How many of you could think of one amazing thing that the Lord has done for you? If you find yourself thinking hard, that’s a problem. His death on the cross alone should do it! How many of you have said to yourselves that if God would show up the way He did back in the Old Testament, then you would no doubt trust him without a flinch? I am not going to lie – I’ve said that before! I was reading my Word and came across the story of Elijah the prophet; in I Kings 18, an incredible story takes place in which Elijah is sent by God to make himself known to Ahab, who at this time was a prophet of Baal. Elijah tells Ahab to gather all of Israel on Mount Carmel along with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. And Elijah boldly declares to them that they need to make up their mind. They couldn’t worship both deities. He tells them if the Lord is God, then follow Him – but if Baal is their way, then follow Baal. When no one answers him, Elijah makes a confident stand in letting them test their Baal as he tests his God. He asks them to gather two oxen one for Baal and the other for God and to cut them up and place the meat on the wood, but to put no fire under it; they would call on their god to see if he would send the fire.
Elijah boldly declares to them that they need to make up their mind. They couldn’t worship both deities.
To make the long, but very interesting story short, the people call on Baal and there is no answer. They dance, sing, run around for 24 hours straight. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Of course, Elijah could not resist a few jabs on them, insisting that Baal must have been on vacation or sleeping. Finally, it was time for Elijah to call upon his God. You will find in I Kings 18:36 Elijah’s confident and powerful prayer that God honors; He sends fire to fall and consume the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones and everything around it till everything was licked up. And lo and behold, the people saw that and fell on their knees and declared: “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God!” You read this and say, “Certainly, if God did something like that in my life, I would have no doubt of His abilities in doing more.”
“Certainly, if God did something like that in my life, I would have no doubt of His abilities in doing more.” How foolish to even think otherwise, right?
The next chapter is where it gets interesting. Ahab now becomes a follower of God and Elijah tells him to go tell his wife, the wicked Jezebel, about what Elijah had just done. Jezebel hears this and sends a messenger to Elijah to tell him that she will kill him. This is the main point that I want you to focus on. Elijah is frightened and runs for his life because he knows how evil Jezebel is. He knew that his life was in danger. He finally got to a resting place where he sits under a tree and there requests that God take his life because he felt it was enough, that he was not worthy or better off than his fathers, because his life was in danger… I read this and thought to myself…are you kidding me? I found myself wanting to smack Elijah upside his head, asking him: “Elijah, do you not remember what the Lord had just done for you in showing himself to thousands of Israelites because of your prayer and your obedience? Elijah, do you not remember that the Lord speaks to you clearly and tells you where to go and how to say this, and how to defeat that? Do you not remember that he has chosen you to be a prophet to lead a nation? And here you are asking God to take your life because you feel you are worthless?
Elijah made it about himself. He forgot what God was capable of doing and most importantly what He had done because all of a sudden his life was put in danger. He forgot.
I’m thinking to myself, “I wish the Lord spoke to me like that. I wish the Lord would show Himself in that kind of way to the people around me; then, they would have no excuse that God is who He says He is. And I would never doubt if I was given that chance to experience God just like that! Surely!” How quickly we forget! Elijah, simply a chapter before, experiences an amazing manifestation of God’s power and might in sending fire to fall and consume everything in order to show that He is God, and is now here asking for his life to be taken because he suddenly lost confidence in God. Elijah made it about himself. He forgot what God was capable of doing and most importantly what He had done because all of a sudden his life was put in danger. He forgot. We do this all the time. Really, recall how many times God has allowed you to come out of something untouched. How many times has God kept you from going down that wrong path? How many times has God allowed everything to work out for your good? How many times has the Lord provided the money you needed for school, the resources you needed for something else, and even when YOU where unfaithful, He remained faithful because of His unmerited grace and mercy!
Remembering evokes praise and gratitude. Remembering is a weapon that we have against our enemy. Remembering defeats the enemy.
How quickly we forget when obstacles arise. We go back to square one. We lose our confidence. We make it about ourselves. We allow our circumstances to get the best of us. How quickly we want to give up and although we may not necessarily go as far as to ask God to take our life, I would venture to say that there may be some who have thought that far. We have to understand the power of remembering the promises of God already spoken over our lives as His children. Remembering allows you to see the present circumstance in the right perspective and helps you put your trust in Him for the future. Remembering evokes praise and gratitude. Remembering is a weapon that we have against our enemy. Remembering defeats the enemy. Remember that although you yourself are unworthy of His death for you on the cross, He deems you worth it. Understand the power of remembering that He who has begun this work in you will be faithful in completing it. (Philippians 1:6) Make it an effort everyday of your life, to remember and meditate on the goodness of the Lord upon your life. Don’t forget it!