“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19
What is the most serious problem you have ever faced?
Have you ever noticed that when the challenges you face are more severe, or the evil that confronts you appears more aggressive, that the power and love of God appear more tangibly to bring you to victory?
This has certainly been true for me on more than one occasion. Many years ago a co-worker seemed intent on discrediting me and undermining everything I stood for. It was very divisive to the work environment, to say the least. It was one of the most challenging experiences I have ever dealt with. But God brought me through it with lessons of humility, love, and forgiveness for everyone involved–including myself for the mistakes I had made in the process.
The Bible is full of examples of God’s supreme power to deliver us.
I was reading in I Kings the other day and couldn’t help notice how things were going from bad to worse. The Children of Israel had forsaken God, the Kings of Israel were each more wicked than the one before them in being disobedient to God. But then King Ahab sins the greatest sin yet when he not only disregards Gods commandments as those before him did, but he marries a Baal worshiper, builds a temple to Baal and erects an altar for Baal.
It is just at this precise moment of Ahab’s ultimate, willful disobedience to God that Elijah bursts upon the scene with his staunch stand for the one true God of Israel. In fact, the name “Elijah” means “my God is Jehovah.” When the ultimate evil appears, God sends the ultimate spiritual answer.
Elijah understood his relationship to God.
The amazing thing to me is how close Elijah was to God. He knew God so intimately, that he heard His voice and obeyed His directions without question. How often do we do that? Yes, sometimes we do. But if you’re like me, you have fallen short of that high goal on more occasions than you’d like to admit.
Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do?
Well, it happened to Elijah too. More than once.
While he was staying with the widow at Zarephath, for whom he had provided an unending supply of oil and meal during a famine, her son died. And she accused Elijah of causing her son’s death. Forget the fact that Elijah had been providing the means to survive the famine that was in the land.
In response Elijah prays, “And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, has thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?” (I Kings 17:20)
Elijah is not asking God if He took the son’s life. What an absurdity! It’s as if Elijah is saying, “Oh Lord my God, You have provided sustenance and life for this widow and her son. Is it possible You could also take away his life?
Notice the word “also” in the above verse. God has sent good. Can He also send evil? According to James 3:12 the answer is no; “Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.“
Once again, when the challenge was the severest (the death of the son), the power of God was stronger. And it was present and to bring healing.
Of course God is always present in all His power to help, heal, and guide us. What was the difference here?
Elijah knew God and he knew his relationship to God. Do we?
He prayed to God to restore the son. It was not a pleading prayer. It was not guesswork.
Elijah was coming from a place of confidence in God’s supreme nature and ability to restore life. Elijah was certain God could restore the lad. Why would he have prayed for such a thing if he did not believe it?
He was acting with he same kind of authority that Jesus expressed. This authority was not confidence in himself or his own personal abilities. It was total confidence in God’s abilities.
And of course the lad was restored to life.
So when the forces of evil seem united in all their fury upon you, your loved ones, your church, your business, or whatever, it simply means that the mighty power of God is about to be made manifest in your life.
What you can do in the mean time?
Get to know God–better and better and better. Become as close to God as you can. Commune with Him. Know how precious you are in His sight. Feel His presence in all you do. Be strong and stand with Elijah for the one and only God Almighty.
These are easy words to say, but it takes a deep inner desire and discipline to do this.
But you are able to do whatever God had prepared you for. That is God’s promise.