MAKING AN IMPACT, The Story of Elijah, Week 2, Demonstration of Impact

Making An Impact. The Story of Elijah

The Demonstration of Impact, I Kings 18:1-46

Last week we saw God Prepared Elijah for Impact. This we we are going to see one of the greatest demonstrations of Impact in Human History…

INTRODUCTION:

The Power of a Decision

There are points in life where God calls you to decision, to step up…that decision changed my life…that decision….

People who make an Impact…are willing to make Decision.  They make big Decisions!!!  Even when its tough.  They are willing to make decisions that will change their lives and others…. Elijah had to make a decision to step out and defeat an evil King!! 

The culture had horrible sexual issues and prostitution and craziness…they would sacrifice their babies into the fire…to please the evil King

  • Elijah and Obadiah (I Kings 18:1-15)

18 Later on, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and present yourself to King Ahab. Tell him that I will soon send rain!” So Elijah went to appear before Ahab.     

Meanwhile, the famine had become very severe in Samaria. So Ahab summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. Obadiah was a devoted follower of the LordOnce when Jezebel had tried to kill all the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had hidden 100 of them in two caves. He put fifty prophets in each cave and supplied them with food and water.) 

(Obadiah – was known historically as a devote follower of Yahweh!  And he wrote the shortest Old Testament book…which is cool!!)

Ahab said to Obadiah, “We must check every spring and valley in the land to see if we can find enough grass to save at least some of my horses and mules.” So they divided the land between them. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

As Obadiah was walking along, he suddenly saw Elijah coming toward him. Obadiah recognized him at once and bowed low to the ground before him. “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?” he asked.

“Yes, it is,” Elijah replied. “Now go and tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’”

“Oh, sir,” Obadiah protested, “what harm have I done to you that you are sending me to my death at the hands of Ahab? 10 For I swear by the Lord your God that the king has searched every nation and kingdom on earth from end to end to find you. And each time he was told, ‘Elijah isn’t here,’ King Ahab forced the king of that nation to swear to the truth of his claim. 11 And now you say, ‘Go and tell your master, “Elijah is here.”’ 12 But as soon as I leave you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you away to who knows where. When Ahab comes and cannot find you, he will kill me. Yet I have been a true servant of the Lord all my life.13 Has no one told you, my lord, about the time when Jezebel was trying to kill the Lord’s prophets? I hid 100 of them in two caves and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you say, ‘Go and tell your master, “Elijah is here.”’ Sir, if I do that, Ahab will certainly kill me.”

15 But Elijah said, “I swear by the Lord Almighty, in whose presence I stand, that I will present myself to Ahab this very day.” 

I am coming and hells coming with me…oops that’s from Tombstone…this Time Heaven’s coming with Him

Everything is coming to light today— Elijah is saying to Obadiah

  • Elijah and Ahab (I Kings 18:16-19) 

16 So Obadiah went to tell Ahab that Elijah had come, and Ahab went out to meet Elijah. 17 When Ahab saw him, he exclaimed, “So, is it really you, you troublemaker of Israel?”

18 “I have made no trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead. 19 Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.”

Elijah chooses Mt. Carmel for the Showdown.  Not really that exciting…about 1800 ft. ( Mt Diablo 3848 ft.). But right next to the place where they worship the other gods. The gods of Baal.  He went to their territory to show the power of God. 

  • Showdown on Mt. Carmel (I Kings 18:20-40) 

20 So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. 21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

(“Just decide make a decision. You are trying to stand on two different paths…”)

22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets. 23 Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. 24 Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.

25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.”

26 So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made.

27 About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. (It is a bummer when you need your god and he is stuck in the bathroom…they created a God in their own image) Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”

28 So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. (This is all demonic). 29 They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.

30 Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel,[b32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons.[c33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood.[d]

Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”

34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37 O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”

38 Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”

40 Then Elijah commanded, “Seize all the prophets of Baal. Don’t let a single one escape!” So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there.” 

They rid the land of all the enemies of God

Power of God is proven…right there in front of all of God’s enemies…

What an awesome sign of God’s power!!!

