The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.
After a long time, in the third year, the Word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.” 1 Kings 18:1
The story of Elijah is an interesting one to read. It is amazing to see how God worked through him and used him. Also, after seeing God do mighty miracles, Elijah’s circumstances changed and he ran for fear of his life, instead of just trusting God.
In this verse, there had been no rain in the land of Israel for three years, and famine had come. The people of Israel had turned from the true God to worship false idols. God was about to use Elijah to get their attention in a big way. The king of Israel’s wife, Jezebel, had nearly killed all the prophets of God in the land, and they had been looking for Elijah. Elijah had been staying with a widow woman and her son. God had Elijah in a point of waiting and growing. It is at this point in the story that God says “go.”
As you read through the Bible, it is amazing to see how many times somebody was waiting on something from God. As I have been on my journey, I see that God does big things in our lives while we are waiting. I believe in the Bible, the word “wait” does not mean to sit still. I think it means more than that. I think wait is a very active word; we need to be doing something while we wait. When we surrender to God, while we wait, He grows us in tremendous ways.
Romans 5:3-5 says that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has pour out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.
Is there something that you need to be doing while you wait on God’s promise, an area of your life where you need to grow? Something you need to surrender? Somewhere you need to serve? Let God accomplish His work in you on your journey.
Elijah met with the King, Ahab, and all the people of Israel and the 450 prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel to determine who the true God was. Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waiver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21
Elijah makes a public declaration to the people. In this story, we can see that our public declarations make a difference. Good or bad, our public declarations make a difference in the lives of others. How we walk through this journey of standing and fighting for our marriages matters. People are watching us. Your beliefs, your stand for marriage, and your walk with God make a difference in this world. What are you saying to others? Know that it is not just what we say, but how we live. Know that whatever we declare shows to this world what we value. How long will you waiver between two opinions, standing for marriage, God’s best and His design, or walk away?
The prophets of Baal built an altar and Elijah built an altar with the challenge to see which God could burn up the sacrifice with fire. After the prophets of Baal had spent all day calling to their god, Elijah stood and prepared his sacrifice to God. He had the people fill up pots of water and pour it over the sacrifice three times, filling trenches around the altar. Then Elijah prayed.
“Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil and also licked up the water in the trench. 1 Kings 18:37-38
It was after this that Elijah prayed for rain. Even then, there is an interesting note. He sent his servant to look in the sky for a sign, which he didn’t see the first time. Seven times, Elijah said, “Go back.”
“Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there,” he said. Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. 1 Kings 18:43-45
Elijah did not give up when there was nothing there the first time, when there was no sign of rain. He went back, again and again, and again, and again ……. Until God’s promise came. He believed that God was going to do what he said He would do. Elijah did not give up, he persisted. Maybe the time waiting on God had produced this perseverance and hope in Elijah.
Is there something in your life that you are waiting on? A wife to come home, a child to come to the Lord? Do not waste this time. There is something we all need to doing. Growing in the Lord, spending time in the Word and in prayer, learning to become the warriors that God has called us to be for our families, our communities, and our nation.
David in Texas