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Sermon text with italics and bold and John 3:16 and v. 20.
Text with an outline.
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Have devotional leader to read: 1 Kings 17:1-6
PRAYER:…let the fire from heaven come down as it did on mount Carmel, for Elijah. Let your fire come through me, your servant. Bless me to honor you in your Holy tent. Send your pillar of cloud, as you did for Moses.
Read (1 Kings 19:1-4 NIV)
- God’s covenant promises threatened by disobedient people.
- God’s patience with the kings of Judah.
- How easily you change from fearing God to fearing powerful people.
- What substitutes do you prefer to God?
- Whom are you trying to imitate when you are lead to depart from God?
The book of Kings records the history of the kings of Israel. It talks about a rebellious Israel. How they prostituted themselves to foreign gods of the land, forsaking God and broke His covenant. It shows the success of any obedient king and the failure, decline and captivity of the disobedient kings.
This message begins with God’s prophet Elijah. Elijah was well known and respected prophet of God. God sent him to king Ahab, to warn His people of their wickedness.
- God’s covenant promises threatened by disobedient people
The reign of Ahab and Jezebel was godless. And his wickedness provoked the Lord God to anger. It brought the nation of Israel to an era of depravity and immorality. To make matters worst, Ahab married Jezebel, who advanced Baal worship in Israel. (Exo. 20:3 NIV) You shall have no other gods before me.
Jezebel’s people believed in fathers marring daughters, mothers marring sons, and brothers marring sisters. The consequence that Ahab faced was the anger of God.
Baal worship threatened the existents of worshipping the true God, in Israel. Elijah told Ahab there would be no rain or dew for the next few years. This meant that the brooks and streams would dry up. When famine came upon the land, God hide Elijah in the Kerith Ravine and provided him with a brook, for water, and a Ravens to feed him.
- What substitutes do you prefer to God?
Without faith, your spirit is dry. When you substitute other things in the place of God, your spirit is dry. The nation of Israel was dry. Wherever there is no God in government, the nation is dry. This country seems to be headed in that direction. We have allowed atheists to take prayer out of school. Teachers cannot call the name of the Lord in fear of losing their jobs. But when you come from a family rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ, you can pray anywhere, anytime and Lord will be right there. You don’t have to say a word for the Lord knows your thoughts. When you know that you know that you know, you know the Lord is my Sheppard and I shall not want. When you know the Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear. There is no substitute for God. For Jesus is the living water. Jesus said in (John 4:14 KJV)14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
It is dangerous to think that the brooks of life will always be there and to take the blessings of God for granted. Whatever brook is in your life, you better acknowledge that it is not there because you worked for it, it is not there because you deserve it. Whatever you have, God gave it to you. You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry.
- How easily you change from fearing God to fearing powerful people
(1 Kings 19:1-2 NIV) Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
Elijah received some distributing news, that Jezebel was out to kill him for doing God’s well. So he ran for his life. Here is a man who faced the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah, besides people from all over Israel, for a show down on Mount Carmel. But when he heard bad news, it challenged him.
Life experiences challenge our character and test our spirit. Life’s wars are not merely physical but are fought on the battlefield of the mind. Along with these experiences come many questions that demand an answer. One of the first questions may be, why me? Or what am I living for? In our life’s journey we encounter some ups and downs, some joy and sadness, some trials and tribulations, nevertheless I still have joy. Jesus had his ups and downs, for you and for me. One Friday, along time ago, Jesus laid down on the cross for me. But he said, (John 12:32)..if I be lifted up from earth, will draw all men until me. Then they laid my Lord in a borrowed tomb. I often wondered why the tomb was borrowed. For when you borrow something, you must give it back. For Jesus know he had to go to the grave. And on day one, the grave held Jesus. On day two, the grave held Jesus. But on day three, the grave couldn’t hold him any longer. They say there was a shaking, a rocking, and a rolling. The stone was rolled away. An angel proclaimed, why do you seek the living among the death. He lives! He lives! Our Lord and savior is no longer dead. He lives.
** Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail.
Paul and Silas were challenged when they heard bad news.
(Acts 16:25-34) Paul and Silas, two suffering servants of God were beaten and thrown into the inner prison of Philippi. But they still had joy. How much happier are true Christians than their enemies. As in the dark and out of the depths, we cry unto God. No place and no time is amiss for prayer, if the heart be lifted up to God.
