PRAYER: The First Fruits of Revival


prayer Fire!

 

“…So Obadiah went to tell Ahab that Elijah had come, and Ahab went out to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw him, he exclaimed, “So, is it really you, you troublemaker of Israel?”

“I have made no trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead. Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.”

So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent…”

1 Kings 18

(Verses 16-21)

 Here is the test of our faith.

Here is the awesome display and testimony of God.

Here is the challenge and examination of our ability to believe.

This is God, burning from heaven the doubts and disbelief of the majority. The popular crowd popularly believes not. I mean, “how un-cool to believe in God!” and yet God cares not about “cool” or popularity or politically correct but He is burning hot with faith and belief in Himself needing no one to believe. He IS whether we want to believe it or not.

And here is one man, Elijah, who has heard the Word of God and believes it. But He doesn’t just sit on it like most do. He acts upon it. He is moved by it and He is moving others and challenging them. The truth has become like a burning fire, wasting away doubt and spewing over in great fullness, the faith that is always present when the word of God is personally activated through belief. One grows weary of holding it in like that prophet Jeremiah. He challenges all the false prophets to see and prove who the real God is. And when His turn comes to cry out to His God, Elijah does so with great convincing faith and authority.

He asks with boldness and confidence.

He asks for the seemingly impossible.

He asks for a request that to most would seem ridiculous.

He calls down fire from heaven!

Why?

Because the word of God had come to this man, and he had welcomed it. The Word of God had become in him, a burning fire! God had asked of a man to call down fire – to display the power and amazing strength of the only Lord. God wanted to get the glory. God wants to display His power – to gain the victory, but where are the Elijah’s?

Where are those who believe that God can, when none else could?

Where are those who are willing to be outnumbered, yet on God’s side?

No man stands alone when he stands with God! Why can’t more of us believe this?

What would happen if the seeker-friendly, comfort-ease, western culture, have-everything-but-everything-is-still-not-enough Christians would throw off their comfort-guards and embrace in humility, the beauty of holiness – standing out for the Lord? Being separate from “worldliness,” yet involved in God glorifying works.

Where are those who are willing to embrace the truth of His Word, and suffer a little for the sake of eternal gain. What if we threw out our timid, afraid-to-trust-His-promises prayer lives and instead entered boldly before His throne-room of grace?

What if we asked because He has told us to ask?

What if we seek because He tells us – seek!

What if we came desperately, steadfastly, and unwaveringly knocking? Pounding! Desperate to see Gods glory revealed!?

What if we started to ask God for what seems impossible?

Will we ask Him to burn up the false idols?!

Will we be willing to lay our idols down?

To restore the nation!?

To breath life into this “lazy-boy” church!

To pour the water of His Spirit upon our lives and churches – drenching us until we drown!

Let us come… Being filled and overcome by His presence until we beg, “No More!” Until we glimpse so much glory that it scares us! Until we are gasping for breath. Flooded by His presence!

There, we shall lay, with no response except that of being prostrate on our belly, face full of carpet and heart full of His radiant light and life.

We must not back down or be intimidated until His fire falls from heaven! Until His glory is revealed! Praying and agonizing until revival comes to ourselves and to those stumbling in the shadows! God is waiting for a desperate people – sick of doing things their own way, in their own strength, He wants us to cry out to Him with prayers like that of Elijah:

“O Lord, God… let it be known… that you are God…Answer me, o Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”

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God Doesn’t Need You to Believe In Him. But We Do Need Revival!

Reflections upon 
1 Kings 18

Here is the test of our faith. Here is the awesome display and testimony of God. Here is the challenge and examination of our ability to believe. This is God, burning from heaven the doubts and disbelief of the majority belief. The popular crowd popularly believes not. I mean, “how un-cool to believe in God” and yet God cares not about cool. But is burning hot with faith and belief in Himself and needs none to believe. He IS whether we want to believe it or not. And here is one man, Elijah, who has heard the Word of God and believes it. But He doesn’t just sit on it like most do. He acts upon it. He is moved by it and He is moving others and challenging them. The truth has become like a burning fire, wasting away doubt and spewing over in great fullness the faith that is always present when the word of God is personally activated through belief. One grows weary of holding it in like that prophet Jeremiah. He challenges all the false prophets to see and prove who the real God is. And when His turn comes to cry out to His God, Elijah does so with great convincing faith and authority.

