by Terry Broome
Exhibiting Faith in Faithless Times – Part Two
In the book of First Kings we are introduced to a man who was willing to stand up against virtually all the religious leaders of his time, as well as against one of the most wicked of the kings and queens of ancient Israel’s history. In I Kings 16:30 we read, “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.”
Idolatry had already existed in Israel before King Ahab’s and Elijah’s times, but Ahab took it a step farther. He took God out of the picture and replaced Him with a false God, Baal. It was too much for Elijah to endure. He sent a message to Ahab for a meeting and delivered his challenge – Jehovah against 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves (Asherah). I invite you to read from I Kings 16:29 through I Kings Chapter 18 for an illustration of Elijah’s faith in faithless times. What Elijah did was indeed an act of faith. Notice a few things we can learn from this faith.
The first thing we notice is that He Was Convinced That God Was Real –1 Kings 17:1 (KJV). His foundation statement was, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth…” Like Ahab, men are constantly trying to remove God from the scene of human history. In our present century as well as the last, there are three significant philosophies attempting to do away with God that have taken hold in our society. Atheism – there is no God; Evolution – you can have life without the existence of God; Humanism – man is God.
People need to see evidence of God’s reality in our lives. The world is not convinced by our CLAIMS that God is real, but they will take notice if they can See Evidence of His Reality in our lives. We must let God CHANGE us, and then let the world evaluate the change. People take notice when lives are changed, hurts are healed, and hope is renewed. They are not interested in arguments. They are looking for PROOF. What has happened in your life since you were saved that can only be explained in terms of someone coming in contact with the supernatural? Is there visible evidence that the living God is now a part of your life?
I say I believe in God. Big deal! So does 80% or more of everyone living in America. That doesn’t prove anything. By PROOF I’m not talking about “miracles.” Most people don’t need to see water turned to wine to believe that God is real. What people really want to see is deep, lasting change in our character and manner of life. Do we forgive like Jesus forgave? Do we love like Jesus loved? Has God tamed our temper and cut off a gossiping tongue?
Elijah was convinced that God was real and strove to make Him an important part of his Life. He Was Convinced That He Would Give an Account of His Life to God – “As the Lord God of Israel liveth Before Whom I Stand” (I Kings 17:1). He understood that he would be held accountable. He had a sense of responsibility. Elijah knew that he stood before God and he would have to answer for how he responded to the pro-Baal movement in his culture. He could not be a “silent protester.” He could not remain uninvolved, hoping “someone” would do something.
Along with the Sense of Accountability, Elijah Had the Courage to Act in Faith. He was unintimidated by the odds and the fact that he had to stand alone. At least for this part of his life, he was unafraid of the opposition. He could see beyond the majority to the God he served.
Also, He Recognized the Importance of Availability. God is still looking for men and women who will be His ambassadors to a blind, lost, unbelieving world. Elijah knew that he was the personal representative of the living God.
Without being puffed up or arrogant, God’s people still need to believe that this is true of every Believer. We need to make ourselves available to God, like a suit of clothes in His “ready to wear” wardrobe.
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489