Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mountain Top Experiences

Our perspective on life may change. Sometimes we need a perspective adjustment from the Lord.  In the book of 1 Kings Elijah has two mountain top experiences.

In chapter 18, his mountain top experience was on Mt Carmel.
In chapter 19, his mountain top experience was on MT Horeb, the mountain of God

On Mt Carmel, Elijah had a rather amazing experience where he challenged King Ahab to bring out 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah.

Elijah then went before the people of God to challenge them.
1 Kings 18:21 (ESV)  21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.
This amazing challenge was set up between Elijah and the prophets of Baal and Asherah to call down fire on a sacrifice.
1 Kings 18:24 (ESV)
24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”

In this rather dramatic scene, these false prophets agonizingly try, but fail to call down fire.
Elijah’s turn comes up and he has people pour water three times on the sacrifice that he set up. 

1 Kings 18:36-38 (ESV)
36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word.
37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

The people of Israel acknowledge that the Lord is God.
Elijah commands the people and they wipe out the false prophets.

This was a very dramatic mountain top experience where God worked clearly and visibly. You might then think a revival would break out. 
What happened immediately after this was that Ahab told Jezebel what happened and she sent some men out to kill Elijah.

Elijah did the sensibly thing and ran for his life. He traveled forty days and forty nights. He is now at Mt Horeb and he is very tired and depressed. He told the Lord that he was the only one left.
When we are tired and discourage life can be overwhelming. We think things will happen one way and when they don’t we get discouraged. It can be hard to see what God is doing when we feel overwhelmed with the circumstances of life.

How does the Lord respond to Elijah?
1 Kings 19:11-12 (ESV)
11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.”
 And behold, the LORD passed by,
and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD,    but the LORD was not in the wind.           
And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.

And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
1 Kings 19:13 (ESV)
13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

The Lord spoke to Elijah in the quietness of the moment and the stillness of his heart. The Lord spoke words of comfort to Elijah and told him that there were many more people who had not bowed down to Baal.
Sometimes we want the big, the flashy, We want to think and say that ,”we are doing great things for God, look at all of this.”
God may or may not do something big and flashy in our lives, but that does not mean He isn’t working significantly.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


More precisely, I hate trying to fix cars. My youngest son and I in the three weeks before we sent him off to college,  worked on our two vehicles -we changed a transmission shifting cable bushing, replaced a water pump, and replaced a radiator. The minivan's issues are not solved, but dumping more money into it with 218,000 miles on it starts to seem unreasonable. So we are putting more coolant into it every few days, while praying that God gives us wisdom in finding a replacement. We sent the car off with our oldest son to help him in his student teaching and ministry involvement.

The Bible states the absolute imperative of faith in the Christian life in
 Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

What does God-pleasing faith look like--
       ---when you need to fix or replace a vehicle and the money is tight?