Summary: This is the second sermon in a series of ten sermons on Elijah.
These Are the Days of Elijah (#2)
Five Ingredients of God’s Guidance
READ TEXT: 1 Kings 17:8-16
Prayer of Illumination
Our Father and our God, thank you that you are not a God who ever leaves us alone. Father, you lead us . . . you guide us . . . you equip us . . . you provide for us . . . and you allow us the privilege & blessing of being involved in your work. For all of these things, I say thank you. May you now open our eyes that we might see your truths, may you open our ears that we might hear your voice, and may you open our hearts that we might be sensitive and responsive to the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*Did you ever get a “good news bad news” message?
*A pastor had one of his elders come up to him one time, all excited, and said, “Pastor, pastor. I have some good news. The news is that the new lady, Mrs. Jones really likes your sermons. Of course the bad news is that she also likes the Gong Show, Bugs Bunny and the Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
*Elijah got what he may have considered a good news bad news message from the Lord but it wasn’t a joke
>Elijah – the good news is that you get to leave Cherith. The bad news is that I’m sending you to Zarephath – right into the heart and soul of Baalism and idolatry.
*Elijah has been at the Brook Cherith, east of the Jordan for approximately a year – fed by ravens and nourished by the brook
*The brook dries up because of lack of rain
>”Arise, go to Zarephath…”
>If Elijah had been sitting around wondering what God’s will for his life was, now he knows
>God gives Elijah a command . . . . . guidance
-Tells him His will for Elijah
-Theme for this msg comes from this thot – God is guiding & leading Elijah
-We’ll see five ingredients that go along with God’s guidance
I. Ingredient #1 – God’s guidance includes your purification
A. Won’t say much about this – we just talked about how God uses Divinely Designed Difficulties to cut us down to size to deepen our faith . . . make us more like Jesus . . . prepare us for greater service . . . so He can be bigger
B. Cherith – “to cut down”
C. Zarephath – “to melt or smelt” . . . noun form “crucible”
1. That place where the flames are hot . . . the impurities fall away so that purity is found
2. Elijah got his Bachelors . . . . now Masters Deg as God is keeping him in the fire
3. God not only wants to work thru Elijah but wants to continue working in Elijah
D. Arthur T. Pierson, “Being determined to perfect His saints, [God] puts His precious metal into His crucible. But He sits by it, and watches it. Love is His thermometer, and marks the exact degree of heat; not one instant’s unnecessary pang will He permit; and as soon as the dross is released so that he sees Himself reflected in the fire, the trial ceases.” (The Bible and Spiritual Life, pg 377)
E. Talked about that so won’t belabor it . . . just remember it
1. God guides you – not just so He can work thru you . . . but He wants to continue to work in you
II. Ingredient #2: God’s guidance often comes one step at a time
A. When God told Elijah to go to Zarephath He didn’t show him the big picture
1. Elijah didn’t know what would happen in chapters 17 or 18 or later . . . . or that he would be outnumbered 450 – 1 as he faced the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel
2. All he knew was that God was sending him to Zarephath
3. Leading Elijah one step at a time
B. One-step-at-a-time guidance can be challenging
1. I want to see the whole, big picture . . . . at least I think I do
a. God may not do that
2. Besides it being a walk of faith, I wonder if God leads us one step at a time because it would be intimidating & overwhelming if we knew everything in our future
(IL) Reading syllabus at the beginning of a semester – totally overwhelmed & intimidated
(IL) Following his guidance is often like being a trapeze artist
-We may have to let go of one bar to turn around & get the next
III. Ingredient #3: God is at work, providentially pulling things together, whether we realize it or not