Summary: As you go through the various seasins of your faithGod's word is the one thing that remains constant.

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April 11, 2010

Morning Worship

Text: 1 Kings 17:1-16

Subject: Elijah the Prophet

Title: The Seasons of Your Faith

In the last month or so I have been sharing with you about all the important things that Jesus told His disciples on the last night they were together. Last week. Of course, was Resurrection Sunday, and we celebrated His rising from the dead and giving us the promise of eternal life. God has been blessing the church and bringing new people into the kingdom. Praise God, we have seen more saved this year already than what we would normally see in a whole year. God is moving by His Spirit, Hallelujah!

On Easter we celebrate new life and remember when we were saved. I can look back on my Christian walk and see that the new life of faith that I began in February of 1988 was not just a new life but was the beginning of many seasons of faith that I would walk through. Who knew then that it would be a beginning that would lead me through a season of ministry as a pastor?

In one of the great fantasy trilogies of all time, the Lord of the Rings series tells the story of Frodo Baggins. Frodo was called to be the one who would bear a golden ring that had to be destroyed in a volcanic lake of fire in order to put an end to the evil that was overtaking the world. I believe that the ring symbolized the sinful human nature. His journey began as an exciting adventure but quickly turned to danger, sickness, warfare and ultimately the life threatening battle between good and evil. I think that when Frodo began, he had no idea of what was waiting for him.

In very much the same way the new Christian begins his adventure with that same kind of excitement. And in the same way, around each turn in the road waits something different – sometimes dangerous and even life threatening. Isaiah 41:10 tells us what kind of response that believers should have to every threat from the enemy as we walk through the seasons of life; …do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

Today I want to walk with you through some of the seasons of faith that you will experience on your journey to eternity and see how the Lord is always with you through every step.

Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

I. A SEASON OF NEED. As we begin this section of 1st Kings there is something that has happened in Israel that has brought inevitable confrontation. It was the evil king Ahab who had married Jezebel. Jezebel promoted the worship of false gods. I think Ahab knew only three words to use when he talked to his wife; “yes, no and dear” Ahab, do you love me?” “Yes, dear” “Ahab, is there anything you wouldn’t do for me?” “No dear”. Ahab will you build me a temple to Baal so we can worship this false God and have drunken orgies and hire male and female prostitutes and do all the things required in Baal worship?” “Yes dear”. That is exactly what was happening. But they didn’t realize that there was a time of great confrontation coming and the man of God, Elijah, was right in the middle of it. 1Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” Why is this happening? 2 Chronicles 7:19-22 , 19“But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’” All this because King Ahab was evil. 1 Kings 16:30-33, 30Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him. 31He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 32He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him. The confrontation that is about to take place will bring a time of great need in Israel. The problem is that there was an enormous difference between their perceived need and the real need. Their perceived need was that they needed rain. The real need was that they needed the LORD. Elijah prophesied that there would be no rain and there wasn’t any for three and one half years. Now Elijah was called by God to be a prophet the same way you are called to be a Christian. I’m sure that when God called him he was just as giddy as you were when you were first saved. That didn’t mean that he wouldn’t experience the same drought that everyone else was going to face. The difference is that in Elijah’s case the word of the Lord continued to come to him. He listened and did what God asked him to do. Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3“Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” 5So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. There will be seasons in your life when you have to trust God to supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.

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