Summary: God rains down on those who come to Him with turned hearts.
Answer me, O Lord, Answer me
I Kings 18.36-38a
May 15, 2005
Chester FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A A man is parachuting out of a plane, falls rapidly and totally forgets how to engage the parachute. On the way down, he sees a guy coming up. He shouts out, "Do you know how to use this parachute?" The man going up answers, "No. Do you know how to light a propane stove?"
Nobody knows how to light a fire like the prophet Elijah, which we’ll see in our passages today!
B The message, Answer me, O Lord, Answer me
• Ahab became King of Israel, his infamous wife was none other than Jezebel.
• Ahab was a terrible King. He led the people to worship Baal and Asherah, the gods of his wife Jezebel.
• "Ahab did more to provoke the Lord to anger than did all the Kings of Israel before him." 1 Kings 16:33
• Elijah, a prophet of God, cursed the land because of Ahab’s evil. 1 Kings 17:1
• For three years it did not rain and God again came to Elijah.
• God told Elijah to go to Ahab and confront him. He promised that if he did so, it would rain.
• When Elijah confronted Ahab, Ahab blamed Elijah for his troubles. 1 Kings 18:17
• Elijah explained to him where the real problem was. 1 Kings 18:18
• Elijah made Ahab a "proposition."
• Bring all the people to Mount Carmel along with the prophets of Baal & Asherah.
• When they were gathered, Elijah urged the people to make a commitment. 1 Kings 18:21
• Elijah challenged Baal himself. Have his prophets place a bull on the alter and let Baal set fire to it himself.
• The pagan prophets cried and cut themselves but there was no answer.
• Elijah made fun of them. "Maybe you should pray louder. Maybe he is busy or traveling or sleeping. Maybe praying louder will wake him.
• Nothing worked and now it was God’s turn.
• Elijah rebuilt God’s altar, dug a trench around it, prepared a bull and drenched all of it in water.
• Elijah then called on God to show His power.
Text: 1 Kings 18.36-38a
36 At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, "O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37 "Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again." 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell . . ."1 Kings 18:36-38 (NASB)
C God rained down fire from heaven because of one man’s obedience. (ETS)
a God rains down on those whom come to Him with turned hearts. (ESS)
b I hope you’ll allow God to turn your heart back again to Him. (Objective)
c What are you praying for God do at First Baptist?
T.S.: Let’s look at two variables that must be present to pray a firefall prayer like Elijah did on Mt. Carmel.
I The first variable that was present in Elijah firefall was Elijah did was command of him. (V.36)
A Elijah’s life is a testimony of is desire to do God’s will.
a Elijah listened to the voice of God.
i 1 Kings 17.1 –Prophesied about the 3yr drought.
ii 1 Kings 18.1-2 –Went to Ahab and confronted the king’s sin.
iii Assembled the people, called for the contest, etc.
b Elijah did and said what was godly in spite of how unpopular his stance was perceived. (Divine approval/public applause: Pleasing God/Popularity)
He’s standing alone (18.22), but he’s loud.
He’s carrying out an all out attack against Satan on Mt. Carmel.
All Alone! "One plus God is a majority." -Martin Luther
c Elijah’s prayer was simply asking God for God’s will to be done.
B We need to be sure that what were dong is according to the will of God. (Many of us are obedient, just not to God.)
a Elijah’s prayer "I am thy servant . . . I have done these things at thy word."
Many times were not "thy" servants, but rather we’re servants of "my."
Don’t do something you want to do and then ask God to bless it.
b God’s not a florist/Domino’s Pizza
Elijah only prayed about a minute . . . but wow!
He lived his prayers obediently, asked God’s Word/Will
Pray according to His will. (God, do what you want to do!)
Ps. 115.3 "Our God is in heaven. He does what He pleases."
God always answers our prayers according to His will, not ours. Disciples bring their will under submission to God’s.