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January 3, 2021 3:00 pm
Welcome to living in the light with Bible teacher and Graham lots in today's message from the life of Elijah. The world is attracted to the lie not just more darkness somehow you trying to entrap in this week's living in the light and turns our attention to Elijah first Kings chapter headings like feeling the pressure to make up their minds to follow a pressure sensing in your own life peers and with verse 21 he went before the people and he said how long will you waiver between two opinions. God is God's folly. The people all said. Then he had to confront the legislators trying to reach the people, by the way buddy can't wake them up so he's trying to now to reach the religious leaders in this confrontation with the religious leaders after the hearts of the people in the way goes after them so interesting and he draws a sharp contrast between himself and these hypocritical counterfeits, religious leaders, these frauds religious fraud is present by Ellen Preece of Ashtoreth, not worshiping anything but rocks and stones withhold an enormous emotional control over the people and so lodges going to draw contrast in deposits in two different ways. One, just within the church because I think some of them were trying to attract people and get them to come into the church and we want them to be saved and there are use this term and I'm not really against seeker friendly churches, but the be seeker friendly to be so much like the world and to attract them by being what's around them all day every day anyway. Praise the contrast that I don't believe that we attract the world by trying to be like the world attract the world by drawing a contrast the world is attracted to the light, not just more darkness. So how are you trying to attract the world in the second round like to apply this is that I think personally God can help us in this when he allows suffering to come into our lives and the apostle Peter said that, don't be surprised when the star child comes because is come, that your faith would be revealed because you know something when everything's going well in your life and you talk about Jesus we witness for Jesus.
And you're always praising Jesus and nobody pays anything as anybody can do that. It's when your kids are rebelling and it's when people talk about you behind your back and you just run out of the money in the bank and may be gotten fired. Your health is deteriorated in your praising Jesus and telling people about Jesus than you know something, the world sits up and takes notice. They want you Jesus and it's the difference they see in your life that attracts them to him and sometimes they don't see the difference until were in a hard place as the contrast of the suffering in our lives with the way we handle it that displays the glory of Jesus and causes other people to see his beauty in our lives. So lodges going to draw contrast and what he does. He tells these religious frauds were going to have a contest and you build an altar.
Abdul Donald are okay and you slaughter a bull in many little pieces and put on top of the all from the wood on the altar and okay and I'll do the same. He did and then you going to call on your Godspell: God in the first God sends down the far will be God.
Except I might let you go first so the prophets agreed they built their alternate but the word on the top and they cut up the bull and put it on top and then they began to call on bail and they called on him and they called on women's about noon still calling on them so larger. He must've been a character when he started mocking them and maybe is hard of hearing maybes taken a vacation maybe is indisposed in her call a little bit louder so they start the day. Then they started to slash themselves going into this crazy time. They were so exhausted they collapse the night because there God is not God, it was just a bunch of rituals, traditions, and ceremonies just institution organization that enabled them to keep hold of those people all the things about religion that everybody hates and severe collapse in a heap in the lodges is okay. Are you finished finished and he said now it's my turn and he rebuilds the altar, but somewhat on the top chops of the ball puts on top. In any that something so interesting. He tells the people to get some water. He hasn't dig a trench around the altar and nieces get some water and port on the bowl over the wood so it goes down the rocks and goes into the trench they did and he said not do it again and they did and he said I do it again and ate until the water filled the trench around what was Elijah doing Elijah was making it very clear that if that bull was even cinched it was because God's he was just drawing such a contrast that everybody would see the glory of God. When the fire came down with the water on your altar so people can see the glory of God.
So stop complaining about the things you don't have for you know the inadequacies of whatever God puts his glory in clay pots doesn't think so. Go through this confrontation ends Elijah. Let me read you what he says because I want to put in his words verse 36 at the time of sacrifice. The prophet Elijah stepped forward and he prayed all Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant, and have done all these things that your command and me oh Lord answered me to these people will know that you oh Lord our God that you're turning their hearts back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the soil and licked up the water in the trench when all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried the Lord he is God, the Lord he is God and there's tremendous victory. He had confronted the political leaders and religious leaders of people in the all seeing when he drew the contrast that our God is God and God received all the glory.
Then Elijah got the people together and they slaughtered all freeze to sojourn glory into it but they had to be eradicated. The free up these people so that they can serve the living God. Tremendous victory didn't make that as a pressure point. Sometimes it is not just say this watch outs when you've had tremendous victory because after victory almost always comes about. So Elijah tells a hand in verse 41 go get something to eat.
Ahab I'm assuming didn't and Elijah went up on Mount caramel and here we see the eighth pressure point, which is separation because Elijah everybody else out there in a victory celebration of their praising God what they're doing on the Ahab's eating and Elijah is fast is going without so that he can make time to pray because his works have finished.
Are there times when you have to separate from everybody else and everybody else may be his gun at the dinner. Everybody else went to get pizza.