No trouble, how grievous, should hinder us from praise. But Praise is what I do. When I want to get near to Jesus. I might be sick in my body. But Priase is what I do. Your love one my have died and it seems you are all alone. But praise is what I do. (John 11:1-44) “Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead”
Paul cried aloud to make the jailer hear, and to make him heed, saying “Do thyself no harm”. Man might be able to destroy your body but they cannot touch your. We need to fear the Lord, who can destroy your body and your soul. For the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. For the fear of man can taking away your joy. It takes away the blessings that the Lord has given to you. Fear will cause you to fail. But failing doesn’t make you a failure. You must be confident in the Spirit. Fear breads fear. Know who you are in Christ. When God says “fear not”, it means do not bow down to fear. Do not put confidence in the flesh but have full confidence in God. (Phil.3:3) For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—
We need to take back what the devil has stolen from us, in the name of Jesus. In the midst of a trouble world. I have joy, unspeakable joy. The joy of the Lord is my strength. This joy that I have; the world didn’t give it and the world cannot take it away. King David had joy, when he brought the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem, and danced so hard that his clothes came off. His wife mocked him and God punished her by making her barren. But David’s dance was in worship to God. You better be careful when you make fun of Christians worshipping God.
Yet there is another question that every man must ask: How did I get where I am, which is so far from where I want to be?
To help answer these questions, I would have to declare:
What I see in Elijah:
- I see and defeated and disparate man setting under the juniper tree.
- I see a defeated Elijah suffering from burnout deep depression, and suffering from spiritual loneliness (thinking God has abandoned him).
- I see an Elijah who came to the point where he asked life’s question: How did I get into this mess? Why me?
What I see in Peter:
- I see Peter, who thinks Jesus do not love him anymore.
- I see Peter, and man so strong but weep bitterly.
It doesn’t matter what others see in you, it only matters what Jesus see in you.
(Rev.5) For you, Jesus stood as the Lamb of God. For you, he stood at the throne of the Father and took the scroll from HIS hand. (3) But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. But Jesus took the scrolls. I could imagine, Jesus told the angels, hold my crown, hold my robe, and hold my sandals. For I am going down to bring glory to the Father. I am going down to redeem man kind. I am going for Woods. I am going down Baltimore…… (John 10:29 KJV) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
- Jesus Be a Fence Around Me and He will fight my battles
You can surely trust that Jesus will protect you as you travel along the way. On the way from earth to glory. How many of you know that victory is yours in Jesus? He will fight you battles. Can I get a witness? If I could call on a witness, I would call Moses, Joshua, and Hur. Read(Exodus 17:8-12) When the Lord has battles for you to fight, he will position the right people in the right place. God put Moses on top of a hill, where the soldiers could see him with the Rod of God in his hand. This is the rod that brought them out of Egypt. As long as the rod of God was lifted high, the Israelites were winning ,but when his arms got heavy and started to come down, the Israelites started to loose. But God will place the right people, for the good of his church, at your side when you need them. Aaron and Hur took stones and built a seat for Moses. And when Moses hands grew tired, Aaron and Hur held his hands up. It is encouraging to our faith to remember all that Jesus has done for us. As the soldiers remembered how God brought them out of Egypt, we must remember that Jesus brought us out of the bondage of sin, out of darkness into His marvelous light, plant our feet on solid ground. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
When Pastor Wood’s arms get tired….. When Deacon Brooks, When deacon Townly’s arms get tired… When Deaconess Townly’s, Robert’s… arms get tired. Hold them up with prayer. Hold them up with faith. Hold them up with Love.
Life can be hard when you think you are alone. Surely, Elijah’s wilderness experience flooded his mind with the dryness of aloneness. He was separated from his family, alienated from friends, and thought God had turned his back on him. Elijah fled into the wilderness in fear for his life. What’s your excuse for fleeing into the wilderness? The fiery desert will strip you of strength, clear thoughts, and clear sight. When you get stripped, you will cry unto God for help.
(1 Kings 19:3-4) 3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
In the midst of that wilderness experience, God heard a word from Elijah. Under the juniper tree, Elijah asked God to die. It is enough to be tired of struggling with Ahabs and Jezebels of this world. It is enough to be weary from wrestling with principalities and powers. It is enough to be tired of walking in the counsel of the ungodly and standing in the way of sinners.
