Love Came Down with Fire to ACT!

2013-09-16 16.42.31

If ever there was a time in Canada for Christians to stand up, it is now.  As we move into this election season, there is only one main agenda for voting: Vote for LIFE.

Consider the options.  There are good people in all four political parties.  However, there is only one party that currently stands for freedom.  If voting for freedom matters to you, then voting for the party which allows MP’s to vote with their conscience on all issues, including right to life, should be a fairly straightforward stance. To impact this nation with your vote and help others engage in this process, head to keep our land.ca.

In Elijah’s day, personal freedoms, budget benefits and tax benefits were not on the minds of the nation.  The entire nation sought only one thing: WATER.

King Ahab and Ohabliab, chief steward were criss-crossing the country looking for a stream, a brook, a pond, anything, to keep the royal horses from dying.  There had been three long years of drought and people were starving, thirsty and Jezebel, who served the fertility gods, the rain gods of Baal and Astoreth, was looking pretty stupid for the nation’s change of worship.

Elijah set up a challenge for the depressed, discouraged silenced people of God. How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him. ACT! Move! Worship! If Baal, FOLLOW HIM.

And the people answered him not a word.

Elijah stood before God, as intercessor between the broken starving thirsty people of Israel and God and offered a holy spectacle, an astonishing event that would once and for all settle who the God of power really is.

2014-10-13 13.19.14Perhaps you know the story. Elijah smugly announced to the Baal priest, “Please, you go first.” All of Israel watched as the 450 Baal prophets cut up a bull and lay it out on the wood altar. All morning they called on Baal to bring the fire and consume the offering on Mount Carmel, even jumping up and down on the altar to get fire to come down from Baal’s supposed realm.

By noon, the nation had watched the priests in their depravity and powerlessness bring nothing but comedy. Elijah began to mock the troupe, suggesting that maybe Baal was busy talking, or he had stepped out for an errand or perhaps he took a vacation. Elijah suggested they cry louder in case their god was a having a nap.  Using every demonic force they could muster, the priests cut themselves with knives and spears till blood gushed everywhere. By the afternoon, they had danced, bloodlet, cried, even prophesied the fire to come, but there was not a voice, not an answer.

“And it came to pass, when midday was past and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.” 1 Kings 18:29, NKJV.

Then Elijah stepped up before his nation and said “Come near unto me”, a word meaning come, let’s worship our God closely here now.

By his actions, Elijah remembered his nation of other times when they had stood before God. Then Elijah took twelve stones for the twelve tribes and built an altar in the name of the Lord Jehovah, God of Israel for all eternity. He made a deep trench around the altar, large enough to hold about fifteen liters. Elijah laid the wood upon the altar. Then he cut the bull in pieces, the very symbol Baal had co-opted and laid it on the wood.

2014-07-01 14.09.58Elijah should have started praying then. Instead, he turned and said, fill four jars, four kad, a Hebrew word to deepen, and poured it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.

Then he said, “Do it a second time and they did it a second time. The words second here means to duplicate, to altar with repetition.

Then he said, “Do it a third time. And they did it a third time. This word, shalash, means to intensify, to triple with impact.

The water encompassed the altar and filled the deep trench with water.  Only the women who poured out the perfume from the alabaster jar was as audacious as Elijah as he poured the nation’s most precious commodity out on the altar of God. Then the lone prophet, standing before God, Israel and the priests of Baal, simply prayed:

Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel,  let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word” 1 Kings 18:36,37

As Elijah now drew near, what he said was God Almighty, Lord God of Israel, mark this day and let it be known that you are God and I am your servant and I have done all your word at Your word. Testify for me, Lord God that this nation would renew their knowing, their friendship, their intimate marriage with you Lord would return and their will to worship you would be restored.

Then burning fiery fire fell from heaven. It consumed the bull, the stones, the water, everything, in an outrageous sudden fire from heaven.

Niagara Rainbow FallsAs expected, the people hit the ground in a hurry. As Elijah had prayed, instantly, the nation turned back to God, shouting, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!”

Jehoveh, you are the self-existent all powerful God, they shouted.  You are worth all our worship, they shouted.  We will obey you, they shouted, as Elijah commanded every priest of Baal to be executed and the nation to shift in direct confrontation with Jezebel, back to worship of the One and Only True Living God.

The God of the astonishing is about to take His stance upon this earth and answer our sacrificial offerings with His fire, consuming His people in a glory which creates only two options:  Serve the god of your own making or serve the God who fashioned you in your mother’s womb.

Just as Elijah set up a challenge for the depressed, discouraged silenced people of God, so today we hear the rumbling of a Joshua generation asking the same question, “How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him.  ACT!  MOVE!  WORSHIP!  If Baal, money, sex, fame, control, performance, desire, comfort, sports, entertainment, follow it.

Currently, women in Toronto are gathering at the Women on the Frontlines conference and the clear directive is to activate your faith and take a stand for righteousness for the nation.  Cindy Jacobs prophesied a strong word, commending Canada for their role in bringing healing to the nations, but urged the Church to awake and fight for righteousness in the land.

Faytene Grasseschi  a leading honour activist in Canada, is calling all Canadians to intercession for the election.  Rob and Fran Parker, from the National House of Prayer, have been crisscrossing Canada this summer, not for water but for Christians who are willing to pray, to act and to vote for righteous leadership in the nation. I too, am hearing the rumblings of heaven for the Church to arise and stand for righteousness as surely as Elijah called the nation of Israel to shake off the deceptions of Jezebel and run back to the arms of God Almighty.

I know many of the Jael’s Peg readers live in other nations, and I bless you to arise and stand for righteousness in your own nation.

Let’s Pray:  Lord God, keep our land, glorious and free.  Lord God, we stand on guard for Canada.  Turn our hearts back to You like You, in mercy, turned the heartbroken thirsty people of Israel in the days of Elijah.  Holy Spirit, speak loud to our hearts and show us how to stand up for righteous, for the sake of Your Name and our King, Christ Jesus.  May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth, here in Canada, and in all the nations of our readership, as it is in heaven. Amen.

This week’s reading: 1 Kings 17-22

Next week’s reading: 1 Kings 23 – 2 Kings 6

Study Questions:

  1. Do you know the names of your mayor, counselor, leaders, and Member of Parliament and Member of Provincial Parliament?  Do you serve them? Do you honour them and pray for them? Why or why not?
  2. How would you have felt when God brought fire from heaven after a long hot day standing in the sun watching the priests of Baal get only silence.  Have you ever seen God show up in your life in a similar way?
  3. How are you activated to stand up for righteousness?  What does that look like on a Monday morning or a Saturday evening?
  4. Who are you choosing today, God or the god of your own making?  Why? Do you know God’s mercy to receive you, if you confess your sin, and call on the name of Jesus?
  5. Do you think praying moves politics in your nation?  Why or why not?