“When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal And Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the LORD has told me to go to Bethel.” But Elisha replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!” So they went down together to Bethel.” II Kings 2:1,2
Do you know what the Devil’s most effective tool in stealing miracles from God’s people is? It’s convincing them to give up searching for the miracle at noon when the miracle is scheduled for 12:05. Even Elijah tried to discourage his disciple from following him across the Jordan, but Elisha was determined not to miss out on what was coming. He loved his master and didn’t want to see him go. He was also determined to receive Elijah’s final blessing. He was sticking with the aged prophet straight to the bitter end in order to get the double portion.
We are about to see an even bigger home going than Elisha saw when the chariots of fire came to pick up Elijah. We are also faced with plenty of voices who are telling us to give up the faith we’ve held on to up to this point. Don’t listen to them! Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus until He comes to get you in the whirlwind of the rapture.
Once more the king sent a third captain with fifty men. But this time the captain went up the hill and fell to his knees before Elijah. He pleaded with See how the fire from heaven came down and destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him, and don’t beafraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went with him to the king.him, “O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants. 2 Kings: 1:13-15
When last we left Elijah he was calling fire down from Heaven to burn up some enemy soldiers. You would think that after losing fifty servants to the flames of God King Ahaziah would have wised-up and left well enough alone. Twice more, though, he sent squadrons of fifty to apprehend the rebel prophet. The second time the results were the same. Fifty soldiers went up the hill fifty cremated bodies were carried down the hill.
But the captain of the third squadron was a little wiser than the first two. He was smart enough to know that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So instead of confronting the prophet the third captain humbled himself before God and his man. That won the day. Elijah was given the God go-ahead to come down to Ahaziah. All God was looking for was a man humble enough to admit his need rather than rattle his saber.
We aren’t called to tough it out in our own strength. We are called to pray it through by throwing ourselves on the mercy of a God who is so much bigger than we are.
But Elijah replied to the captain, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and killed them all. 2 Kings 1:10
Do you realize that God is for you? Sometimes I think we forget just what a powerful truth that is. If God is on our side…if God is for us who can be against us? If we truly need it God will even open up the Heavens and rain down fire on our enemies. Whatever we truly need HE will bring us on the basis of His love for us. The trick is for us to recognize we really need.
So what does your fire from Heaven look like today? What do you really need from God?
“Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that” I Kings 22:19,20
As the story of Ahab continues to unfold through the Scripture we come to this little gem where it is mentioned that God on the throne of Heaven conspired with all of His holy angels to bring Ahab down to his death.
The frightening thing about all this is it did not lead Ahab to repent in any way shape or form.
I wonder if we could have a glimpse into the throne-room of Heaven today what would God be saying about us behind closed doors? This is not a question of our salvation. If we have trusted Jesus for forgiveness of sins that issue is settled. It is however a question about our blessing. And you know the answer to this question in your heart. Is God speaking about the blessing your life is releasing or the curse your life is releasing?
Maybe a more important question to ask is what are you doing to bring God’s conspired blessing on your life?
“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for [there is] a sound of abundance of rain. …And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.” I Kings 18: 41, 45
Elijah’s prophecy about an abundance of rain comes on the heels of a three-year drought followed by a major confrontation with the spiritual force behind that drought. The people’s failure to follow God and their success at following Baal had brought the drought. Elijah’s showdown with the prophets of Baal and subsequent slaying of more than 400 of them brought the end of the drought, but not all at once. Elijah had to wait a bit after killing the false prophets before the heavens turned black.
Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.” The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.” Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!'” I Kings 18: 43, 44
Here’s what I see:
We get the part about having to wait for God to move; But many of us are waiting, expecting God to move before we’ve killed our prophets of Baal. This chapter gives us a divine order: disobedience brings drought; drought should bring repentance (getting rid of the false prophets…evil things in our lives); repentance brings waiting; waiting in repentance brings the miracle.
What has to be removed from your life in order for your waiting to produce fruit?
“When Solomon finished making these prayers and petitions to the LORD, he stood up in front of the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands raised toward heaven. He stood and in a loud voice blessed the entire congregation of Israel:” I Kings 8:54,55
In our last “Heaven” post we left Solomon on his knees with his hands stretched out to Heaven asking for God’s blessing. We’ve left him there for a long time and its high time we got back to these Heaven posts on a more regular basis. 🙂
The take away from today’s verse for me is that there must come a time when we finish with our praying and we get up and do something, even if that is only to get out-of-the-way.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in praying through. In most cases we don’t pray enough. Then in other situations we fall to our knees when the time for praying has come and gone and it’s time to act.
The truth is we ought to be praying the blessing of our God upon our days before they even begin. Then as our days happen we can act in cooperation with the Holy Spirit confident of the fact that God is going to move on our behalf.
There’s a time for everything. There is a time to pray. There is a time to finish our praying and a time to get up and move in the faith we have prayed forth.
How do you know when your praying is complete and it’s time to act?
“Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,” I Kings 8:49
As I sit meditating on this verse today I am astounded by what God has done. The writer here is supplicating with God. He asks God for restoration when God’s people enter into judgment for their sins and are taken away into captivity…for forgiveness when they turn and repent. He asks that at the moment of the people’s cry of remorse for their sins God would hear their supplication from His dwelling place in heaven or from His fixed and permanent abode in Heaven. The intercessor further asks God not only to hear the people’s cry but that he would maintain their cause…bring restoration…deliver them from the results of their sins.
Here is what I am astounded by. God did it! And in order to do it He left his permanent abode in Heaven and came to Earth. He took on the form of sinful man and “maintained our cause.” We often forget that the cross was not the first sacrifice Jesus made to save us. What did He give up just to become one of us?
Let’s celebrate that sacrificial gift this season!
“If your people go out where you send them to fight their enemies, and if they pray to the LORD by turning toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name, then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.” I Kings 8: 44-45
This world is not a tip toe through the tulips. It’s a mobilization through a battleground…a battleground we created when we invited sin and Satan in to play. But God has told us that if we let Him He will walk with us through the mine field. He will train our hands for war. He will give us the victory. He will uphold our cause.
What battle are you facing today that you need to ask God to walk with you through?
“then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.” I Kings 8:36 NLT
Our nation is in a cultural battle concerning the source of life. Our schools and government agencies teach us that man is the center of the universe, with the right to decide morality and to pursue his own glory. The message of the church is the same as it has been throughout the ages: God is the center of the universe and He is the source of all forgiveness, right thinking, provision and glory. The call of the world is self-indulgence. The call of God’s kingdom is repentance. Our verse today tells us that only through repentance can we know God’s goodness, provision and presence.
“then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and return themto this land you gave their ancestors.” I Kings 8:34 NLT
The nation of Israel is one of God’s greatest miracles. That a nationsl people could survive 2,000 years without a homeland and then be suddenly granted that homeland back by a vote of the other nations is beyond imagination.
The scriptural prophecy of Israel’s restoration has been fulfilled before our eyes. How can anyone doubt that the other prophecies of Scripture will fail to come to pass when this first impossibility has so clearly been established?