I’ve to say, pastor’s sermon this week is very timely, and encouraging to me. The future looks bright :). Most certainly, CGMC shall never be the same again. At least, that’s what I hope, and pray, for.
In fact, I want to share the sermon with you all :).
“Fire for Revival”
1 Kings 18:16-40
1 Kings 18:16-40 = Elijah vs. the prophets of Baal. Elijah challenged them to a “contest”---the people of Israel will ‘Get two bulls for us[Elijah and the prophets of Baal]. Let them[the prophets of Baal] choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I[Elijah] will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God.’
The prophets of Baal danced, sang, chanted, screamed, and even slashed themselves. But Baal didn’t answer with fire. So, they gave up.
When Elijah’s turn came, he repaired the altar of the Lord that was destroyed, made the sacrifice, and prayed to God. God sent fire.
Fire, to the people of Israel, is the manifestation of God’s presence. When God appeared to Moses, He was a burning bush. When Solomon was praying in the temple of God when it’s completed, God’s presence filled the temple, like fire. Also, in the New Testament, during Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the believers, like fire. John the Baptist also said of Jesus: ‘He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and the fire’.
So, when Elijah challenged the prophets by asking their respective god to send down fire, the people understood.
We need the fire of the Lord to move amongst us. But sadly, he is absent from our churches now.
We need “agonizers”---people who agonize in prayer, who won’t let God go until God gives them what they ask for, people who cry upon the Lord---not organizers.
What we need essentially, is another Pentecost. As, the darker the days become, the more we need God’s fire to lead the way.
So, what must we do, for that to happen? We must:-
Obey God’s Commands---all areas of our life must be surrendered to God.
Elijah followed all of God’s commands. When God asked him to go into hiding, he went. When God asked him to present himself to King Ahab, he went. When God told him to speak against King Ahab, he did. (starting from 1 Kings chap. 17)
Worship must be restored, the ‘altar’, be rebuilt---and it must begin at home.
Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord that was destroyed(v.30).
Have a heart fully surrendered to God---are we truly meaning it when we sing/say “Lord, take all that I have, I am Yours”?
Don’t try to make it easy for God, like Abraham did---have total trust in God and God only.
Elijah made it harder, instead, for God by pouring 12 large jugs of water over the altar, even filling a 15-liter-capacity trench. (v.33-35)
Have a right motive: to Glorify God---God will never ever let you down. (v.36-37)
The fire that came down did the impossible: it burnt and licked up all the water, all 15 liters of it. It burnt stones and soil. How can you burn stones and soil?
The fire banished all doubt---the people of Israel immediately fell prostrate and cried out “The LORD---he is God! The LORD---he is God!”
The fire destroys everything that is false and impure. False teachers will be destroyed. Impure things will be burnt up. Things that aren’t from God will be destroyed.
It’s not how many people turn up for prayer meeting, for as long as their hearts and lives are right with God, 2 or 3 persons would suffice.