(Psalms 1:1-3) Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,and on his law he meditates day and night.3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Some times the winds may shatter your life but Jesus will pick up the broken pieces in your life and put them back together again. Peter, the one who boldly proclaimed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The leader of the twelve disciples, who bragged that he would never let the Lord down, denied Jesus three times. But on third time, he looked Jesus in the eye, and denied him with cursing. Peter failed because his tried he tried to perform spiritual works in the flesh. Because of this, he wept bitterly.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH; Peter though that Jesus did not love him anymore. He figured I have already messed up and blown it. There no use in trying to get it back together again.
Hold on my brothers and sisters. I have good news for. You need to lift up you hands unto the Lord. You need to proclaim with a loud voice. I’m coming with my hands up. For God has not forgotten me.
In the midst of your fire, God has not forgotten. I can remember reading about the three Hebrew boy, who were thrown into the fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:25 (KJV) He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Oh, in the midst of your wilderness, we need to pray, pray, and pray. How long will you sit under the tree having a pity party. We to stop sifting through the rubble in your life. How long will you fear man and not God? Enough IS Enough,I refuse to flee into the wilderness.I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Phil.4:12) I can do all things through Christ Which strengtheneth me. (Jer 29:12) Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearhen unto you.
- Whom are you trying to imitate when you are lead to depart from God?
Shall we, be like the children of Israel, stop singing praises unto God and sing to get praises for men? How long will you continue to kiss idols in your life. Anything that you love more than God, is an idol. Anything that you bow down too, is an idol. Is your love for things and the trust of them more than your love and trust for God? These things will cause you to depart from God. What can separate you from God? Sin has separated all men from God. That’s why we need Jesus. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. For whomsoever call unto the name of the Lord, shall be saved. What can wash away my sins, Nothing blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh, the blood of Jesus will never lose it power.
Elijah’s argument was not only with Ahab and Jezebel but with God. If he was ready to die, Jezebel would have gladly taken his life while he was in Jezreel. He waited until he was in Beersheba to ask God to take his life. That leads me to say, that everybody who talks about dying isn’t ready to die. Elijah ran from Jezebel over one hundred miles. Even today, the Ahabs and Jezebels of this world are chasing you. Your running away from the bottle. Your are running away from that pipe, or that weed. But worst of all you are running from God. You are trying to hide in the midst of the garden. God call out to Adam, where art thou. God knew where Adam was. Just has he knows where you are. HE knows where you are in relationship with HIM.
Psalm 139:7-10 (KJV) Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
(1 Kings 19:11 NIV) The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
The Lord appeared unto Elijah on Mount Sani. God invited Elijah to come into presence. God invites us to come into His presence daily. But somehow, we missed the invitation. It is not that God have not been speaking, it’s just that we’ve not been in the right place to give God’s word our ear. We need to ask God to put us in a place where we can hear from Him. (Exo 33:11 NIV) The Lord would speak to moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. For the Lord knew Moses by name and found favor with the Lord. But Moses wasn’t satisfied with hearing the Lord’s voice. He asked the Lord to show him his glory. MY! MY! MY! (Exo. 33:19-23) 19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
Being in the right place to hear from the Lord.
- God invites us to sup with Him: (Rev. 3:20 KJV) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
- God invites us to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
- God invites us to be His heart and His hands.
- God invites us to make disciples of all men.
The Lord sent His angel in the form of a raven to feed Elijah. The Lord is telling you that you don’t have enough for your journey. You may reply, “What journey, I am through, I am all washed up.” But God says,”you are not through, Elijah. I am going to send you to Mount Horeb(Sani). I am going to send you where the burning burn is still on fire. Where the burning bush is still on fire.
In the wilderness there is weekness, but on the mountain there is strength. In the wilderness there is loneliness, but on the mountain there is companionship. In the wilderness there is despair, but on the mountain there is joy.
You don’t have to tell God when Enough is Enough.
He knows when our burdens get you down.
He knows when we are disappointed.
He knows when the brook runs dry.
You don’t have to tell God when Enough is Enough.
He knows when to says, “Enough is Enough”.
He knows when to say, “You have fought a good fight”.
He knows when to say, “Well done, thou good a faithful servant”.
GOD HAS NOT FORGOT.IF GOD SAID HE WILL DO IT, IT WILL COME TO PASS. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED, GOD HAS NOT FORGOT.
YOU HAVE THE VICTORY IN JESUS CHRIST!!!
IN HIM YOU CAN SAY, DEVIL ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !