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Up north in the half-kingdom of Israel, after Jeroboam and the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 bad kings, Israel got the wickedest king yet — Ahab. And he was married to a wicked woman named Jezebel. They were so wicked that even Jeroboam’s 2 false-god cows weren’t bad enough for them. They began to worship the false god Baal, too. And then they put up false god poles. So they had false-god cows, and false-god Baals, and false-god poles.
They were piling badness on top of badness. But, there was one man, a man no different from you or me, who made the choice to be close to God. Regardless of what everyone else was doing, regardless of the 50 years of rebellion and idol worship around him — this man made the choices to grab after God, to reach for Heaven Life! This Heaven-Connected man was Elijah.
How do we know Elijah was connected to God? Well, listen up and you’ll find out.
Because Ahab and Jezebel were so wicked and claimed that all these false gods controlled the weather and the crops and stuff, Elijah wanted to prove those false gods were really powerless and couldn’t do anything at all. So Elijah told Ahab, “As surely as the God who I serve lives, it’s not going to rain again until I tell it to.”
Did you notice that Elijah didn’t say, “It’s not going to rain until God says so.”? He said, “It’s not going to rain until I say so.” That’s risky to say, isn’t it? If you say, “I’m going to ask God to let it rain,” that leaves some wiggle room for anything to happen. But, if you say it’s not going to rain until you tell it to rain, you’d better be very connected to God. So, Elijah wasn’t thinking he was “big stuff” when he said that. Elijah just knew God and knew what God wanted.
So Elijah, like David with Goliath, had faith — Faith that could See: “God, I know You want to humble these people so that they have a chance to See You are God. What can we do, God? No rain? Ah!! Yes, no rain. God, please don’t let it rain. I’m with You all the way on this. No rain! I know that You’ve heard me. And I’ll go tell them that it won’t rain so that they know it’s no ‘accident’ when it doesn’t rain for 3 years.”
That’s faith. Faith isn’t just asking God, “Pretty please, God, do this.”
Faith is not just standing on the earth and looking up to the sky begging God to reach down and do something. Faith is standing on the earth with your heart in Heaven, looking, looking, looking with your Heaven-Eyes to See what God wants to do on earth. Then when you See what He wants, you say, “Let it be just like that, God!”
Then you jump up and work with God, which might involve something that feels risky for a second like saying, “It won’t rain until I say so.” But at the same time, when you know that God has heard you and He says He’ll do something, then the thing is as good as done already. Faith is a relationship with God, knowing Him and seeing what He wants to do.
Elijah prayed and prayed that it would not rain in Ahab’s kingdom. And sure enough… no more rain.
You know what happens when it doesn’t rain, don’t you? The crops can’t grow. The rivers dry up. Many things die without water. That makes it very hard for people to find the food and water their bodies need.
Do you think that might humble the people if their water dries up and their crops run out? Do you think that might help show the people that their false gods can’t control the weather or the crops or anything at all, but that God Almighty can? Maybe that would help the people humbly come back to the real God, Yahweh.
When Elijah was praying for no rain, he knew it might be hard for him to find food and water, too. But when you are loving and obeying God, you say, “It doesn’t matter what happens to me.” And you just do it.
“Hmmm,” thought Elijah. “Think. Think Think. What to drink? What to eat? Where to hide?!” (Because now Ahab was really angry at Elijah.)
But as you probably guessed, God already had a plan.
“Go hide in this ravine,” God told Elijah. (A ravine is like a deep valley between 2 mountains. It would be hard for wicked King Ahab to find Elijah if he was hiding between mountains!)
“And there’s a brook to drink from in the ravine,” God added.
Great! Elijah had a place to hide and water to drink. But what would Elijah eat? There were no grocery stores in the ravine. There were no restaurants in the ravine. There weren’t even any people in the ravine who might share food with Elijah.
“Oh yeah, one last thing,” God said. “I already talked to some birds about making sure you have food.”
What?! Birds?! Yes! God told Elijah that some birds would be serving Elijah his dinner!!! How cool is that?! (I’ve got to imagine Elijah got a little chuckle when he heard that.)
When Elijah arrived between the mountains to hide, he found the brook and took a nice long refreshing drink. Ahhh.
And not long after, his breakfast bread and breakfast meat came flying in with the birds.
Would I have liked to have seen that! Special Delivery — every morning and every evening!
God took care of Elijah, didn’t He? Every single thing he needed was provided for. God will take very good care of you, too, as you learn to trust and obey Him. And the ways He takes care of you might even give you a little chuckle.
But remember, Faith is not saying, “Pretty please, God, don’t let it rain,” and then thinking, “Maybe He’ll make it not rain. I’ll just see what happens…”
Faith is being someone who can see Heaven and be so connected with God that they’re willing to join their words and their life with God Himself, as one. And that’s how Elijah could say, “I’m a servant of God, and it’s not going to rain until I say so.”
And when you know God has heard you and agrees, it’s not really risking any more — it just is. It’s just true.