Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Peter was kept in prison; but prayer (instant and earnest prayer) was made for him” (Acts 12: 5, Margin).
“Emergencies call for intense prayer…Elijah on Carmel, bowed down on the ground, with his face between his knees, that was prayer -- the man himself. No words are mentioned. Prayer can be too tense for words. The man whose being was in touch with God and was set with God against the powers of evil…There’s more of this embodied praying needed.”
From The Bent-Knee Time
“Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Today’s Study Text:
“And at the seventh time the servant said, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is arising out of the sea.’ And Elijah said, ‘Go up, say to Ahab, hitch your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’ In a little while the heavens were black with wind-swept clouds. And there was a great rain. And Ahab went to Jezreel. The hand of the Lord was on Elijah. He girded up his loins and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel nearly twenty miles.”
1 Kings 18: 44-46
“5 Lessons On Prayer From Mount Carmel-
Lesson 5 - Power”
“The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to lift you up out of your private pit.”
What do I need heavenly power for in my life today?
Do I truly believe that the power which filled Elijah’s life can fill mine, too?
In what ways can this power help me accomplish God’s purpose in my life?
“How very great is His (God’s) power at work in us who believe. This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which He used when He raised Christ from death and seated Him at His right side in the heavenly world.”
Ephesians 1: 19, 20
Good News Bible
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheth me.”
Philippians 4: 13
If you and I were part of the multitude assembled on Mount Carmel, awaiting the outcome between the forces of Baal and a lone prophet of God brave enough to stand up to the power of evil, I wonder what we would have thought of the situation Elijah faced. From a human perspective, Elijah was certainly outnumbered. Additionally, if we were to judge the point of power as the “world” does, it would appear to be in the direction of the throne in Samaria. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, specifically, from all outward appearances, had everyone under their thumbs.
But in the words of the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth “The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.” And I’ll add the same thing is certainly true of women, too. If, as women and men we want to have the same power Elijah had, then we need to tap into the same “Source” he did. And we need to surrender to our Father’s will, as Elijah did. As Carlo Carretto so aptly portrays, “We are the wire, God is the current. Our only power is to let the current pass through us.” It was the “Source” Elijah was hooked into which gave him the power reflected not only in answer to his prayers on Mount Carmel but throughout his life -- going back to Gilead where he lived as what we might call a “UPOG”. An unidentified prophet of God.
You see, for many of us, if we were on Carmel, watching Elijah’s prayer answered by the falling, consuming fire from heaven, we would most likely have thought to ourselves, “I’d like to have that power in my life. I want to have what Elijah had.”
However, in my own life, I have found that my normal assessment of my own power is way too high. I’ve admitted before, I like to think I can rely on my own strength. Don’t we all! I don’t want to feel dependent. Frankly, as we have followed Elijah’s life, I find him to be one strong, tough individual. Both physically and spiritually, Elijah appears from outward appearance to be an “iron-man.” But I’d like to share with you the words of the great evangelist D. L. Moody who noted, “When God wants to move a mountain, he does not take a bar of iron, but He takes a little worm.” It may be that Pastor Moody was thinking about the words of the Apostle Paul to his Christian friends at the church in Corinth. This is how the Apostle Paul explained God’s power, which is contained in each of His children: “However, we possess this precious treasure (the Divine Light of the Gospel) in frail, human vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves” (II Corinthians 4: 7, Amplified Bible). Other versions of the Bible translate the words “human vessels of earth,” as “clay pots.” Many of you, like myself, may have experience dealing with clay or earthen pots. What you soon recognize is how very brittle, yes even fragile, these containers are. They’re easily chipped or cracked. And when split, it is very likely the pot will begin to not only leak, but it will eventually splinter. I just had this happen to a clay pot on my front porch which has a small pine tree in it. Over the past fifteen years, with the erosion caused by water, and the wear on the outside of the pot caused by inclement weather, at first what was minor cracking has become large fissures where water leaks out, only lending itself to further damage. At this point, I’m afraid to even move the pot for fear it will completely crumble to bits. This was once a strong vessel, but it is now weakened to the inevitable place where it may not even be useful anymore.
As the Apostle Paul relates the work of God in us, he points out that we are vessels, clay containers which are fragile. In fact, we are so weak we can’t properly hold God’s power. Thus, when God’s power is revealed in a majestic and mighty way through us, as happened in the life of Elijah, no credit can be taken by any individual. Instead, all the credit for and the revelation of power must be tied directly to God. As D. L. Moody explains, “When a man (or woman) has no strength, if he (she) leans on God, he (she) becomes powerful.” Then Pastor Moody continues with this spiritual insight, “The fact is we have too much strength. We are not weak enough. It is not our strength that we want. One drop of God’s strength is worth more than all the world.”
Isn’t this the power you want? I know that the power from on high is what I long for in my own life and this power can only be realized, if like Elijah did, we stay connected to our only “Source.” He will supply all our needs. Again I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul when speaking to the Corinthians about all he had endured in his life. He wrote: “I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities, and distresses; for when I am weak in human strength, then I am truly strong, able powerful in divine strength” (II Corinthians 12: 10, Amplified Bible).
It is this passage in II Corinthians which author Erwin W. Lutzer must have found as an inspiration for his words which mirror the Apostle Paul’s, “You become stronger only when you become weaker. When you surrender your will to God, you discover the resources to do what God requires. “ And this, we are promised, is what happens to each one of us when we connect to the life of Christ Jesus: “To all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God” (John 1: 12, N.R.S.V.).
“As the silent leaven works it secret way,
Or as grows the seed grain through
the night and day;
Lord, so be the increase, peace
able but sure,
Of Thy word within us,
and Thy kingdom’s power.”
“God, your Son Jesus Christ has taught us that Power belongs to You.
You have shared Your power with us.
Yet, we confess we have not accepted the power You have given us…Today You offer us Your Power, so that we can help change the world, announce Your kingdom, and acknowledge You, The Source of all power, ‘For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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