Too Long at The Wrong Feast


     T. Austin-Sparks said that one of the devil's deepest desires was to get the people of God to despair of ever knowing or seeing His power.  I think in many ways, his desire is being met in these present days.  Many pray daily, but with little hope of really seeing those prayers answered.  Just as many, perhaps more, don't pray at all, but instead have elected to work out their own deliverance and answers, believing that at best, God is a distant, disinterested observer of their lives.  The spiritual famine and drought that so many of us live in just goes on and on, and though we may regularly attend church, pay our tithe, and read our Bibles, God just seems to be absent.  Jesus just goes on sleeping in our boat while the waves swamp and threaten to drown us.  We read of the great works of the God of Elijah, but we ask, "Where is the God of Elijah?"
    The 18th chapter of I Kings is filled with accounts of the wonders God did through Elijah, but I want to focus on the last of those.  There had been no rain for 3 years, but the Father had told Elijah that this was about to end.  Elijah announced this to the people and king of Israel, though they stumbled to believe it.  This is always the response of those whose hearts are far from God.  In the midst of that terrible drought, Elijah said to them "I hear a mighty rainstorm coming."  Elijah saw the barren land that was before him, but it was not what he saw that mattered, but what he heard and was hearing.  He directed King Ahab and his people to go and partake of a feast while he went off alone to pray.  The people were much more skilled at feasting and fellowship than they were at fellowshiping with and speaking to God.  If you read the rest of the story, you know that the mighty rainstorm Elijah heard really did come, and it drenched the land.  He had heard it coming, saw it on the horizon, when all that could be "seen" on that horizon was the same hazy, scorching sky that had been there for 3 long years.
     Someone once answered that question of "Where is the God of Elijah," with the answer, "He is waiting for those with the heart of Elijah to call upon and meet with Him."  Do you and I have such a heart, or are we, in the end, more suited to be with Ahab and his crowd, feasting, fellowshiping, going to church, doing "churchy" things, while the spiritual drought within goes on and on?  I believe that there is a Kingdom rainstorm coming to a church and culture that desperately need it.  The question for us is, will we be swept along with, or swept away by it?  Ahab, and all those at the feast, never realized the blessing that the Father meant for them in that storm.  They missed it.  Will you and I?  They'd been so long feasting in the things of the world that they were unable to partake of the bounty of heaven.  They never heard it coming, and they were not swept up into it, but swept aside by it. 
     Where are you found and to what are you drawn today?  Ahab's feast, or Christ's?  Elijah prayed, waited, and expected alone.  Will he remain so, or will you, will I, join him there and hear and see, the coming mighty rainstorm of the Kingdom?  Will we behold not only the glory of His power, but the beauty and wonder of His presence?

Pastor O     
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   May 2019   
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