Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God”…JESUS!
As I survey the landscape of the times we are living in, it is obvious that the CALLED OUT people of God walk around like they do not believe the Lord is coming back for a church without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing. In a word, people are showing by the lives they are living, that they are not serious about their relationship with the Lord, nor what it takes to please him. I began to meditate on the word EARNEST; which is defined as “something that results from or shows sincere and intense conviction.” Hence I began to think about Elijah the prophet, and brother James in his epistle which rendered a profound observation through the Holy Spirit. For this Golden Nugget I would like to provoke the thought “Lord I Come to You In EARNEST” My premise scripture to provoke further gospel provocation are as follows:
Jas. 5:17-18 “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”
In 1 Kings 17:1 it gives us Elijah’s first appearance in public; but the HOLY SPIRIT in the epistle of James, graciously furnishes us with the account of a earlier stage in Elijah’s history, no one renders further details for us, as it pertains to Elijah’s previous worship rendered by service. The sacred historian in 1 Kings 17 introduces Elijah in a way which seems to be very abrupt. He presents Elijah to us as in a bold and significant manner, as he enters on the scene for servitude! He comes forth with a grand and solemn announcement, “Thus says the Lord.”
As I forestated, it amazes me that the narrative does not tell us anything of the prophet’s previous encounters; it does not specify how Elijah came to learn of the Lord, nor when he encountered the charge from God to deliver a word to Israel. It is imperative for us to see that the Holy Spirit was moved not to reveal anything concerning this! Elijah is simply introduced authoritatively with an amazing anointing of power that he had obtained from the Lord in secret. Hence it shows us Elijah coming forth publicly, with no further references of his beginning; for the word of God reminded me in Mat 6:3-6 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Hence, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the apostle James lets us into the secret of Elijah’s prayer to God, before he ever became active to render service openly before men…James 5:17 “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.”
Now, if the Holy Spirit did not informed us about this essential fact, by the pen of James, we would have lacked a very essential and powerful incentive concerning the power of prayer! That is why I love the scriptures of God so much, because they are divinely perfect, lacking nothing that they ought to have, and having nothing that they ought to lack; hence James tells us about Elijah’s secret moments in prayer and wrestling, and reveals him to us while he dwelt in the mountains of Gilead, where he mourned over the lamentable state concerning the things in Israel, and how he was fortified in his spirit for the assignment delegated to him!
My brothers and sisters this circumstance in the life of Elijah truly teaches us profitable lessons. We are living in a times of excessive barrenness and spiritual decline. The state of the Body of Christ well reminds me of Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones found in Eze. 37:3-4 “And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.”
The Saints of God not only have to contend with the acts exemplified in previous ages, but also with the excessive corruption in this 21st century, which has crept into the Church of the living God; for people today truly have a form of godliness, and are still denying the convicting power of the Holy Spirit! This is causing them follow wherever their warped minds lead them. Which eventually manifests decline and self destruction!
When we observe the state of those who have been expose to the absoluteness of truth, (the word of God) especially those who have been taught and exposed to doctrinal structure; one would expect from them a more healthy and vigorous spiritual lifestyle in Christ Jesus, which should exemplify the required high call and profession that is only found in Him. Yet, it appears that in many what is produced is a wasted knowledge that has transformed into an cold and non influential theory, which is a superficial power that does not have power over lust nor evil affection. GOLDEN NUGGET!
These type of persons find that the absoluteness of truth, which can only be found in Christ, possess little of it and show no interest to embrace it. Their intellect and flesh has been seared to the extent that they are very comfortable in conforming to erroneous accepted ideologies that projects that wrong is right, and right is wrong! Lord please help us never to be get in this deceptive and barren place! Lord please allow your righteous conviction to stir up in us when we are swaying away from you!
Saints, seeing that we are surrounded and observe such conditions as these things, what are the resources needed for those who are striving to remain faithful even unto death? I would say they are as follows: Prayer; patience, persevering prayer; secret communion with Jesus Christ; with a deep and real desire to worship and remain in His presence, where we can petition Christ to receive a true estimate of ourselves, and the things around us; so that we can perpetually receive spiritual power during our time of intercession for our brethren, and a world who does not know Jesus Christ!