Everybody else went shopping.
Everybody else's meeting for golf everybody else's enough. Whatever they do and you have to get along. Fasting is not just going without food it's going without anything and everything to make the time to get along with God and pray that kind of separation from everybody else. People that you love or want to be with her. You want to enjoy.
You want to relax, but you can't because your work is finished, Elijah called down the fire but the rain said, and so he hasn't finished working as a separate in order to do it night pressure points outputs the termination or exertion. Verse 43, seven times. He told the servant to go back and look for cloud and I just felt like Elijah was praying nothing happened praying and nothing happened. Praying another and he was pushing himself to the limits of his face and just for such intensity and fervency. Praying that God would open up the heavens and send the rain and just to push yourself to the limits like after just had a confrontation like with the present bail after all the things the lodges and then to have your faith pushed to the limits at the pressure is under praying and praying and praying and family.
The servant came back and sassy called the sounds of a man can Elijah's is that the rains are coming so they take off and the 10th pressure point is in verse 46 the power of the Lord came upon a large and tucking his cloak in his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel 17 miles he ran so the pressure point is exhaustion. Even if he's running in the strength of the Lord is still tired.
Are you physically exhausted and you may also be running in the strength of the Lord but were still little dust people and we still have our human frailties and we get tired and he was exhausted 11th pressure points persecution 19 one now.
Ahab told Jezebel everything.
Such a little snitch.
What a little tattletale.
He is a most miserable person, but he has power.
He's the king is gossiping, telling Jezebel who is gossiping about you telling tales behind your back, and it would be bad enough, except the person has power and influence of people believe what he says. And of course, but Ahab was saying was true. Told her that he had killed all the prophets with the swords of Jezebel sent a messenger logit assay may the gods deal with may be it ever so severely. If, by this time tomorrow. I do not make your life like rock somebody threatened you. Somebody threatened to fire you. Somebody rejected you may be at your entire church that they remove you from the church.
My husband now one point were removed from a church.
I say that's one of the three top pressure points in your life house burned down and a suicide in your family and being removed from a church we had that experience. Someone rejected you because you did the right thing as pressure and that leads to the 12 points depression. Verse three Elijah was afraid and he could stand up to all those present bail stand up to Ahab at this one angry woman did a man and it's because he had been set up 12 points. It wasn't just one.
All of these things compressed over a period of time. The stress that was day after day after day 3 1/2 years.
He was afraid anyone ran for his life and he came to her broom tree and he sat down hundred and prayed that he might have had enough Lord.
He said take my life. I'm no better than my ancestors and he lay down and went to sleep. Depression somebody here. The press and I pray nobody here is suicidal. But if you wanted to quit just hang it all up. People seem to be looking at you blankly anyway. Very stressful so many things happening, you feel oppressed in your spirit so many priests and they are remember when within 18 months. In my life I had pressure after pressure after pressure of three children got married within eight months of each other and so suddenly at an empty nest four weeks before my son got married. He was diagnosed with major cancer went through surgery, follow-up radiation. My mother had five life-threatening hospitalizations within a 10 month period not come up here spend the night in hospital take care of her rush back husband's dental office burned to the ground hurricane hit our states devastate our property. We lost 102 trees just ran our house took us a year to dig out and stress and pressure, and I cried out to God and I said you know I don't want to quit.
I was in ministry. I was traveling in writing, it's because I really don't want to quit.
I want to escape through taking drugs that a doctor offer Mason things the give me tranquility and put me to sleep at night only because I don't want to drink alcohol. I don't want to escape and I don't want a vacation we go we physically rested.
Would you come back get the same circumstances and go right back into it and I'm not even asking you for a miracle got the craft. My heart just give me Jesus I want a fresh touch from heaven and that's what God did for Elijah, so he was set up for burnouts, but then he got up from burnouts left three things that I see one.
He needed to feel the love of God and God expressed his love to them through physical refreshment.
In verse five when he lay down under the tree and fell asleep all at once, an angel touched him and said get up and eat and he looked around and thereby's head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again just physical refreshment. Sometimes we make our problems just to spiritual don't we what we need is something good to eat and a good night sleep and then he needed spiritual freshly needed a fresh touch.
In verse seven the angel of the Lord.
My understanding is that's the pre-incarnate son of God Jesus is coming down out of heaven. The touch is weary prophets and he came back a second time he touched fresh touch from heaven and he said get up and eat for the journey is too much for you.
