SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2014
Continued from last week…
‘Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word…And Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain…And a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain…’ 1 Kings 17:1, 18: 41, 45
It is interesting to note firstly that Elijah spoke; his voice was familiar and was recognized by heaven. Absolutely, there is power in the spoken word. Words spoken in the name of God carry anointing. That was why at the word of Elijah it rained again.
As a child of God is your voice familiar to heaven? Can you speak and heaven will respond? With your years in the church and your contact with the Lord Jesus, can your voice be familiar to heaven? Those who work for God and with God will always speak the word fearlessly and courageously too. And when they do, things happen. Our duty is just to speak the word and God of miracles will empower the word.
The Bible has some examples of those who spoke the word and heaven listened: David to Goliath – ‘You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’ (1 Sam. 17:45). Say to your goliath: I come to you today in the name of the Lord of hosts. Also, Simon said to Jesus – ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’ (Luke 5:5). Therefore, years of unfruitfulness, frustration shall be over as you speak the word. Peter and John to the cripple at the beautiful gate – ‘I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!’ (Acts 3:6). At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Secondly, Elijah was a man of incredible faith because he spoke again to Ahab ‘Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain…And a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain…’ 1 Kings 18: 41, 45. Faith according to Hebrews 11:1 says: ‘now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’ In our relationship with God we need faith and when we do not have it we belittle God and magnify the devil.
Elijah spoke with assurance that God will perform and release the rain once again. If he had doubted, the miracle of the rain could not have taken place. Jesus said: ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’ (Matt. 17:20).
Do we really have faith as children of God? Do we panic when we are confronted with a situation? We need a faith that addresses impossibilities: under God I shall pass my exams, I shall have a breakthrough, my health shall improve again, people will begin to love me and favour me and so on and so forth.
The case of the faith of the woman with the issue of blood is highly illustrative here: ‘…“If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. Mark 5:28, 29. Let your faith come alive now!
Thirdly, Elijah was a man of prayer. Elijah prayed unto the Lord on Mount Carmel and on the seventh time God released the rain (1 Kings 18:42-46). How often, how persistent do we go to God in prayer? Prayer is the breath of the Christian. Through it also we communicate with God our Father. We should not be tired of praying to God no matter the challenges we may encounter in life.
The bible said of Jesus in Mark 1:35 that: ‘Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray.’ Jesus – God Himself – found time to pray, to seek the face of the Father. Even before coming to do the assignment given to Him by God, He withdrew to the wilderness for forty days and forty nights to fast and to pray (Matt. 4:1-2). He was aware to pray more is to have more power and to pray less is to have less power. Are you among those who only pray when there are problems on their way?
Prayer is the key to life’s problems, are you being attacked by witches and wizards, are you childless, has your business collapsed, where you are working no promotion, you need to go to God in prayer. Prayer surely changes things. Do not be weak in offering your prayers unto God. We are encouraged to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess. 5:17).
However, we should guard against sin that defiles. Yes, if I hide any iniquity in my heart, God will not hear my voice (Ps. 66:18). David said: ‘I know my sins and my sins are ever before me’ (Ps. 51:3). Do you know your shortcomings? There is no anointing in sin. We should allow our faith come alive in Him as when we pray, we believe that He can supply all our needs in Christ Jesus according to His riches in glory. Yes, Elijah spoke again; it rained to the glory of God.Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.