April 5, 2024
- By Ed Powell
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"Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench." 1 Kings 18:38
Elijah was a great man who exemplified extraordinary faith and effective prayer. There are four remarkable instances in his life of the efficacy of the fervent prayer of a righteous man. He prayed for the restoration of the widow's son at Zarephath, and the child was restored to life. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three and a half years. He prayed at Mt. Carmel when he confronted the 450 priests of Baal to contest who was the true and living God, and "the fire of the Lord" fell and consumed the sacrifice, proving to these idolatrous people that He was the true God. After the miraculous victory, he prayed that God again would bring rain upon the scorched earth, and rain fell in abundance.
After the "fire of the Lord fell," we need to notice something very significant. God's power was miraculously manifested, and the people shouted, "The Lord, He is God." You would have thought that this inferred, "If He is the true and living God, He shall be our God, and we will serve Him only." I'm sure there were some who believed and committed their lives to Him. However, numbers of these people were only convinced, not CONVERTED. They did not yield to the truth that He was the only true God, nor consent to the covenant He gave to all who believed in Him. The "miracle of the moment" had impressed them, even Ahab, but their "hearts were not changed." No true faith had taken possession of them! Today, those who are drawn to an awakening of their sins are not the only ones who refuse to respond; the believers, who are drawn by the Holy Spirit to a deeper commitment to the Lord, often do not yield. They, too, are impressed and convinced by the truth, but they choose their own preferences instead of His.
Then, after the glorious victory, Elijah goes to the top of Mt. Carmel to converse with God. In humility of spirit and contrition of heart, we find the secret of Elijah's greatness. It was his utter dependence upon God, recognizing he is but a channel through which God would manifest His power. What happens in our seasons of true prayer? Our corrupt nature is revealed by His holiness. Our hearts are most thoroughly broken before Him, and the remains of self-love are effectively demolished. The Word cleanses our hearts, and the channel is made ready to be used by Him. We are prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive the seed of the Word. The fountain of truth is laid deep and implanted in our soul, and when God answers our prayer, great is our joy! We recognize anew that it is the Lord's doing, not ours!
In the same measure that we prevail in prayer, we will be made strong and steadfast in our spiritual walk and effective and fruitful in our outreach to others. God said, "Come boldly to the throne of grace, that you might obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." What an inconceivable, blessed privilege we have of coming into His very presence! Oh that we would avail ourselves more often of His throne, baring our souls before the Lord of lords and King of kings!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2024-04-05
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