE LORD GOD OF HOSTS: FOR THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL HAVE FORSAKEN THY COVENANT, THROWN DOWN THINE ALTARS, AND SLAIN THY PROPHETS WITH THE SWORD; AND I, EVEN I ONLY, AM LEFT; AND THEY SEEK MY LIFE, TO TAKE IT AWAY. 11 AND HE SAID, GO FORTH, AND STAND UPON THE MOUNT BEFORE THE LORD. AND, BEHOLD, THE LORD PASSED BY, AND A GREAT AND STRONG WIND RENT THE MOUNTAINS, AND BRAKE IN PIECES THE ROCKS BEFORE THE LORD; BUT THE LORD WAS] NOT IN THE WIND: AND AFTER THE WIND AN EARTHQUAKE; BUT THE LORD WAS NOT IN THE EARTHQUAKE: 12 AND AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE A FIRE; BUT THE LORD WAS NOT IN THE FIRE: AND AFTER THE FIRE A STILL SMALL VOICE. 13 AND IT WAS SO, WHEN ELIJAH HEARD IT, THAT HE WRAPPED HIS FACE IN HIS MANTLE, AND WENT OUT, AND STOOD IN THE ENTERING IN OF THE CAVE. AND, BEHOLD, THERE CAME A VOICE UNTO HIM, AND SAID, WHAT DOEST THOU HERE, ELIJAH? 14 AND HE SAID, I HAVE BEEN VERY JEALOUS FOR THE LORD GOD OF HOSTS:: BECAUSE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL HAVE FORSAKEN THY COVENANT, THROWN DOWN THINE ALTARS, AND SLAIN THY PROPHETS WITH THE SWORD; AND I, EVEN I ONLY, AM LEFT; AND THEY SEEK MY LIFE, TO TAKE IT AWAY.

BETWEEN V. 8-9, IN WHAT SHOULD HAVE TAKE 7 DAYS TOOK 40 DAYS;

ELIJAH IS AT HOREB, IN A CAVE AND GOD SHOWS UP. THE QUESTION IS WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? AND IN A REHEARSED SPEECH…ELIJAH SAYS I HAVE EEN VERY ZEALOUS FOR GOD AND FOR ISRAEL WHO HAS FORSAKEN YOUR COVENANT, TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, ALTERED WORSHIP, AND I AM ALONE AND MOST WANTED. THEN GOD TELLS HIM…GO STAND

AND SEE..

THE WIND,

EARTHQUAKE

THE FIRE

BUT GOD WAS NOT IN ANY OF THOSE…AND THEN CAME THE STILL SMALL VOICE OF GOD. WHERE HE AGAIN ASK THE QUESTION …ELIJAH WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE??? AND AGAIN HE REITERATES HIS PREPARED SPEECH OF BEING THE ONLY ONE LEFT.

IMP. 40 DAYS SPEAKS OF GOD’S TESTING AND GOD’S DISCIPLINE AND GOD’S NEW BEGINNINGS. AND WE CAN BE IN THE WRONG PLACE AND GOD WILL SHOW UP…ELIJAH IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE AT HOREB..BUT GOD SHOWS UP; IT REMINDS US OF THE GENESIS STORY OF ADAM AND EVE…AND GOD ASK THE QUESTION, “ADAM WHERE ARE YOU”?   GOD CAN SHOW UP IN THE BAR, IN THE BROTHEL, IN THE CASINO AND IN THE CAN. GOD KNOWS HOW TO SHOW UP US.

NEXT GOD’S PRESENCE IS NOT ALWAYS FOUND IN THE SPECTACULAR.  GOD DOES SOME WORK WITH ORDINARY PEOPLE IN ORDINARY MEANS; GOD WORKS IN THE BACKGROUND AND MANY TIMES HIS WORK IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYES OF MAN AND WOMAN. BUT GOD’S WORKING ARE ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE AND HIS PLAN.

