Tag Archives: prophet

Getting God’s Attention

From my earliest childhood, I remember hearing the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel from I Kings 18. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Elijah was the sole prophet of God in the land, and the people were following false gods. He called out the prophets of Baal and challenged them to a public duel on top of the mountain. They each prepared a sacrifice and would pray to their god to see whose was real. The god who was real would answer by fire and burn the sacrifice up.

The prophets of Baal prayed hard for fire. When there was no answer, they started jumping around and stomping as they prayed. When there still wasn’t an answer, they prayed louder and then began to cut themselves to get their god’s attention. Verse 29 sums it up, “This went on until well past noon. They used every religious trick and strategy they knew to make something happen on the altar, but nothing happened—not so much as a whisper, not a flicker of response” (MSG). For hours they tried to earn their god’s attention and failed.

I always thought very poorly of those prophets and even laughed at the way Elijah mocked them. But now I wonder if we are any different than they were. We may serve the God who won that duel, but we have resorted to their tactics to get His attention. We seem to believe that there is something you and I can do to earn His favor or to get an answer to prayer. We pray loudly, we stomp, we circle and even put ourselves in danger to test God to get Him to answer. But God isn’t looking for that from us.

What He’s looking for is found in verse 37. In Elijah’s prayer, he said, “Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people will know that you, the Lord, are God, and that you are bringing them back to yourself” (GNB). The prayers God responds to are ones that bring Him glory and allow Him to do the work. They have nothing to do with bringing attention to ourselves. Religion is all about working to get a god’s attention to come to us, but Christianity is about letting God draw us to Him. It’s not about what we do; it’s about what He does.

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Truth or Consequences

Do you have what it takes to do what’s right when everyone is telling you to do otherwise? We all face choices like this in our lives. For some the consequences are higher than for others. Would you be willing to lose your job over doing what God told you versus what’s politically correct? Would you be willing to risk your life? Would you be willing to go to jail? The choices I’m presenting are faced by Christians all over the world every single day.

It’s nothing new. We just don’t hear about it on the news. I personally know people who would lose their lives if caught for doing what God asked them to do. The choice is, “Do I value myself greater than God’s Word?” If you value what God says above anything else, you’re willing to take that risk. You still aren’t guaranteed security just because you do what’s right. What is guaranteed is favor with God, which should be valued higher than favor with man.

In I Kings 22, King Ahab and King Jehoshaphat teamed up to go to war to retake one of King Ahab’s cities. King Ahab sent for his prophets to tell him whether he’d be victorious. The 400 prophets spoke in unison to the king and said he’d be victorious. Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet from The Lord here?” Ahab said there was one, but he always prophesied against him. Jehoshaphat said that they should hear from him too. So they sent a messenger to get him.

Here’s where it gets interesting. In verse 13, the messenger gets to Micaiah and says, “Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure to agree with them and promise success.” The Bible doesn’t say, but I’m sure he was instructed by someone above him to relay that message. The message came through loud and clear, “It will be bad for you if you don’t do what’s politically correct. Agree with all the others or else (My version).”

Micaiah had a choice to make. He could choose to bow to the pressure of what the rest of the “prophets” were saying or he could seek God for himself to see what God said. He chose to have a little fun. When Ahab asked him, he said, “Go ahead. An easy victory. God’s gift to the king (MSG).” King Ahab knew he wasn’t telling the truth and demanded it from him. So he told him that not only would he be defeated, but he would also be killed in the battle.

One of the men with King Ahab walked up and punched him in the face (look it up if you don’t believe me). The king then ordered that he be arrested and to only be given bread and water until he returned from battle safely. King Ahab was killed that day as the prophet had spoken. The bible doesn’t say what happened to Micaiah, but even if he spent the rest of his life in jail, he knew that it was more important to obey God than man.

What choices are you facing today? Are they opposed to God? Is it more popular to go with the public opinion? Ultimately what matters is your obedience to what God says. While its easier to follow the crowd or to do what others deem as acceptable, God’s Word is the standard for our lives. Here’s what Jesus said, “If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you. (John 15:18, 19 MSG)” Where do you stand?

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Truth or Consequences

Do you have what it takes to do what’s right when everyone is telling you to do otherwise? We all face choices like this in our lives. For some the consequences are higher than for others. Would you be willing to lose your job over doing what God told you versus what’s politically correct? Would you be willing to risk your life? Would you be willing to go to jail? The choices I’m presenting are faced by Christians all over the world every single day.

It’s nothing new. We just don’t hear about it on the news. I personally know people who would lose their lives if caught for doing what God asked them to do. The choice is, “Do I value myself greater than God’s Word?” If you value what God says above anything else, you’re willing to take that risk. You still aren’t guaranteed security just because you do what’s right. What is guaranteed is favor with God, which should be valued higher than favor with man.

In I Kings 22, King Ahab and King Jehoshaphat teamed up to go to war to retake one if King Ahab’s cities. King Ahab sent for his prophets to tell him whether he’d be victorious. The 400 prophets spoke in unison to the king and said he’d be victorious. Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet from The Lord here?” Ahab said there was one, but he always prophesied against him. Jehoshaphat said that they should hear from him too. So they sent a messenger to get him.

Here’s where it gets interesting. In verse 13, the messenger gets to Micaiah and says, “Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure to agree with them and promise success.” The Bible doesn’t say, but I’m sure he was instructed by someone above him to relay that message. The message came through loud and clear, “It will be bad for you if you don’t do what’s politically correct. Agree with all the others or else (My version).”

Micaiah had a choice to make. He could choose to bow to the pressure of what the rest of the “prophets” were saying or he could seek God for himself to see what God said. He chose to have a little fun. When Ahab asked him, he said, “Go ahead. An easy victory. God’s gift to the king (MSG).” King Ahab knew he wasn’t telling the truth and demanded it from him. So he told him that not only would he be defeated, but he would also be killed in the battle.

One of the men with King Ahab walked up and punched him in the face (look it up if you don’t believe me). The king then ordered that he be arrested and to only be given bread and water until he returned from battle safely. King Ahab was killed that day as the prophet had spoken. The bible doesn’t say what happened to Micaiah, but even if he spent the rest of his life in jail, he knew that it was more important to obey God than man.

What choices are you facing today? Are they opposed to God? Is it more popular to go with the public opinion? Ultimately what matters is your obedience to what God says. While its easier to follow the crowd or to do what others deem as acceptable, God’s Word is the standard for our lives. Here’s what Jesus said, “If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you. (John 15:18, 19 MSG)” Where do you stand?

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