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The Agony of Victory [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2022 5:00 am

The Agony of Victory [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. What the Lord says is it never was about how much you do.

It's always been about what Jesus has done for you. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see yourself in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, Free Yourself, Be Yourself. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It could be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. As you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright.

There's something that can feel really empty after you've given your all, done your best, and even won the trophy on the other side of it when you start feeling like maybe that wasn't enough. Nowhere is this pictured in the scripture more poignantly than the story of one of the greatest, greatest miracle workers, greatest men of faith in the Bible, Elijah. Elijah, if you want to follow along, it's in 1 Kings 18 where we come to this incredible big confrontation between Elijah, the prophet of God, the true God, and all of these prophets of Baal. And this is a conflict for the ages because this is all about the conflict of the true God and the false gods. This is all about the idolatry of the people up against the true, living God of the universe. And we come to this in 1 Kings chapter 18 and to set the stage, there's been a growing conflict here between King Ahab and Elijah. And here's how this contest is going to be settled.

It's going to come down to a contest on Mount Carmel. And there, they're going to gather all these 450 prophets of Baal, and then there's going to be Elijah. And Elijah proposes a contest in which we'll each take an offering of a bull and put it on the altar. And then, whosoever God comes down and consumes it with fire, we'll say, that's the true God.

I mean, what a moment, what a contest. And he just says, this is the way we're going to do this. And so they say, yeah, okay, we've got 450 prophets of Baal.

They're all pumped up with this. And so they offer their bull onto the altar. And this is where it really picks up reading in verse 26 where really the suspense builds. And they took, this is 1 Kings 18, 26, they took the bull that was given them and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, oh, Baal, answer us. But there was no voice and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. What a great line. They're just limping around.

Oh, Baal, Baal. They're just calling on everything within them. And at noon, Elijah mocked them. Now, I'm not recommending this to pastors, but in this case, Elijah had the authority to do so. So he mocked them. And you wouldn't believe that this is what he said unless it's right here in the Bible. This is what Elijah said.

At noon, Elijah mocked them and said, cry aloud. Or cry out, shout louder. For he's a God. See, he's mocking like, you know, he's a God. Yeah, call louder to him.

That's all you need to do. And this is what's really funny. He says, either he is musing or he is relieving himself.

Baal's going potty. So maybe you just need to call out a little longer. He said, or maybe he's on a journey or perhaps he's asleep and must be awakened.

I mean, this is some audacity. This is some bold stuff here from Elijah. He's saying, call out louder.

Maybe he's just, you know, indisposed at the moment or perhaps he's asleep and all you need to do is just call out louder. Which by the way, side point, what a picture of the folly of religion that says that I need to do something in order to move God. See, other than the Christian gospel, all religions are essentially in one way or another saying, I'm going to make a sacrifice.

I'm going to do something. I'm going to in some way earn or cause God to move on our behalf. And the Christian gospel says precisely the opposite. That at exactly the right time, Christ died for the ungodly while we were still in our sin. And what we say is exactly the opposite and that is there's not one thing that you can do to add to or take away from the love of God in Jesus Christ. You're out of the picture.

He's already set his love upon you. So this is a picture of paganism. This is a picture of all religion that stands in opposition to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. So it says in verse 28, they cried aloud and they cut themselves. They called out for three hours to him and then at noon they said, well, maybe if we just start flagellating ourselves, he'll do something for us. Their blood gushed out upon them and as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice, no one answered, no one paid attention. Then Elijah said to all the people, come near me. And all the people came near to him and he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. And Elijah took 12 stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob to whom the word of the Lord came saying, Israel shall be your name. And with the stones, he built an altar in the name of the Lord and he made a trench about the altar as great as would contain two seers of seed. And he put their name, he describes how all this did.

And then this is the boldness of Elijah. He says, now fill jars, four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood. And then he said, do it a second time.

He said, do it a third time. And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench around with water. So he has doused the thing with water so nobody would be confused thinking that somehow a spark had emerged and had caught the thing on fire.

It was drenched with water. And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, oh Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and I have done all these things at your word. Oh answer me, oh Lord, answer me that this people may know that you, oh Lord, are God and that you have turned their backs. And the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces. There's 450 prophets of Baal that have been crying out to God, lacerating themselves with their swords. And they see this and they fall down on their face and they say, the Lord, Yahweh, the Lord, He is God, Yahweh, He is God. And Elijah said, seize them.

They seized all the prophets of Baal and let none escape. This is one of the coolest stories in the Bible. This story is about a man of God who has got so much faith, so much confidence that it's almost unbelievable, this man Elijah.

What a victory. Which makes it so surprising that you'd come to chapter 19 and find out what happens in the next scene. In the very next scene, chapter 19 verse 2, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying, so may the gods do to me and more also if I do not make your life as a life of one of them by this time tomorrow, speaking of all the slain prophets. And you would just think that Elijah would just say in his heart, well, who is this woman? I'm not going to be scared of one woman right now because I just seen God just destroy 450 pagan prophets.

Send word back to her and said, you know, go back home, not worried about you. I mean, something like that. But instead the text says, Elijah was afraid and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree and he asked that he might die saying, it is enough now, oh Lord, take away my life for I'm no better than my father's.

He was depressed to the point of suicide. It's a strange thing, but don't ever think that any measure of success is going to make you suddenly immune from the spiritual battle and don't ever think that you're ever going to reach a certain goal or milestone in your life where shame won't try to find a place in your heart. Can you imagine what it would be like to be accepted perfectly?

Envision it. Being free to be yourself with no fear of rejection. If you mess up, people don't roll their eyes, make fun of you or love you less.

Imagine no more of that anxious feeling that you get deep down in your gut that makes you feel like the pressure is always on so you can never really relax. What you're imagining and longing for is a life with no shame. In Paradise, before sin came into the world, the Bible tells us only one thing about Adam and Eve's relationship.

They were naked and felt no shame. Ever since the fall, the human heart has been riddled with shame. It's a lie that says, until you measure up, you can't be truly acceptable. Shame causes some to say, I'll try to be perfect in order to be accepted and others to decide, since I'll never measure up, I might as well rebel.

Either way, the heart is poisoned by shame and there is only one antidote, the grace of God in Jesus Christ. In his highly acclaimed book, Free Yourself, Be Yourself, Pastor Alan Wright not only exposes the lies of shame, he leads you into a revolution of God's love that heals your soul. Discover freedom, joy, and destiny as you shed performance-based living and let God take the shame off you for good. It's a life-changing, full-length book from Alan Wright.

Free yourself, be yourself. The Gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.

When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org.

Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. I'm no better than my ancestors.

They all failed and now I've failed. And you want to grab them by the shoulders and say, Elijah, you just saw God move in an amazing way. What are you talking about? No, but he is depressed. But God is good because the second part of verse 5 says, Behold, an angel touched him and said to him, Arise and eat. And he looked and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, Arise and eat for the journey is too great for you.

And he rose and ate and drank and went in the strength of that food 40 days and 40 nights to Horeb the mount of God. I'm touched by the ministry of this angel and it makes me aware of just how much God wants to minister to you and to me when we are in the agony of defeat. There is a ministry that he has and the first part of it is that he touched Elijah. I'll be sharing some personally in a later one of our video sessions just about the touch of God in my life because you know we all have a testimony. It's all different.

Nobody has the same story. But there is a big part of my story and almost everyone that I know who has ever experienced real healing from God that would just be called the touch of the Holy Spirit. It might be John Wesley who said that in a moment he felt like his heart had been strangely warmed. It might be someone like Elijah will experience in the next moments in this ensuing scene in his life where he heard a still small voice. It might be something dramatic that happens in which God just absolutely envelops you with his presence, fills you with his Holy Spirit and manifests himself in powerful and miraculous ways. All of these and many other ways are all part of the touch of God. But it is to say that God does not heal us and transform us merely by giving us principles to live on.

He is actually real to us. I'm mindful of the little girl that woke up in the middle of the night and she was having a bad dream. Her mother came in and tucked her back in bed and said, now remember you know you're okay in here because God is always with you. And as the mother was walking out the little girl said yeah but I want somebody with skin on. God came with skin on to be close to us and Jesus said it's better I go away because the Holy Spirit will come and be with you. The angel came and just touched him. You know if you know somebody in your life and they really are in need maybe the first and most important thing you could ever do is just be near them. Not a whole lot of words, just the ministry of being present and sometimes just the ministry of just taking someone's hand just the physical touch. I noticed that the angel touched him.

That's part of the healing of shame. And then he gave him nourishment. He said here take this and eat it.

Gave him drink. In a very real sense he was physically depleted and this was important that he be nourished. But you also get a sense that it's almost like a picture of spiritual food. It's almost like something prefiguring or reminding us of communion. It's like take into your body the grace that is being offered to you. Take into your being. Here is nourishment, real spiritual nourishment. What we're seeing here is sort of the anatomy or the unfolding of how we can be lifted up out of a place of real shame.

The touch of God and then actively taking in the nourishment of the Lord, receiving the grace that the Lord has for us. And then this is what I'm especially taken by is he said to Elijah, the angel said for the journey is too great for you. What a thing to say to somebody. The journey is too great for you.

On the first glance you'd think well that's not encouraging at all. I once heard of a seminary student who would go around telling everybody I will go far in the ministry. I will go far in the ministry.

And he'd tell it to other classmates and he'd tell it to the professors and he'd tell it to the administrators. I will go far in the ministry. I'm going to go really far in the ministry.

And finally some student just confronted him and said you know John listen you keep saying this all the time. I'm going to go far in the ministry. I'm going to go far in the ministry.

I mean are you just boastful or do you feel like you got some kind of word from the Lord? He said well no neither of that. He said it's just what my professors told me. He said John you got a long way to go. So ever since I heard that little story I've thought you know it's not a bad thing if you've got a long way to go because that means you can go a long way from where you are right now. So when the angel said to him get up and eat because this journey is too much for you he was saying you have a great journey in front of you. See the answer for Elijah at this moment was to be reminded that your life wasn't about reaching up to this one pinnacle moment at Mount Carmel. It wasn't about you building up to this moment where you suddenly defeat all the prophets of Baal and finally God shows himself. It wasn't about all leading up to this. It's a journey.

It is a walk. And this moment, this high celebratory powerful miraculous moment was a great moment in your life but it was just a moment. You have got a journey right now that is greater than what you have previously imagined. What Elijah doesn't know is that there's going to be one who's going to follow him and Elijah's going to take off his mantle and he's going to put it onto Elisha and Elisha if you count him up has twice as many miracles as Elijah.

He doesn't know that there's a legacy that he's going to leave. He doesn't understand all that is going to take place just like at this very moment you have no idea what God is going to do still in your life and there's a real sense in which the word of the Lord to you is therefore get up take spiritual nourishment experience the touch of God but remember this the journey is great that is in front of you. There is a journey that is great in front of you. So the thing that awakens us the thing that draws us out of our deepest depression is not that we've somehow finished our race but when we realize that there's more to run there's more to do. And Elijah I think has an awakening himself because as I said it's in the next scene where he experiences that the voice of God comes not in all the thunderous noises and rushing winds but it comes like a still small voice almost like the Lord saying Elijah I've got you by the hand. It was not about you defeating those prophets.

It was not about the great miracles. It's about a walk with me. Sometimes I wake up on Monday morning and it's my hardest time. Sometimes it doesn't wait until Monday morning.

Sometimes it's just Sunday night. By the time that you just pour yourself out in ministry and see the hand of God and see all this. And then you wake up in the midst of ordinary life and ordinary bills to pay and problems that you've confront and that's life. And there's a temptation for us to hear a voice of shame that says see the problem is no matter how much you do it will never be enough so you might as well give up. But what the Lord says is it never was about how much you do.

It's always been about what Jesus has done for you. So don't build your life God's saying on just trying to reach these pinnacle moments where you feel like you've accomplished everything. Instead rest in the fact that you're on a journey and God is going to keep walking with you every step of the way. That's the gospel. Alan Wright, today's teaching, The Agony of Victory, our conclusion to this particular teaching but the series will continue. It's free yourself, be yourself. And today we'll continue with Pastor Alan in just a few moments with a parting good news thought.

So stick with us. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement get Alan Wright's daily blessing.

It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Can you imagine what it would be like to be accepted perfectly? Envision it. Being free to be yourself with no fear of rejection. If you mess up people don't roll their eyes, make fun of you or love you less. Ever since the fall the human heart has been riddled with shame.

It's a lie that says until you measure up you can't be truly acceptable. In his highly acclaimed book, Free Yourself, Be Yourself, Pastor Alan Wright not only exposes the lies of shame, he leads you into a revolution of God's love that heals your soul. Discover freedom, joy, and destiny as you shed performance-based living and let God take the shame off you for good. It's a life-changing full-length book from Alan Wright.

Free yourself, be yourself. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.

When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Back now with Pastor Alan in the studio and our parting good news thought for the day. What's our takeaway?

I think it's the word of the angel to the depressed prophet Elijah. It's time to get up and eat because the journey ahead is a great one. It's time to take nourishment. It's time to be filled again because there is a long way still to go. That you're not finished and God's not finished with you yet. And sometimes when you have reached the highest pinnacle, you feel like, well, I've done all that I can do. And yet shame still lies close at hand. And it's in that moment God says, no, I'm going to take you by the hand and we've got more in front of us.

That's what hope does. And may the God of all hope fill you and refresh you so you can move on under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other resources at pastoralan.org. That's pastoralan.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-20 07:48:52 / 2023-01-20 07:57:59 / 9

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