The word of God states that “Elias was a man of like passions with us;” because he found himself in the midst of dark apostasy, and a wide spread alienation of many, whose heart turned from God. He observed the consistent failures from amongst the children of Israel; he saw the tide of evil rising around him, and the light of absolute truth fading away fast; he had observed the altar of Baal that had replaced the altar of God, and the cries of the priests of Baal had drowned the sacred songs of the Priest of the tribe of Levi, who were appointed to assist Israel in worship; in essence, the whole thing was chaotic and in ruin before his eyes. He felt it; he wept over it; and most of all “he prayed earnestly!”
Here was the main resource, the sure and unfailing resource of this grieved prophet; he retreated into the presence of God; he poured out his spirit there, and wept over the ruin and sorrow of his beloved people; he was really engaged concerning the sad condition of things around him, and therefore prayed about it; Elijah prayed as he ought, not coldly, formally, nor occasionally, but “earnestly,” and diligently.
My brothers and sisters this is a blessed example for us. Never has there been a time such as this when fervent prayer is needed so much for the Church of God as it is today. Satan seems to be exerting all his malignant power to crush the spirits and hinder the activities of the people of God; and with some, he makes use of their public engagements; with others, their domestic trials; and with others, personal sorrow and conflict; in a word, “There are many adversaries,” and nothing but the mighty power of God can enable us to cope with them and conquer them victoriously.
Please note that Elijah was not merely called to pass unscathed as an individual through the evil; he was called to exert an influence upon others: he was called to act for God in a degenerate age; he had to make an effort to bring his nation back to the God of their fathers; how much more therefore did he have to seek the Lords face in private in order to gather spiritual strength in the presence of God. Therefore he could not just be concerned about himself, but he had to be made an instrument that could bless others also. It was because of Elijah’s delegated task from the Lord, that he had to “pray earnestly” that it would not rain for 3 1/2 years.
Therefore he brought God into the stated objective, and hence he did not fail in the objective; For “It rained not.” Please know that God will never refuse to act when faith addresses Him on the ground of His own glory, and we know it was simply upon this ground that the prophet addressed Him. Not raining for 3 1/2 years most definitely could not have afforded Elijah any pleasure in seeing the land turned into a parched and sterile wilderness, or to see his brethren wasted by famine and all the horror it brought. No; but it was necessary to simply turn the hearts of the children Israel back to God, to bring the nation back to its early faith, and to eradicate those erroneous principles which had taken a hold of the minds of the people. For this purpose Elijah prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and God listened and heard, because it brought glory to God! GOLDEN NUGGET!
After walking with God for 39 years through ups and the downs, the joys and sorrows, I can truly say, it is good to wait upon God. It not only leads to happy results as seen in God’s answer to it, but there is also much sweetness and comfort when we do it. How amazing and encouraging it is for the tried and tempted believers to find themselves waiting upon God! How blessed it is to allow our spirit to flow out, and our affections to ascend to Him who alone is able to lift us above the depressing power of many present things, and into the peace and light of His blessed presence! I pray that we all be found waiting more upon God; making the difficulties that arise everyday to be used as an occasion to draw nearer to His mercy seat; so that our hearts can be comforted and encouraged in private, as we wait upon our Father, because His promises have never failed YET! Isa. 40:28-31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Let’s make full proof of it! GOLDEN NUGGET!
Hence, when Elijah the Tishbite entered upon his path of service; he came forth armed from the sanctuary of God with divine power to deal with, and exemplify it to his fellow brethren. Please be assured that there is much power in the words, “as the Lord God of Israel lives before whom I stand”; these words are very special, because they are the basis on which Elijah rests concerning his servitude. He stood before “the Lord God of Israel,” and so standing, he could speak with a measure of power and authority!
Just like with many of us who have been chose by God for such a time like this to represent, many do not know the anointing that rest on our lives. Such was the case with King Ahab when Elijah came to speak to his conscience. King Ahab did not know that Elijah had been on his knees communicating with God in secret prior to him presenting himself in public. He knew nothing about this, but Elijah did, and hence he could boldly confront the very head of the evil; he could speak to king Ahab himself, and announce to him the judgments of an Holy God that had been offended. I must say that this prophet can be used as fine model for all those who are chose to speak in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to a stiff necked people!
All who are so called should feel themselves, walking in the virtue of their divine commission, that entirely lifts them above the influence of any human opinion. Wow, how often does it happen when men and women who have an opportunity to speak with a measure of power and liberty in the presence of some, yet when they are before others seem to become cramped, and altogether hindered! This I know would not be the case if they only realized with distinction, not only have they received their commission from Jesus Christ, but also that they can execute it in the presence of the living God. The messenger of the Lord should never be intimidated by those to whom they deliver their message too; they should be above them in the mind of Christ, while at the same time take the humble place of a servant.
