August 25, 2013

1 Kings 18:24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire – he is God.”
Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”

Elijah’s faith was bold to the point of being brash. I really think what was operating here was the supernatural gift of faith, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:9. This isn’t the same thing as saving faith, and that gets a lot of people confused. Saving faith is also a gift from God, (Ephesians 2:8-9) and every believer has that. However, sometimes the Holy Spirit pours out a level of faith that is overwhelming, and that certainly seems to be the case here. Elijah was literally putting his life on the line. In this case God answered dramatically, but the same sort of confrontational faith sometimes operates for martyrs as well. This kind of faith is supplied on an as needed basis, and isn’t constant. We sometimes forget that this same Elijah fled for his life because of the threats of Queen Jezebel just a couple of days after this. (1 Kings 19:1-3) That’s an indication that emotions are completely unreliable! If we depend on whether we feel like we have faith we will never move forward in God’s kingdom. Faith to live and grow by is a choice. When God gives the kind of faith Elijah displayed here, we should give God the glory and run with it, just as Elijah did. However, long term victory is a matter of choosing to believe.

This is certainly timely! I am faced with various challenges to my own faith right now, and so are various people in this church. On top of that, this Word dovetails perfectly with the message I’ve already prepared for this morning, and I’m sure will be included in the delivery of that message. I have occasionally had moments of the gift of faith, perhaps not as dramatic as Elijah, but certainly decisive. At the same time, I have had times of wavering, and those are neither much fun nor very productive. However, if I never wavered, I could well end up having faith in faith, rather than faith in God. There are some who teach faith so strongly that it leads to that deception, and that’s sad. I need to make the consistent, daily choice to fix my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2) and I need to teach others to do the same. If we will do that, then we will be able to recognize His guidance and rest in the assurance of His love.

Father, thank You for all You’re doing. The more I think about it, the more awesome I realize it is! Thank You for what You’re doing in Cathy and me, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Thank You for all You’re doing in this congregation, in individuals and in the way we relate to one another. Thank You for Your plans for us, individually and as a church. May we not draw back but move forward in bold obedience, choosing faith and trust, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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