FINALLY, THE SIMPLICITY OF GOD’S WORD IS POWERFUL. GOD’S WORD IS POWERFUL EVEN IF IT IS A WHISPER.    THUS AS ELIJAH IS LONGING FOR THE SUPERNATURAL UNEQUIVIAL SHOW OF GOD’S POWER TO TOUCH ALL..INCLUDING JEZEBEL AND AHAB….WITH “SIGNS AND WONDERS’ …GOD WORD IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO REACH THE WORLD.

MT. 4:4 – MAN DOES NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.

THE WORD OF GOD IS QUICK AND POWERFUL SHARPER THAN ANY TWO EDGED SWORD….HEBREWS 4:12  12 FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS] QUICK, AND POWERFUL, AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWOEDGED SWORD, PIERCING EVEN TO THE DIVIDING ASUNDER OF SOUL AND SPIRIT, AND OF THE JOINTS AND MARROW, AND IS A DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART.

II TIM. 3:16 - 2 TIMOTHY 3:15-17  15 AND THAT FROM A CHILD THOU HAST KNOWN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, WHICH ARE ABLE TO MAKE THEE WISE UNTO SALVATION THROUGH FAITH WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS.  16 ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS:  17 THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT, THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS.

APP: THE QUEST FOR THE SUPER SPECTACULAR, THE SIGHT AND SOUND WORSHIP EXPERIENCE THAT IS FILLED WITH EMOTIONAL OVERLOAD IS NOT GOOD.  THEN DON’T THINK THAT YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE SERVING THE LORD….GOD ALWAYS HAS A REMNANT OF THE FAITHFUL.

ILL: WITH FIRE FROM ABOVE

IN HIS BOOK, THE SECRET OF CHRISTIAN JOY, VANCE HAVNER WRITES: “THE GREATEST NEED OF AMERICA IS AN OLD-FASHIONED, HEAVEN-BORN, GOD-SENT REVIVAL. THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, WHEN CLOUDS HAVE HUNG LOWEST, WHEN SIN HAS SEEMED BLACKEST AND FAITH HAS BEEN WEAKEST, THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A FAITHFUL FEW WHO HAVE NOT SOLD OUT TO THE DEVIL NOR BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL, WHO HAVE FEARED THE LORD AND THOUGHT UPON HIS NAME AND HAVE NOT FORSAKEN THE ASSEMBLING OF THEMSELVES TOGETHER. THESE HAVE BESOUGHT THE LORD TO REVIVE HIS WORK IN THE MIDST OF THE YEARS, AND IN THE MIDST OF THE FEARS AND TEARS, AND IN WRATH TO REMEMBER MERCY. GOD HAS ALWAYS ANSWERED SUCH SUPPLICATION, FILLING EACH HEART WITH HIS LOVE, REKINDLING EACH SOUL WITH FIRE FROM ABOVE.”*

[2]

MPIII. SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE OF THE PLATE AND PRAYER MAKE US SENSITIVE TO  GOD’S PLAN AND PURPOSE. V. 15FF

 

THE LORD SAYS, GO, RETURN TO THE WILDERNESS OF DAMASCUS AND WHEN YOU ARRIVE ANOINT THERE PEOPLE;

HAZAEL – WILL BE ANOINTED AS THE KING OF SYRIA TO BRING JUDGMENT ON ISRAEL

JEHU – WILL BE ANOINTED  AND BRING JUDGMENT ON AHAB AND JEZEBEL AND END ITS DYNASTY

ELISHA – WILL ANOINT THIS PROPHET WHO WILL CONTINUE THE WORK OF GOD.

 

IMP. THE WORK OF GOD SPECIALIZE IN GETTING US BACK ON TRACK - GOD IS PUTTING ELIJAH BACK ON TRACK TO WHERE HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE …HE IS NOT BE  AT HOREB, BUT BACK DOING THE WILL AND WORK OF THE LORD WHERE HE WAS ASSIGNED.  GOD HAS A WAY OF RECOMMISSIONING US FOR THE WORK; FROM ELIJAH, TO JONAH, TO PETER AND JOHN MARK…

THE WORK OF GOD IS NOT OVER…AND HE WORKS, BLESSES AND BRING JUDGMENTS ACCORDING TO HIS TIME AND PLAN AND PURPOSE.  GOD HAS HIS OWN TIMETABLE AND IT IS HIS BUSINESS.