  • The Rain Returns (I Kings 18:41-46)

41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!”

42 So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees.

43 Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.”

The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.”

Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. 44 Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.”

Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’”

45 And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. 46 Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt[a] and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.

  1. Wherever God has placed you, be the best at what you do.

Obadiah has worked hard, he has hidden 100 of them in two caves. He put fifty prophets in each cave and supplied them with food and water.  100 prophets….that’s awesome!!! Obadiah was doing his best!!!

  • Be the best at your work.  Be the best workers, boss, managers, whatever, if your a Christ follower be the best you can be at your work and at your school.    People might not like you because they know you are a Christian, but if you work hard, they will look and say, I don’t like their faith, but they sure work hard.  Look at how they treat people

23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23

As Christian work rather, study harder, get in the arts and acting, let’s bring Christ into ever field of study….

  1. Whatever it costs, be prepared to be identified with Christ.  

Elijah is saying it is coming today.  By the Power of God, The great ‘I.  am’ will bring it today!   Elijah is telling Obadiah Everything is coming to light today— Elijah is saying to Obadiah it is all coming down today…today is the day!!

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24.

This becomes our form of identification.  The cross.  When I come to the cross I take a new identity.  I carry it the rest of my life. 

Some of us when we start carrying our cross we can lose friends and family.  They don’t like it that we are putting Christ first….“Take up your cross and follow me”…have you done that!!  Some times you have to give up some stuff…Listen to me…hear this….  Jesus “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

  1. For every person, there comes a time to decide

21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

God will call you to a decision over and over if you follow Him.  Elijah is calling everyone on to the carpet!!!  Who are you going to follow!!!

  1. The greatest demonstration of God’s power is the cross of Christ. 

38 Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”

  • Do you really believe that Christ’s cross is the truth and the only way of salvation…then let me ask…whose the last person you told about Jesus?  How many people have you invited to hear about it? 
  • Who have you shared your faith with?  Could we make a list?  If we really believed it, we would share it…I think?  Do you want to see Impact?
  1. The greatest outpouring of God’s power is through His Spirit in His people. 
  • If we went back to Elijah and said man I wish I had the power from God you did, he would say no man, I wish I had that Holy Spirit like you, you have him all the time!!!!
  • But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
  1. The best response to see great impact is to pray with humility
  • Elijah puts his face to the ground to pray…7 times…do you see something…its gonna rain…keep praying….w
  • Pray specifically…pray often….pray continually…Elijah the great man of God prayed how many times for rain 7 times!!!  James 5:17-18,     17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.
  1. The world needs to know that God wants to renew and restore.

Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’”

45 And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. 46 Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt[a] and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.

  • The message of hope and renewal.  The world needs the message God wants to renew and restore!!!   Our town needs renewal, our area, the bay area needs renewal…
  • Do you pray like this and Do you share like this!!!
  • Let me tell you a story I heard this week…   The director of  the Navigators in Colorado Springs and his wife felt led by God to a new ministry.  They felt like God was stirring them up for soothing new at Navigators…but God said move to Uganda.  So they prayed more.  Uganda is dangerous.   Now we know they knew that Uganda is very dangerous.  But God kept telling them to go, so they went to Kenya, left the family there, left his family there to check out Uganda, kids with guns In every area, found hotel, shared room, scared to see who would be who be his roommate…what are you doing in my room…I’ll be here just one night….navigators…colorado springs…hugs… dancing…pack of memory verses…given to him years before by the navigators two years before…they became great friends…man and family to Uganda and have great Impact!!! 
  • Do you serve the same God?  Do you want to have great Impact?
  • Take some time this week to look at the questions for reflection and verses on this page.
  1. Is there a decision that Christ is calling you to make today? In what ways do you find yourself caught in indecision? What would change if you stepped out and truly trusted Him with this decision?
  2. Do you believe that the cross is the greatest display of God’s power? Do you tell others about it?
  3. God loves to restore and renew. Where would you personally love to see God’s restoration in your life? Have you spent time praying for this?
  4. How could the people of Impact live out this message in the East Bay? How will you?