This was preeminently the case with our blessed Jesus Christ. How little was He affected by the thoughts or judgment’s of those to whom He spoke! They might prevent, oppose, and reject, but that never led Him for a moment to lose sight of the fact that He was sent of God. He carried with Him, throughout His entire course, the holy, soul sustaining assurance expressed in the synagogue of Nazareth, as noted in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor,” etc. Here was the basis of His ministry as Son of man. It was “in the power of the Spirit,” and hence He knew Himself to be the minister of God, and as a minster, was raised quite above the influence of those with whom He had to do. “My doctrine is not Mine,” said He, “but His that sent Me.” He could truly say, “The Lord God of Israel, before whom I stand:” He was ever Hag. 1:13 “the Lord’s messenger,” speaking “in the Lord’s message to the people.”
Should not this be the mindset of a true servant of God? Should not all who fulfill the role of servants or messengers of the Lord, seek to know more about the mind of Christ, as oppose to the minds of men and circumstances? Should we not aim to be less under the power of our human thoughts, feelings, perceived cliques, and rubbing shoulders with those for advancement who are most definitely not greater than Jesus Christ? Let’s be transparent, what can we do about what people really think about us when it comes to doing a validated work before the Lord? Nothing! I choose to stay free in God! Whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; whether they will accept, or whether they will reject; whether we shall be highly esteemed for our work’s sake, or recognized for it! Our aim, our constant aim, is to “approve ourselves as the ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ.” GOLDEN NUGGETS!
When we take this mindset in earnest, we can always come in the power and authority in which the prophet Elijah spoke, “There shall not be dew nor rain these years but according to my word.” He felt such perfect assurance in the fact that he was standing in the Lord’s presence, and speaking the Lord’s words; that’s right, that he had thoroughly identified with the Lord, that he could say, “according to my word.”
My brothers and sisters we have the same privilege when we walk as real servants of the Lord, who do not waver in delivering the essence of absolute truth, only to be found in the word of God. Only then can we experience the wondrous results of our secret prayer. “Elias was a man of like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.” I pray that this proves to be a powerful incentive to all those who desire to stand for God in these last and evil days! We must desire to strive to be more in the presence of God, especially when we are in petition for our needs; which can only come from having a fervent spirit of prayer. For it is this spirit of prayer that we perpetually crave that puts God in His own proper place as the giver, and keeps us in our proper place as receiver. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Wow, how often are we deceived by a mere form of prayer, one which entails just a mere formal utterance of words which have no reality in them! There are many of us who let theses anemic prayers get between our soul and Jesus, who awaits to hear our prayer; for this can become a great snare to our faith! We should always remain cognizant that our prayers should always represent the supernatural outflow of the Holy Spirit that is within us, and not just a mere superstitious performance of what we think ought to be done. For the word of God states in Rom. 8:18-19; 24-28 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Saints I refer you to Psa. 81:10 “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” I view this as an allusion to a young birds, when fed by the parent bird. I suggest that the meaning here is, only I (GOD) can amply supply all your needs. You need not go to other gods, the gods of other lands, nor flesh, because to do so is to say there are deficiencies in God who is our power and resource; for when we do this we are saying He is not able to meet our necessities. Hence God is saying All your needs I can meet! Let me know what you need and what you desire; come to me and make any request with reference to yourselves as individuals or as a nation, as it pertains to this life or the life to come, and you will find in me an abundant supply for all your needs, and a willingness to bless you commensurate with my resources. Hence why, then, should any of his people ever turn for happiness to the “weak and beggarly elements of this world!
My brothers and sisters the Lord is saying “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” If we will not open our mouths, how can they be filled? If we are just satisfied with where we are in Him, how can we expect to get more? Let it be, therefore, the aim of all of us to stir up our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus to seek the Lord in united prayer; so that we can see the manifestation of the rain that may have ceased due to the lack thereof on our parts.
It is high time that we become more serious about our walk and relationship in Christ Jesus. Don’t let anyone or anything come between you and your relationship IN Him! I know I am striving everyday through the power of the Holy Spirit to show that “Lord I Come to You in Earnest” Please strive to have a “JESUS DAY”