Summary: Elijah discovers that sometimes it is easier to stop the rain than to open up the heavens. That is why we must Pray Again! ! !
I Kings 18:41_46 -- “And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.” “So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,” “And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.” “And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.” “And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.” “And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”
James 5:17_18 -- “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.” “And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”
l. THE PURPOSE OF PASSION
-Every man needs to have a driving passion in his life. Men who are full of passion and drive are men who will accomplish the impossible.
Yesterday (12/11/04), I was in Sam’s Club in Mobile, Alabama. One of my favorite things about Sam’s is generally there is some serious cooking going on and some serious sampling of that cooking going on. So yesterday, I had the occasion to sample the jalapeno cheese poppers, some Swedish meat-balls, and some fine sausage on a cracker with a mixture of port-wine cheese spread (maybe that is why I was weaving a bit on the Pensacola Bay Bridge on the way home). But as much as I enjoy the food at Sam’s, there is one area that is more important than all the others to me. That area is where they keep the books.
I found a book written by Phil Jackson who coached the Los Angeles Lakers last year and whom had previously coached Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls to six world championships. He was recounting in that book about some of the struggles that the Lakers had to deal with last season. But when I flipped over to the back half, Jackson had written some other books. The one that really caught my eye was More Than A Game. I have no idea what that book is about but I have a good idea. It is most likely about reaching for excellence and being motivated by a passion that will propel you to the top of the ranks no matter what that may be.
It is very obvious that Phil Jackson had a motivating passion in his life. That being basketball. Passion sets men on another level. It fires the soul. It keeps you awake at night. Passion and dreams are what preserves old men and allows them to remain young. If you ever lose your dreams, at that point you become old, no matter if you are in your 30’s or your 70’s.
-Carl Sandburg wrote a poem called, Prayers of Steel. It sums up the passion and energy that should be found on the inside of every man of God.
Lay me on an anvil, O God.
Beat me and hammer me into a crowbar.
Let me pry loose old walls.
Let me lift and loosen old foundations.
Lay me on an anvil, O God.
Beat me and hammer me into a steel spike.
Drive me into the girders that hold the skyscraper together.
Take red-hot rivets and fasten me into the central girders.
Let me be the great nail holding a skyscraper together,
Through blue nights and white stars.
-Men who are full of hunger and desire are those men who refuse to quit regardless of the obstacles and the challenges that life brings to them.
-Some men’s lives seem to be driven with the great event of some crisis. They thrive on the calamity. They challenge the status quo. They change the unchangeable. They destroy lukewarmness in their lives. They reach beyond today and into tomorrow which ultimately affects eternity.
A. The Passions of Elijah
-We never see Elijah when he is not subject to some passion:
• A passion of scorn and contempt.
• A passion of anger and revenge.
• A passion of sadness, dejection, and despair.