He asks with boldness and confidence.

He asks for the seemingly impossible.

He asks for a request that to most would seem ridiculous.

He calls down fire from heaven!

Why? Because the word of God had come to this man, and he had welcomed it. The Word of God had become in him, a burning fire! God had asked of a man to call down fire; to display the power and amazing strength of the only Lord. God wanted to get the glory. God wants to display His power; to gain the victory, but where are the Elijah’s?

Where are those who believe that God can when none else could?

Where are those who are willing to be outnumbered, yet siding with God?

No man stands alone when he stands with God! Why cant more of us believe this?

What would happen if the seeker-friendly, comfort-ease, western culture, have-everything-but-everything-is-still-not-enough Christians would throw off their comfort-guards and embrace in humility the beauty of holiness, standing out for the Lord?Embrace the truth of His Word, and suffer a little for the sake of eternal gain. What if we threw out our timid, afraid-to-trust-His-promises prayer lives and instead entered boldly before His throne-room of grace.

What if we asked because He has told us to ask?

What if we seek because He tells us: seek!

What if we came desperately, steadfastly, and unwaveringly knocking? Pounding! Desperate to see Gods glory revealed!?

What if we started to ask God for what seems impossible?

We ask Him to burn up the false idols!

To restore the nation!

To breath life into this “lazy-boy” church!

To pour the water of His Spirit upon our lives and churches; drenching us until we drown! Let us come and be filled and overcome by His presence until we beg: “No More!” Gasping for breath, we will be flooded by His presence.

There, we shall lay, with no response except prostrate on our belly, face full of carpet and heart full of His radiant light and life. We must not back down or be intimidated until His fire falls from heaven; His glory revealed! Praying and agonizing until revival comes to ourselves and to those stumbling in the shadows! God is waiting for a desperate people; sick of doing things their own way, in their own strength; to cry out to Him with prayers like that of Elijah:

“O Lord, God… let it be known… that you are God…Answer me, o Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”

– Bloody God – and – Undeserved Grace-

1 Peter 2:24,25

 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

How lost we must have been, that to God Himself, it seemed necessary to clothe himself in His own creation that we might be bought back; redeemed. Purchased by Gods blood! God bled. He subjected Himself to pain. “For you were straying like sheep…” I love the gentleness of Gods mercy displayed here in this verse. He equates us, His children to sheep. Gentle and frail. Unable to fend for themselves in the face of their adversaries; ours being sin and its eternal reward. Scattered we were, unable to defend, vindicate, or rescue ourselves. All we could do is run lost in vain. We were in need of a Shepherd. One who would sacrifice His time, energies, sleep, sweat, blood, and I must say, even His life to protect that which belonges to His Master: you and me. And a shepherd we have. We got the best. The Master Himself became our Shepherd. No one cares more about His sheep than the Master. The sheep are His posession and prize. They are of great value in His eyes. But must i say, they are dumb and ever so needy. They would perish without His care. Certain death is inevitable without the Shepherds care.

We are His sheep and we had gone astray, and death had become inevitable. We are those spoken of here: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” And what a horrific way! The end of our way is death, and that eternal. We are those about whom God has spoken: “[There is] none who does good, No, not one.” “They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” “There is none righteous, no, not one.” If this is us, than “God! Who can stand before you!?” Who can dwell in your presence!?” “Who will You welcome into your glory!?” and as if heaven stands still awaiting His perfection-answer…. God Speaks in His great justice: “There are none… no… Not ONE!”
We are the none, the no-ones. And to the no-ones God in His great mercy and grace has sent to us Someone; namely, Jesus Christ. And just as was spoken of us, to this one it is spoken: “and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” This is the one who will be ushered into the throne room of God. This is the one who will sit on the throne of God forever, judging grace-saved-sinners as perfected and holy by His blood. This is the one who has taken the punishment that was for man because God became man that man might come near to God. So near that God would dwell in man. Making man His temple. And just as the sacrifice (Jesus Christ) was raised to the throne in Gods presence, so must we, in Christ, become raised with Him, sharing in His risen glory. This is possible only through God’s grace. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” Receive His healing afresh today and become drowned in His awesome grace, “For you were straying like sheep, but now returned to the shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Amen