Summary: This Sermon Deals With Elijah on Mt. Carmel. It is the first in the PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens) Series
PUSH----Pray Until Something Happens
The story is told of two little girls, Theresa age 9 and Lisa age 10. Lisa’s mom yelled upstairs, “ girls, I’m going down to the corner store to get some bread for lunch. I’ll be back in 15 minutes.” “Okay” they yelled in unison . They heard their mother slam the door and crank up the car. Theresa asked Lisa, “were you scared last night watching that horror movie.” Lisa said, “no not really, it was just a movie.” All of sudden the girls heard a noise downstairs as though something had been knocked over.
They both looked at each other with that, “what was that, look in their eyes.” They both thought back to the movie they had seen the previous night with a break in and the following murder. They got quiet. They could hear some footsteps down on the hardwood floor. The sound would move and then stop. Lisa put her hand to her lips to signal to Theresa to be quiet.
They could hear the footsteps coming up the stairs. Their door was partially cracked, but they couldn’t see out of it. Theresa could see the door was beginning to slowly open. Lisa said, “ quick, let’s pray.” Theresa said “No, Let’s PUSH and Pray!” as she jumped off the bed and pushed the door shut and locked it all in one desperate move.
Breathing Huh, uh huh uh. To the girls surprise, they heard a loud yell, “ark” coming from Tyler, their pet dog, whose nose they had just slammed into the door. They thought Tyler had left with their mother. They looked at each other and laughed.
When you find yourself in a tense situation, are you like Lisa, willing to pray about it or are you more like Theresa, in that you want to push and pray. Our theme for the year is PUSH for Christ in 2003. It literally means Pray Until Something Happens when you find yourself in need of something from God. But be prepared to PUSH against anything and everything that will hinder God’s plan for your life. PUSH means we have to equipped to do our part while praying until something happens.
In our Old Testament reading, we met the prophet Elijah. The country of Israel was going through some severe spiritual and economic times. The people were confused as to which God to worship. It had not rained in most of the country for almost three years.
Animals were dying, crops had failed, and people were becoming desperate. Now part of the problem was that God’s judgment was on the land. Elijah had preached a message of repentance to the people and to the leadership, but his message had gone ignored. The King and Queen at the time were famous for their ability to do evil in God’s sight. They were King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.
The king and queen blamed Elijah for the famine in the country. Ahab and Jezebel had introduced a new god to the people by the name of Baal. The people were sort of torn between serving the Living God who was called Yahweh and serving this new god called Baal.
Now Baal was looking pretty good in the eyes of the people. Baal was supposedly a fertility God who sent the rain, caused the crops to grow, provided food for his people, and sent lightening from heaven. Now this kind of a God looks real good to a nation that’s in the middle of a famine in desperate need of some rain.
Elijah had been preaching a message, “look if you do not turn from doing what you know is wrong to do, the things are going to get worse for you. Come back to God, and God will change your situation.”
The prophets of Baal were preaching, “look if you simply bring your gifts and honor Baal, Baal will bring you rain, your crops will grow, and life will be wonderful for you again.” Now the people did not want to totally turn their back on God because they knew what God had done for them in the past, but they didn’t want to let go of the things that Baal had to offer.
If we looked at our lives today real closely, how many of us could find a Baal in our lives. You see to have a Baal means, that instead of being prepared to PUSH for Christ in 2003, we already have a back up plan that does not include God.
Have you ever made a backup plan in your life that you would fall back on, just in case God does not show up when you think He ought to show up. “Well I could always lie about this. Or I still have her old phone number. Or I could quit and go back to doing that. Or I know I could get back in touch with them.” That backup plan is nothing more than a Baal god in your life.