November 18th, 2007

Desk

Firefall

Reading this morning in 1 Kings 18 of fire from God which consumed Elijah's sacrifice. He called out the multitude of prophets of Baal and Asherah, the latest emissaries of Israel's ongoing corruption under Ahab. The deck could hardly be more stacked against him, yet Elijah knew his God. He taunted Baal's prophets, and still they sought salvation from their god in vain:
And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

—1 Kings 18:27-29

After their failure, Elijah stacks the deck still further, ordering gallons of water to be poured upon the sacrifice he prepared. And fire falls from God, for the sake of His own name:
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. 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.” 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. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”

—1 Kings 18:36-39

This is the saving power I'm trusting, and knowing this makes it so much easier to rest where He's placed me. I may not be the man I once was, or the one I want to be, or recognized by others as either, but none of this is really the point. In whom do I trust? His glory needs to be what I'm investing in and counting on.

For this reason, when I'm tempted to stack the deck in my own favor (even for what I may believe to be His purposes), am I willing to consider doing the opposite? Am I willing to pour water on my own agenda, such that only fire from God can bring His will about? Too often I am looking for a God who will just cover the spread between what I myself can engineer and success. There's not nearly as much risk in that bet—it's a lesser God than one who truly saves. Certainly, my every effort should be given for His Kingdom, but I can easily blur the line between this and my own desires. There may be times when dampening what (I think) I'm offering is in order so that I can see His glory, as well as learning if I'm truly willing to turn it over to Him.