Summary: Have you found God yet? Maybe you’re looking in all the wrong places, see where to look in this exciting message.
I believe with all my heart that God is calling our church to be a church that seeks the face of God. So often people seek the hand of God, or just His blessing, but what we must understand, if we have the favor of God, then we have His blessings.
In order to seek the face of God, we must know where to look for Him. I want to share with you this morning “Looking for God in all the wrong places.”
One of my favorite prophets in the bible is Elijah. He seemed to always know where to find God. When you think about his life, being carried away in a fiery chariot, being mightily used by God, sometimes we think that we could never be like him. There’s no way that I could ever arrive at the same level as Elijah.
But when you read the book of James, it tells us that Elijah was a man of like passions as we are. Elijah knew what it was to have victory. He knew what it was to have the anointing on his life. He knew what it was to feel discouraged and wanting to give up. He knew what it’s like to look for God in all the wrong places. This is where we pick up this morning.
Elijah had just had his show down on Mt. Carmel. He had challenged the prophets of Baal to see who served the only true and living God. The challenge was for them to construct and altar and place a sacrifice on it. The god that answered by fire was the true and living God.
The prophets of Ball went first. They danced around the altar they had made. Nothing was happening, they danced and they cried, and yet their god did not answer.
To add insult to injury Elijah began to taunt them. He said maybe your god is in deep thought, or maybe he’s busy or traveling. Maybe he’s just sleeping. This made the prophets cut them selves until the blood flowed to try to get their god to answer by fire. They shouted louder and still nothing happened. It was around mid-day when Elijah decided they had more than an opportunity to show that their God was true.
Elijah said come here to me. And the people gathered around.
They went over to Elijah and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins.
What a sad state of affairs. Israel had strayed so far from God. They had latched on to false Gods that couldn’t do a thing for them. They had become comfortable with religion, not a relationship with God. They had allowed the altar to the true and living God to lie in ruins.
(Let me tell you church, if you want God to visit you, if you want God to show up, you’ve got to repair the altar of God. It lies in ruins in a lot of homes. It lies in ruins in a lot of churches. Pastors are afraid to proclaim the truth of God’s word because of who they might loose.
Let me tell you church. We’re committed to repairing the altar of the Lord in our church. I want to have a place where God knows He’s welcome and wanted. I want God to come down. I want God to inhabit this place.)
Elijah repaired the altar of God and dug a trench around it. He arranged the wood and cut the bull into pieces and placed it on the altar. He told them to gather 4 large jars of water.
Water was a precious commodity at that time since there was a drought going on.
He had them pour the 4 jars of water over the sacrifice 3 times. The water drenched the sacrifice and filled the trench around the altar.
Elijah prayed a 63-word prayer and the fire fell. The people when they saw this fell prostrate and begin to cry, “The Lord – He is God”. Elijah had them seize the false prophets and had them killed.
What a tremendous victory, what a demonstration of the power of God, but see Elijah in the next chapter.
Jezebel is upset over the killing of her prophets and she sent word that she was going to do the same to him.
Verse three says that Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. He fell into a pity party and crawled up under a tree and said, I’ve had enough, I’m no better than my ancestors, Lord just take my life.
I think most of us can relate to what Elijah was feeling. We’ve tried our best to live for God and we don’t seem to get anywhere.
We’ve had enough, we’re tired of fighting our children. We’re tired of fighting our spouse. We’re tired of fighting the devil. We’re tired of being tired. We can’t seem to find God anywhere and we fall into a pity party. One moment we can be on the mountaintop and the next moment we’re in the valley. But I want you to know something this morning, whether you’re on the mountaintop or in the valley, He knows exactly where you are.