THE WORK OF GOD IN ON TRACK EVEN IF THERE ARE ONLY A FEW FAITHFUL PEOPLE LEFT TO DO THE WORK. WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT GOD IS ALWAYS WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES..THERE ARE 7000 IN ISRAEL WHO ARE FOCUSED AND FAITHFUL.   AND EVEN NOW…W. EUROPE IS COLD, E. EUROPE IS ON FIRE FOR GOD; AMERICA IS COLD AND AFRICA IS ON FIRE FOR GOD.

ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER - ROMANS 8:28 AND WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, TO THEM WHO ARE THE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS] PURPOSE. 29 FOR WHOM HE DID FOREKNOW, HE ALSO DID PREDESTINATE TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN. 30 MOREOVER WHOM HE DID PREDESTINATE, THEM HE ALSO CALLED: AND WHOM HE CALLED, THEM HE ALSO JUSTIFIED: AND WHOM HE JUSTIFIED, THEM HE ALSO GLORIFIED.

HE HAS BEGUN A GOOD WORK WILL - PHILIPPIANS 1:6  6 BEING CONFIDENT OF THIS VERY THING, THAT HE WHICH HATH BEGUN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL PERFORM IT UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST:

TITUS 3:4 BUT AFTER THAT THE KINDNESS AND LOVE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR TOWARD MAN APPEARED, 5 NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, BY THE WASHING OF REGENERATION, AND RENEWING OF THE HOLY GHOST; 6 WHICH HE SHED ON US ABUNDANTLY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR;

APP: GET BACK IN THERE AND SERVE THE LORD.

ILL:

THE WILL OF THE FATHER (1 PETER 5:6–9)

TAKE A MINUTE AND EXAMINE THE IMPORTANCE OF CHRIST’S BIRTH AND HIS LIFE ON THIS EARTH. CONSIDER WHAT SPLENDOR HE LEFT IN HEAVEN WITH THE FATHER. TO LIVE AMONG SINFUL MEN IN A SINFUL WORLD, YET AS A SINLESS MAN HE CARRIED OUT GOD’S PLAN. BECAUSE JESUS WAS GOD, HE WAS HUMBLY WILLING TO FULFILL THE WILL GOD HAD ESTABLISHED (PHIL. 2:5–10). CHRIST’S FOCUS WAS CLEAR ON THIS EARTH ALTHOUGH MAN COULD NOT UNDERSTAND. HIS DISCIPLES QUESTIONED HIS DIRECTION, THE PHARISEES AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF THE DAY QUESTIONED HIS AUTHORITY, AND THOSE WHO FOLLOWED HIM AROUND THE COUNTRYSIDE FAILED TO UNDERSTAND HIS MOTIVES. WITH ALL THIS ADVERSITY AND MISUNDERSTANDING THAT CHRIST EXPERIENCED, HE REMAINED FAITHFUL TO GOD’S WILL. HOW LITTLE IT IS THAT CAN BEGIN TO DISTRACT AND DETER US FROM GOD’S PURPOSE IN OUR LIVES. EVEN IN HIS BIRTH, CHRIST WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOD’S PLAN THOUGH HEROD WOULD HAVE HAD HIM KILLED. RELIANCE ON GOD SHOULD BE OUR AIM OF ALL TIMES. TO DO THIS WE MUST BE AS CHRIST—RENOUNCING OUR FLESH AND PRIDE AND MAN’S CONCERNS AND CLING TO GOD (1 PET. 5:6–9).

[3]

TURNING DOWN THE PLATE AND TURNING UP THE PRAYER ENSURES GOD WILL SHOW UP.

 

TURNING DOWN THE PLATE AND TURNING UP THE PRAYER ALL’S GOD TO BE GOD.


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[1] AMG Bible Illustrations. electronic ed. Chattanooga : AMG Publishers, 2000 (Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series)

[2]Morgan, Robert J.: Nelson's Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, S. 681

[3] AMG Bible Illustrations. electronic ed. Chattanooga : AMG Publishers, 2000 (Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series)

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