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You Are Greater than Elijah!

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Matthew 11.11 says “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Think about that statement for a minute! The group of people born of women includes Elijah, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joshua, Hosea and Elisha! And Jesus said clearly that John the Baptist was greater than all of them. And then Jesus said – just as clearly – that the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John.

Do you realize the magnitude of what Jesus has said? You might be the worst Christian on the planet, the least Christian in the history of the world – but you are greater than Isaiah, than David, than Abraham, than Moses, than Elijah!

You are a born again Christian. You are right with God. You have the same spirit inside you that raised Christ from the dead. You can speak and it happens. You can live a life of freedom, grace and wisdom that the Old Testament Christians could only dream about!

They had to beg for the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit lives in you and will never leave you.
They had a set of commandments to obey to be blessed, you are already blessed.
They had accredited righteousness, you have been made righteous.
They had faith in God, you have the faith of God inside you
They had dead spirits, you have a living spirit.
They had to contend with the accuser of the brethren, you live in an age where the devil has been completely dealt with.

Silence is Golden

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I am sitting here late at night and the whole family is asleep. The house is exceptionally quiet, and it is very pleasant. Don’t get me wrong – I love being the father of four, but there is not often I have a chance for a little still!

But that got me thinking about Elijah and his desire to encounter God. God wasn’t in the earthquake and God wasn’t in the fire. God was in the still, small voice.

Yet it seems to me that within the charismatic world all we do is about the earthquake and the fire. Fire conferences, fire clubs, fire meetings, shake the nations songs and worship, the whole lot. We are all looking for revival, all looking for that next explosion.

What if God isn’t in the revival? What if God isn’t in the conference? What if God isn’t in the explosion?

What if God is in the still and the small? What if God is in you baking a cake for your lonely neighbour? What if God is in the encouraging text to the discouraged Christian? What if God is in you turning off the dull insipid TV programme and reading a chapter or two of the Bible and thinking about His love and grace?

We all admire the spectacular, but what if in our search for the spectacular we are missing the supernatural. There was no healing meeting in the book of Acts. Peter healed the beggar on the way to the church, and then saw salvations. We would have taken the beggar to the meeting, and made him listen to I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE a thousand times because we think God is in the FIRE, not in the small voice: I have something, and I am going to give it to you.

Philip walked away from the revival and the joy and the healings to go and minister to one hungry man reading the Scriptures who wanted to know the Messiah.

Paul interrupted his letter to the Philippians, his favourite church, to ensure a couple of ladies were speaking to each other.

Maybe you don’t have the skills to change a nation, but you can change one person’s life. Today (or possibly tomorrow as it is pretty much bed time here) you could take a small, still, peaceful action and lead someone into a better life.

I am not against numbers, I am not anti-numbers. I was told by God to move to London and build a church of thousands. But this week we took our Living Church (house church, cell, whatever label suits you) and broke it into two groups. It went from one group of 13-15 to two groups of about 6. And the testimonies from the two groups were exponentially more than the testimonies from the one. Why? Silence. The still and the small. People could share issues, people could discuss, people weren’t afraid to share their soul.

Sometimes loud is awesome. But God was in the still. So why are our churches sometimes the least quiet places on the planet?

Today I ask you: just for a day, don’t beg God for fire or for an earthquake in your life, but just listen to the still and the small and follow that. I believe that in the long run you will see more results than just sitting and expecting an earthquake to throw everything in your lap.

A Place Called “There” (Andrew Wommack)

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A Place Called There, by Andrew Wommack

The Bible says,

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are” (James 5:17).

Yet he was mightily used of God. This reference is talking about the time Elijah became so despondent that he asked God to kill him (1 Kin. 19:4).

Elijah wasn’t perfect; yet he called fire down from heaven three times; he was the first person to raise someone from the dead; he caused the greatest revival in history up to that point; his word started and ended a three-year drought; he multiplied food miraculously; and he is one of only two men who never died—he was caught up alive into heaven. There is a lot we can learn from a man like this, both positive and negative.

The Bible gives little background on Elijah. It wasn’t his pedigree or education that brought him into a position of influence and power. Elijah was nobody until he received a word from God. It was the revelation God gave him that put him into a position of leadership.

Likewise, anyone who is born again, or baptized in the Holy Spirit, or has a good relationship with the Lord, has a revelation from God too. Just as Elijah’s revelation from God put him into a position of influence, anyone who has a revelation of God has the potential to influence others also. The only difference is that Elijah knew what he had and was bold enough to speak.

Many of us have been intimidated by the ungodly. We aren’t boldly speaking the truth we have from the Lord. What if Elijah hadn’t spoken that prophecy to King Ahab? The drought may have occurred anyway, but Elijah wouldn’t have been able to use it to affect the nation. The people would have dismissed the drought as a natural occurrence.

Elijah was bold enough to speak before there was any proof that what he was saying would come to pass. That took faith and great courage.

When the drought came as promised, Elijah became the most sought after man in the nation:

“As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not” (1 Kin. 18:10).

If we would speak forth the truths God has shown us, just like Elijah, the truths we speak would ultimately prevail.

Elijah didn’t have all the answers or know what would happen next when he spoke the prophecy to King Ahab (1 Kin. 17:1). Ahab had forbidden worship of the true God, instituting Baal worship. He killed the prophets of the Lord, and Elijah was putting himself in harm’s way by obeying the Lord.

It wasn’t until after Elijah delivered the word of the Lord, that God spoke to him about how He would protect and sustain him.

First Kings 17:2-4 says,

“And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.”

