Wednesday, October 14, 2015
CONFIRMATION OF THE CALL
Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is the truth.” (I Kings 17:24)
God still calls people to specific tasks, for set times, in select territories, and with special tools to do His work. Some are called to be missionaries, pastors, and evangelists. Others are called to be Sunday School teachers, deacons, and nursery workers. Every Christian has been called to be God's worker in this world--and that may be in the office, a factory, or a shop. Every church member is to be in a ministry.
In 1 Kings 17, specifically, it is the ministry of the Word that is emphasized repeatedly (v.1-2, 5, 8, 16, 24). The chapter begins and ends with this--and is mentioned eight times in total. Like Paul, who declared that his speech and preaching were not with the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, Elijah's call was confirmed.
His call was confirmed in THE STAND THAT HE TOOK (v.1). Elijah could take a stand against a wicked king because he knew what it was to stand before the King of kings! God promised, "When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him." (Isa.59:19) Ahab and Jezebel unleashed a flood of evil in Israel, but God raised up His standard-bearer. Elijah seemingly pops up out of nowhere, exploding on the scene. We know little about him, save that he is a man of God with a message from God confirmed by the might of God. He prays that the rain will stop--boom--the drought comes and the fields wither. This was a predicted consequence of God's discipline on His people's sins (Deut.28:20, 23-24).
His call was also confirmed in THE SACRIFICE THAT HE MADE (v.2-16). The call of God is not a promise of comfort. Elijah wasn't going to make a profit, but be a prophet. The Lord assures us He will meet our need, but not our greed! The man of God was fed--road-kill--and washed it down with brook water! No ribeye steak and sweet tea for him. Later, we see how a poor widow became the source of his supply. Her sacrificial act of faith and obedience became the channel of provision for God's servant--and the Lord rewarded her accordingly. She was like the widow in the New Testament who gave her all (Mark 12:41-44). Where would we be in the church today without the loving giving of dear widows? This pastor has often been the recipient of their sacrifice. They partner with us in service and God rewards them by stretching their supply!
His call was further confirmed by THE STRENGTH THAT HE FOUND (v.17-24). The Lord responds to the grieving heart of a mother and the fervent prayer of the prophet in a miraculous manner. Elijah is set forth as an example of prayer in the book of James that we are to emulate. That is the source of our strength! His credentials were confirmed. The ministry of the Word in the power of the Spirit brings life.
What has God called you to do? Where are your gifts and passions? Has God confirmed this by His hand of blessing upon you? Step out in faith and make a difference!