Last week I read 1 Kings 18, Elijah and the contest with the false prophets on Mount Carmel.
In the chapter Elijah met Ahab, king of the northern kingdom of Israel and his wicked wife Jezebel who both disobeyed God and promoted worship of Baal. King Ahab saw Elijah as his enemy, he blamed Elijah’s prophecies for bringing evil to the nation and refused to believe that it was through his own disobedience and idol worship.
In a confrontation with King Ahab, Elijah took courage and challenged the 450 prophets of Baal into a contest on Mount Carmel. They were to build two altars, each with bull offerings, one to Baal, and the second to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He challenged the people to take a stand and follow whoever was the true God.
With the altars built, he invited the prophets of Baal to call on their god to answer them and burn their bull offering on their altar, and there was no answer of any kind. After having the wood and offering drenched with water three times, Elijah walked up to his altar and prayed to the Lord. He asked God to prove to the people that he is the one and only true God, so that the people would know God and that God had brought these people back to himself. Immediately following the prayer, the Lord then flashed down fire and burnt the offering including the altar itself!
What a dramatic scene and demonstration of God’s supreme power and faithfulness towards his people. And what about the courage and faith Elijah demonstrated? What struck me was Elijah’s determination to carry out God’s will under threat. Elijah never doubted God would answer his prayer. He showed exemplary faith and courage in the face of adversity, and God helped Elijah accomplish his will in a dramatic way. Imagine the consequences if God had decided not to answer Elijah!
Dwelling on this story, I believe it’s through our faith and courage to stand for the Truth, that God helps us accomplish his will in our lives too.
In Hebrews 11:6 Paul the Apostle writes “and it is impossible to please God without Faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that he exists, and he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Have you felt God prompting you into action recently? It may have been simply to speak to a stranger or visit someone.
Stepping out in faith and placing our full trust in God will take us out of our comfort zone, but this is necessary to grow and allow him to accomplish his will through us. It’s through our actions of faith and trust in God, which is the core of our relationship, that we’re able to please him.