One of the great lessons we can learn here is that God doesn’t reveal His complete plan immediately. He reveals His will to us one step at a time. After we obey the first step, He shows us the next. Why should the Lord show us step two or ten if we haven’t obeyed step one? That would just make us more accountable. So, don’t try to figure out the next step until you have acted on what you know to do now. That’s a powerful truth.

The Lord told Elijah to go to the Brook Cherith. He had already commanded the ravens to bring Elijah bread and meat “THERE” every morning and evening. This was miraculous! What a provision during a terrible time!

But notice this: The Lord didn’t send Elijah’s provision to where he was. A quarterback doesn’t throw the football to where the receiver is, but where the receiver is going. Elijah’s miracle wasn’t where he was but where the Lord was sending him. That’s awesome!

Each of us has a place called “THERE,” where the blessings of the Lord are waiting. The Lord never fails to provide, but people often fail to receive because they aren’t all “THERE.” If Elijah had not gone to his place called “THERE,” his disobedience would not have stopped God’s faithfulness; however, he would not have received the provision; it was over “THERE,” by the Brook Cherith.

This is exactly what is happening to many of us. The Lord has placed something on our hearts to say or do. But, if we haven’t obeyed, we aren’t in our place of “THERE.” We aren’t seeing God’s provision, because we aren’t in that place of obedience.

I’ve heard many people say the Lord told them to attend Charis Bible College. But they just can’t see how it could happen. They want to see the Lord’s provision before they go “THERE.” That’s not how it works.

Some of you are not seeing God’s provision because you aren’t doing what He has told you to do. This doesn’t mean the Lord is punishing you. If Elijah hadn’t gone “THERE,” he would have lost his provision. The Lord has provision for you too, but it’s “THERE.”

This place called “THERE” changes. God changed the place and method of Elijah’s provision:

“And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee” (1 Kin. 17:8-9).

You can’t just seek the Lord once, hear His voice, step out in faith, and then stop listening. The Lord brings us into His perfect will step by step. Elijah moved when the Lord told him to move.

This led Elijah to the city of Zarephath where he asked a widow to give him the last of her food. It looked like he was taking from this woman, but he was actually giving to her. Instead of this being her last meal before dying, the Lord multiplied this woman’s supplies, which kept her, her son, and Elijah alive for about three years (1 Kin. 17:15-16). What a great miracle!

That wasn’t all the widow received. Her faithfulness in giving caused her son to be raised from the dead (1 Kin. 17:17-23). She had been operating in faith every day. She would use the last bit of oil and meal for Elijah and then find that there was always enough to make a cake for herself and her son. This was a great faith builder, which I’m sure figured into the miracle of her son.

Elijah went on to call fire down from heaven and consume a sacrifice in the sight of all of the people of Israel (1 Kin. 18:36-38). The people who saw it cried out, “The Lord, He is the God. The Lord, He is the God.” They killed all the prophets of Baal, and the whole nation turned to the Lord.

That same day, Elijah prayed and ended the drought by a great rain storm (1 Kin. 18:41-45). He was so pumped, he outran Ahab’s chariot in a twenty-mile race after Ahab had a head start. Elijah was excited!

Here is a very important lesson: After great victories come great temptations. This is primarily because we lose our sense of humility and dependence upon God (1 Kin. 19:4). Elijah had successfully defied the king, his armies, his prophets, and all the people in the nation. But the next day, a note from a woman caused him to run in terror (1 Kin. 19:2-3).

The Lord appeared to Elijah and asked, “What are you doing HERE, Elijah?” (1 Kin. 19:9). Elijah wasn’t “THERE” anymore. His place called “THERE” was back in Samaria. People were now worshiping the true God, but Elijah had run away in fear, leaving the people without a leader.

This resulted in the Lord replacing Elijah with Elisha. Elijah’s ministry fell short of what it could have been. The Lord actually spoke to Elijah in an audible voice. He told him to do three things, one of which was to anoint Elisha to replace him (1 Kin. 19:15-16). Elijah anointed Elisha (1 Kin. 19:19), but didn’t do the other two things. That means Elijah failed in two-thirds of the things the Lord told him to do. That’s amazing.

You might think this meant Elijah was washed up and was never used of God again. That’s not the case. Elijah went on to prophesy (1 Kin. 21:17-24), and he called the fire of God down two more times (2 Kin. 1:9-12). And most impressive of all, Elijah never died; he was caught up into heaven by a whirlwind (2 Kin. 2:11).

This man, who failed miserably, still walked so closely with God that he never died. This speaks volumes to us. The Lord has never had anyone working for Him yet who was qualified. He uses us in spite of what we do, and not because of what we do. If we will hold on to our faith, we can still experience wonderful things from the Lord even after failing BIG TIME. What powerful truths.

Deal With Your Unbelief – Don’t Excuse It!

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If you read Matthew 17 where the disciples ask Jesus why they couldn’t heal the boy his response isn’t “Because of my divine will” or “it simply isn’t the right time” or “we need to bind the demonic strongholds over the town for several days” or “the gifts passed away with Elijah” or “you never know what God is going to do.” His response to the question “why couldn’t we heal” is “because of your unbelief”.

The contemporary church cannot deal with that answer. Psychological and new age ideas have convinced us that we should never take responsibility for anything. Calvinism has taught us erroneously that our destiny is simply the tapestry of God’s will being played out and we are helpless pawns in the game of life.

However there is a rise of people who realize that the reason the church is not doing the works of Jesus is because it does not believe in Him according to the Word. A people who are pulling down the strongholds not over their city but between their ears so that their minds are renewed to the Word of God. A people who will do signs and wonders and preach the gospel to the nations. A people who will obey the Lord no matter the cost, no matter the persecution. A people who will deal with their unbelief and through faith will subdue kingdoms, work righteousness and win nations.

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