Jesus didn't say it your fault that you have done this and this and this is just like Jesus put his arms around him and said you know Elijah understand this is too much for you and I pray Jesus would do that for you that he will just wrap his arms around you and that you have a fresh touch from heaven and you know he's not blaming you. He doesn't find fault with you. He knows that we are frail human flesh. A bruised reed he doesn't break smoking flax. He doesn't quite some tender with his pooped prophets and physically refreshed and spiritually refreshed. He needed to feel the love of God. Secondly he needed to hear the voice of God and the strength of that foodie traveled 40 days and nights. The horror of anyone into a cave and the word of God came to him. The word of God did three things. It's evaluated verse nine the word of the Lord came to him and said what are you doing here, Elijah. Been reading amount of profits and God is said and had yeah and consider your ways just take stock of yourself, evaluate yourself, how did you get here, what were the pressure points that brought you to burnouts. Hebrews 412 says the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. There is nothing like the word of God as you take it and you take it in your heart and you listen to what God has to say to just let him help you evaluate your spiritual condition and then look at Elijah's reply is, as I've been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty, the Israelites of rejected your covenant broken down your altars and put your profits to death on only one is left and when he says I'm zealous to see him educator illogic ministers from the heart. He cares about the people he cares about God's name. He wants to bring God glory. I'm he's all out there, he's just abandoned to God. That's one reason he set up for burnout if he didn't care that would make such a difference when he just says I've done it all and now they're trying to kill me. And the Lord says go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord for the Lord is about to pass. Would you underline as a verse I put your date beside that's God's word to you go out and stand on this mountain you going to be here in the presence of the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ is about to pass by the give you a fresh touch. This Elijah needed to hear the voice of God, and it gave him a revelation. In verse 11 in a great and powerful winds tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the window was an earthquake with the Lord wasn't in the earthquake after the earthquake came afire, but the Lord wasn't in the fire and after the fire came a general wisp of the thunder of Mount Sinai are earsplitting word in the Genesis chapter 1 just the channel whispering a spirit revelation of God. He speaks to us through the word and Elijah got up I don't exactly know why pulled his cloak over his face. Make it so what going back to bed and pulling the covers up over your head. Or maybe he's just afraid to look at God and knows God is speaking to. I felt that sometimes God speaks to very overwhelmed with his presence. He goes out and he stands at the mouth of the cave and the Lord said to him again. What are you doing here, Elijah. Second, and Elijah replied exactly the same way as been zealous for you, the Israelites of rejected your covenant broken down your altars, put your profits of death and the only one left. Now they're trying to kill me to and so to me it just seems like he was just stuck in his burnout instead of getting up from he was planted in it like quicksand are like concretes so God is one more thing for them.
He tells them down in verse 18. Just giving an affirmation for his ministry encouragement. I reserve 7000 in Israel all those needs and not bow down to Bayonne all whose mouse is not kissed a lot. You are not the only one just to encourage this profits through the word God gave him an evaluation, a revelation, affirmation, just that encouragements Elijah heard the voice of God. And then he needed to know the will of God.
He needed to know God's purpose for the rest of his life on the key needed to be recalled call back in the ministry so verse 15 the Lord said to him, go back the way you came about work for you to do.
Elijah and I believe God will say that you we want you to rest be refreshed.
Feel the fresh touch know the love of God, hear his voice, but you know there's going to come a time.
Go back down the mountain. He still has work for you to do is as I want to anoint Hazel King over Ehrman GQ over Israel and anoint Elisha not going to be alone anymore.
Elijah, I'm going to give you an AIDS and shall be your successor and God. We called in the ministry and look at Elijah.
Verse 19. So Elijah Wentz, he recommitted himself to serving God. He got up out of that depression that places its and he continued for the rest of his life until God just taken up to heaven, so let me ask you, what are you doing here. Have you been set up for burnouts which one of these pressure points that you experience. I pray nobody here is all 12 but do you have one or two, or combination, or maybe make your own list. Elijah had oppression, isolation, deprivation, transitional relocation, compaction, opposition, confrontation separation, the termination of that exertion and prayer exhaustion, rejection of persecution leading to depression. So would you ask God if you're being set up for burnouts and would you ask God to get you up from its ask you to give you a fresh touch from heaven that you might feel his love and his arms wrapped around you, drawing you close to him and would you ask God to speak to you through his words when the messages are given out. You open your ears listen for the still gentle spirit in your heart and in which you ask God to reveal to you at least the next that maybe not his purpose for the rest of your life. But the next step when you go down the mountain that you would be recalled and recommitted to serve the Lord until our faith becomes know here's and with this final word. What are your pressure points. In what way are you serving God inside or outside of your home. Are you so emotionally spent so spiritually depleted so physically tired that you feel you can't continue in serving for one more moment. Even now, are you in danger of burning out. Elijah is referred to more often. In the New Testament than any other Old Testament prophet and he appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, Malachi prophesied that Elijah would thunder on the world scene immediately preceding the coming of Jesus Christ. Without question, Elijah was one of the greatest of the prophets. Yet, as you've heard in today's message.
At one point in his service, he suffered from burnout. Listen to me. Ask God to open your heart to receive his solutions. Open your heart, make yourself available to be recalled and recommitted conservatives don't burnout burn on this has been living in the light please take advantage of all the free resources that and Graham lots.board to help and encourage you in your walk with God and in your study of his word is here each week for living in the light