Summary: A first sermon message in which Elijah is transported to a modern day congregation to share how God shaped him.
“Getting Into Shape: When Faith Doesn’t make Sense”
Good morning. I suppose I should tell you a little about myself. Oddly, in the Scriptures I have no introduction – I just all of a sudden appear in what you know as 1 Kings 17. My name is Elijah – which means, “The Lord is my God.” I was a prophet – I spoke for God. My ministry began where your Scripture reading began this morning. That’s probably a good place to begin my sharing as well – to give you a glimpse of how God shaped me.
This was an interesting time in Israel’s life. It was the time of the greatest spiritual crisis Israel had seen for generations. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel had led the people into worship of Baal, the Canaanite god of fertility and rain. So the land was filled with gross sexual immorality and rampant theological heresy. In fact, the Scriptures now say that Ahab did more to provoke and anger the Lord than all the kings of Israel before him. Can you imagine such a condemnation? How do you think your pastor – what’s his name? Pastor Curly? Cutie? Oh, Curry – sorry! How do you think he would feel if he were to go down as the worst pastor you ever had? Well, that’s Ahab. The most wicked and idolatrous King Israel ever had. Because of him, Israel was about to experience God’s judgment. God will only let His people rebel just so long, you know. Sooner or later EVERY BANQUET OF SIN IS SERVED THE DESERT OF CONSEQUENCES. This was no exception. Your sins, whatever they are, have consequences, too. They may seem harmless, even enjoyable now; it just means your desert has not yet been served.
But back to my ministry. It started when God asked me to confront King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. He told me to announce to them that there would be no more rain or dew until God decided there would be. That’s quite a pronouncement. After all, rain was more important to them than electricity is to you. They could not grow crops, and therefore eat, without rain. That’s why Baal – the god of rain and fertility – had such appeal to God’s people. So God decided to render judgment upon Israel by proving to them who was in charge of the rain. So I made the bold announcement. As the rain stopped, and the drought began, I would become public enemy #1; I knew the drought would be blamed on me. Talk about a grand beginning to ministry! Sometimes faith doesn’t make sense.
So be careful what you pray and wish for. Ever ask God to use you? Ever dream about being used by God in a special way? Beware – NOT ALL GOD’S CALLS ARE TO THE GLORIOUS HEIGHTS. I had to begin with Ahab! Not all people are assigned by God to minister in beautiful vacation spots; some are sent to the slums. To where, and to what, is God calling you? If you want to be used by God – wonderful! But be prepared! He will decide where you go and what you do. Remember, I began by turning off the water – and therefore cutting off the life – of my own people. I was branded “The enemy!” Sometimes faith doesn’t make sense.