Okay, Prove IT!
Written by: Timothy Gardner January 2003
(Read "The Hiker" from Max Lucado’s book "A Gentle Thunder)
Many times in our lives, we see something that we would like to accomplish. Others might say we are crazy for wanting to accomplish those things, and this could be very discouraging. To some of us, these discouraging words may make us forget what we wanted to accomplish. While to others, this may become a challenge. This may be the opportune time to prove ourselves. How many here have ever been discouraged by friends in following God? How about your faith in God becomes questioned? Did you feel you had to prove your faith in God?
Like the hiker in the story, I just read to you, we get excited about our calling, but our fervor can soon diminish away in the storms of life. These storms can be a number of discouragements. Nevertheless, even if we are discouraged or questioned about our faith in God, we can overcome the temptation of giving up by the help from our God.
Sometimes we have to prove we have faith in God as Elijah did in I Kings 18:20-39 up on Mount Carmel. It is important to prove our faith in God. We can learn from three steps he took in proving his faith in God for Israel to believe. I call them the three P’s; prepare, pray, and present.
I. To prove your faith in God you must prepare spiritually.
“Be Prepared” is the motto of the Boys Scouts of America. This motto is a good one to follow in life. We can never pass a test unless we study and prepare for it. We can never eat a home cooked meal unless it is prepared. We cannot go on a real vacation unless we prepare in advance. Preparing plays a big role in our lives, especially in our spiritual lives. No matter what you are, preparing for you must have the right tools.
On my keychain, I have a multi-tool that has scissors, a knife, a screwdriver, bottle opener, etc. This multi-tool allows me to do small jobs like cutting some paper, or carving a pencil, or even opening a bottle. With this in my pocket, I have already prepared myself for small jobs such as these. However, if I fail to bring it with me, then I cannot perform these small jobs.
In I Kings 18:30-35 we find Elijah preparing his sacrifice to God. He had to have the right tools in place in order to prove his faith in God to the prophets of Baal. One of the tools used was an altar of the Lord that he repaired using 12 stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob. There is some history that this was possibly the altar Saul built after his defeat over Amalek found in 1 Sam 15:12, that was then tore down by the idolatrous Israelites, who demolished such altars erected in the name of the Lord everywhere, and built new ones for there idols (Gill 380). He also used other tools in preparing for this sacrifice.
However, the right tools are not the only aspect to preparing spiritually to prove our faith in God. You should know your enemies.
Knowing our enemies is a key factor in preparing ourselves spiritually. In I Kings 18:20 we see that Elijah has Ahab to summon the prophets of Baal to Mount Carmel where he later challenges his God against their god. Many of us do not know the reason Elijah chose Mount Carmel for the place of the “God” challenge. In order to figure out the implications of using Mt. Carmel we will have to find where it was and what it was used for.