Summary: This sermon deals with Elijah and the way he had to be in the right place to receive a miracle from the Lord.
Positioning For A Miracle
Pastor Toby and I have gone to a few volleyball games to watch some of the girls play. Just before the game starts, the girls all get into this squat like position, with their hands locked together moving from side to side with their arms and upper body. Now if you did not know they were playing volleyball, you’d be able to get a good laugh just looking at them. But each girl is expecting to make something happen the moment the ball comes over the net. They are attempting to put themselves in the best position possible to make something happen. They do not have any control over how the ball is going to approach them, but they are doing their best to make the most of whatever opportunity may come their way.
Often times, people will make the comment "I’m waiting on the Lord" for such and such when, all they may be doing is wasting time. Waiting on the Lord does not mean you sit back and see what it is God might do for you. In the verse those that "wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." The word wait does not mean to sit down. It’s the word which means to wait on a table as a waiter or waitress would do at a restaurant. A good waiter or waitress is moving about quickly to serve the person he or she has been assigned to serve. Good waiters or waitresses know how to position themselves in such a way as to respond to your needs before being asked. To wait on the Lord means to position yourself to be ready to respond to what the Lord desires to send your way.
In our New Testament reading, Zacheaus wanted a miracle from Jesus. Here was this wealthy man who was probably used to people begging before him who needed to position himself to meet Jesus. I suppose he could have tried to have had his secretary contact the disciples to arrange a meeting with Jesus at his office. He could have tried that, but he never would have received a miracle from Jesus. He had the money to send a limousine to come and pick Jesus up and bring him to his house, but if he had tried that option, he would not have received a miracle from Jesus. In order to position himself for a miracle, Zaccheaus needed to forget about who he was, how much money he had, and what other people might think.
This Chief Executive Officer of Roman Taxation Incorporated, went out into the streets with a desire to see Jesus. God showed him a tree. "Now Zaccheus, if you want to meet Jesus, you’ve got to humble yourself and climb that tree." Can you imagine how funny this middle aged man must have looked, trying to climb a tree. Somebody crying out "help him Lord." But Zaccheus was positioning himself for a miracle. When Jesus got to him, he granted him a miracle of salvation that not only changed Zzaccheus, but was a financial blessing for a whole lot of people who really needed their money.
In order to receive a miracle from the Lord, sometimes we have to position ourselves to make it happen. If all we do is talk, without filling out an application, or making a change, or going to find somebody who can show us the right direction, we never will get beyond where we are today. Just waiting on the Lord is not enough. Do something in the waiting period. Getting in the right position requires some effort on our part.
Go back with me in history when King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were leaders of the country of Israel. Now this couple were famous for all the evil deeds they did. King Ahab was a pretty wicked fellow by himself, but that he was egged on to do even more evil by his wife Jezebel. They rejected the true God of Israel, and started to serve a god by the name of Baal. Now Baal was believed to be the god of fertility who made things grow and who controlled the weather to produce all the food needed. If you needed rain, you simply asked Baal for it.
Now God contacted Elijah the prophet, and let him know, "I’m about to position you for a miracle. I want you to go and tell King Ahab, that I said there will be neither dew nor rain for the next few years except at my word." Now Elijah was already upset with the King. He could not wait, to get in there and to tell the king off in a righteous manner of course.
He marched to the palace. The guards asked, "do you have an appointment". He told them, I don’t need any appointment. "I’m Elijah. My name means servant of the Lord. I’ve got a message from God for the king." Now Elijah God had sent him so he was as bold as a lion when he got in before the King. "Now King I know that you think Baal is a god who controls the weather, but I want you to know right now that my God says there will be neither dew nor rain for the next few years except at my word."