Monday, August 1, 2011


The prophet Elijah challenged King Ahab to gather all the prophets of Baal to Mt Carmel to a contest to determine who really is the God of Israel. And it was there that the power of God was expressed in a mighty and convincing way.

We can learn from Elijah how to experience God’s strength and see His power by taking four actions.


So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. 1 Kings 18: 20-21.

In our postmodernistic day there is the trend to deny “absolute truth”. Postmodernism is all about “being objective.” It’s not just okay; it is good and right to accept all beliefs about God. But the truth is that God desires and demands decision. You must be for Him or against Him. And He will not permit the option of remaining neutral. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Matthew 12:30.

One of the biggest problems with Christians today is spiritual indecision. To say nothing to God is to say, “No” to God. Years earlier Joshua had issued his famous challenge to the people of Israel: “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15. To experience God’s strength in your life stand up and be counted for Him.


Elijah was outnumbered 450 prophets to 1 but he was unafraid. This was designed to be a fair contest, but 450 prophets are not enough if you don’t have God on your side. And one is always enough if you’re on God’s side.

The misguided actions of the prophets of Baal remind us of a very important truth: Faith and sincerity are not enough. Faith is only as good as its object. It DOES MATTER who or what you place your faith in. All paths are not equally true. Neither is sincerity enough. No one could fault the prophets of the false god Baal as not being sincere but they were sincerely wrong. To experience God’s strength in your life be willing to stand alone, though God is with you.


Sometime in the afternoon Elijah began the process of rebuilding the altar and preparing his sacrifice. The fact that the altar was in a state of disrepair was a powerful symbol of just how far the people were from the Lord.

What in your life have you taken back for yourself that needs to be returned to the Lord in order to worship Him as the one true God so that you are completely surrendered to Him? In what areas of your life, public and private, have you neglected to let God rule? To experience God’s strength in your life give those places in your life back to God to serve Him.


Elijah offered a simple prayer. In his prayer he prayed for three things: 1) that God would be recognized as the one true God, 2) that people would know that he was truly God’s prophet, and 3) that the hearts of the people would be turned back to the Lord. The Bible tells us the result: Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!” 1 Kings 18:38-39. To experience God’s strength in your life get to know Him more and you’ll believe Him more.

If three frogs are sitting on a log and two decide to jump off, how many frogs are left sitting on the log? The answer is three. The two haven’t jumped off the log simply because they decided to. Deciding counts for nothing. They’re still on the log until they actually jump off the log.

We can say we have decided to follow Jesus. We can sing about following Jesus. We can shout about following Jesus. But we are not following Jesus until we’re following Him.

It’s not just your decision that matters; it’s your actions that matter. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says… Whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:22,25

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes it is difficult for me to remember things so as annoying as it is for some people I have to use acronyms to help me remember. After reading this inspiring and motivating message I chose the acronym ARK (Alone, Rebuild, Know). The Ark wasn't just the boat that Noah built or the chest that carried the Covenant but it also means "shelter & refuge." Standing up and being counted is an ARK for me because in standing up and being counted it is a glorious shelter and refuge when I choose..not just decide... that God is my strength in all things. Standing "Alone" against the many challenges of today is difficult at times simply because I forget the truth that I'm never alone because God promises to be with me always. When someone asks how did you get through that crisis I must remember that I may have chosen to move forward, but it was God's strength that led the battle. What a perfect time to share God's "Good News." Next is "Rebuild." Many times I wonder when to rebuild and how to rebuild my strength and what will be the sacrifices I will need to face...The answer is "Now, with God, and know that it isn't the number or type of sacrifices that is important but that it brings glory and honor to God not me. Next is "know" more. So often in my life when I've been undecided about something I relied on the phrase, "when in doubt don't." Unfortunately after making that decision I did nothing. It has been such a blessing as I grow in Christ to experience God's word personally through His promises, love, patience and His mighty strength. For today and the days to come, whenever I find myself sitting on a log deciding whether to jump and test the waters, that I will take God's hand knowing in faith...I will jump higher and further and land in the shelter & refuge of God's mighty strength. Dear Lord, help me steer my "ARK" always in your direction.