Summary: A sermon from one of my favorite passages of scripture, Elijah on Mt. Carmel.
Are You Going to Stand Up
Intro: Just a couple of weeks ago our nation was in a time of mourning with the passing of President Gerald Ford.
For many, myself included, President Ford has always been an interesting character in American politics…often referred to as the “Accidental President”.
He grew up in Michigan and was renamed Gerald Ford Jr. after his step-father who adopted him as his own son.
He went on to play football at the University of MI, playing on 2 national championship teams before enlisting in the military.
Like many of the great leaders from that “Greatest Generation”, President Ford fought in WWII and received many honors for his bravery.
After his time on active duty he returned to MI where he would begin his career which eventually took him into the US House of Reps for MI’s 5th district, a seat he held for 24 years beginning in 1949.
In 1973, while serving as House Minority Leader, he was tapped by Richard Nixon to replace Spiro T. Agnew as Vice President after he was forced to resign in scandal.
This begins the “Accidental President” role since Ford never had any intention of holding an office higher than the Speaker of the US House of Reps.
Less than a year later he found himself being sworn in as President of the United States when Nixon resigned under the threats of impeachment.
Our nation was in chaos at that time, and Gerald Ford was the new captain…and was a fish out of water.
Yet, he stood strong and brought the remaining troops home from Vietnam and also made a decision that many say would destroy his chances of re-election…a month into his tenure he gave Richard Nixon a full pardon.
Although most people look back on that and agree today, 32 years later and say it was the right thing to do…it wasn’t seen that way back then.
And it had a lot to do with his loss to Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Why did he do it? Because he felt it was the right thing to do in order to bring healing to our country.
His back was against the wall, and he decided to stand up for what he thought was right.
This morning, as we continue on in 2007 with a “Bring it On!” attitude, I want us to read a passage of scripture about one of the greatest Biblical characters in all of Scripture…who stood strong when His back was against the wall.
Read 1 Kings 18:2-40 and pray.
When your back is against the wall, what are you going to do?
Are you going to run, or will you stand up?
This morning in want us to consider 3 truths from our passage that will help us to stand up when we need to.
First of all…
1. Walk With a Fearless Faith
Go back to 7-10, and then 15-21.
Elijah was outnumbered, but he stood defiant.
Why was that? It was because he had a fearless faith in God.
What is faith? Have you ever really tried to define it?
In Scripture, we only find one real working definition of faith: Heb. 11:1
We tend over-complicate faith…making it something that it is not.
ILLUS: I’m not sure how your kids are, but my kids have a favorite past time…bouncing on the bed.
Who needs Disney World? All we need is a hotel with a sturdy bed and a pool to make our kids happy! Daddy can play the role of Goofy!
Here is what faith is, my kids jumping on bed and saying, “Daddy, catch me” and knowing I’m going to be there.
And if they do something wrong where I can’t catch them…I’m there to pick it up.
That is faith…knowing that if you jump on His command, our great God will catch you; and if you stumble, He will pick you up.
It is that type of childlike faith that we are called to have, and Jesus spoke of.
Read: Mark 10:13-16
What is child like faith…it is one of total dependence.
It is one that doesn’t look with eyes, but gazes with the soul.
It doesn’t see necessarily what is, but has a firm grasp on who God is.
It is a faith that doesn’t need to feel reality, but has a reality in the heart.
AW Tozer in Pursuing God says, “Faith is all important in the life of soul. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith will get me anything, take me anywhere in the Kingdom of God, but without faith there can be no approach to God, no forgiveness, no deliverance, no salvation, no communion, no spiritual life at all.”
Faith effects us 2 ways:
A. We are saved by faith (Eph. 2:8-9)