Monday, April 11, 2011

He Is My All In All!

It Is Not About ME, But It Is All About HIM

By Abraham Israel

Many times when we do the work of God, we tend to lose our focus and start to think that if we don't do the work of God, God cannot do much. It is a religious thinking that has crept in to our mind because of a lack of perpetual relationship with God. Whenever we take our eyes of Jesus and focus on the work we do for God, the very work we do for God becomes a religious idol to us. Our God is a very jealous God and he doesn't like us to have idols instead of a pure devoted heart towards Him (James 4:5). So one should be ready for chastisement from God if we don't really repent from such proud attitude.

Such thinking also makes a man to boast and brag about his work before God, it makes his head get puffed up with pride like a ballon ready to burst. Pride always comes before some kind of destruction hits us
(Prov 16:18; 18:12). The destruction always will come concealed in the shape of strife, division and finally shame (Pro 11:2; 13:10).

Elijah is such a classical example for this type of people, the work he did zealously for God became an idol to him because of a hidden wrong attitude that hid itself in his heart. Elijah challenged the false prophets of the pagan god of Baal to prove their god as a true one by bringing fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice of bull on the altar. These false prophets were supported by the king's wife who was an idolater, who also promoted it throughout the nation of Israel at that time and were making the men of Israel to be unfaithful in their devotion towards their God of Israel
(1 Kings 18:20-29). The false prophets miserably failed but Elijah succeeded. Elijah prayed one of the most simple and the greatest prayer of all time to bring the fire of God to consume the sacrifice on the altar that he built according to the perfect requirement of God. When the people saw the fire fall from heaven to consume the burnt sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust and lick the water that was in the trench, they fell on their faces and shouted, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!” (1 Kings 18:30-39). Here we see Elijah bringing one of the greatest fire revival that drew the hearts of the children of Israel towards their godly forefathers and turned their godly forefather's heart toward that present generation of the children of Israel (Malachi 4:5-4). Elijah was so zealous for God that he immediately commanded the devoted men of Israel to seize the prophets of Baal and kill all the false prophets according to the law of God, then he took them all and executed them, there at a Brook named Kishon (1 Kings 18:40; Deut 18:9-14, 20; 13:1-3, 5-18). Here Elijah the prophet did all right things that was commanded in the law before the sight of the Lord, but still at this time a little bit of pride was hidden in his heart which only God knew. A person can do what is right before the sight of the Lord, but without a loyal heart of humility which God loves and requires His servants to have while working for Him (2 Chronicles 25:2). When we work for God, God sees the motives that drive us to work for Him and rewards us according to it (1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Cor 3:15; 4:5; 1 Thess 2:4; 2 Cor 5:9-10).

Elijah was doing all these things under the instruction of God
(1 Kings 18:1). Then Elijah prayed another greatest prayer of faith and preseverence for the rain to come to the drought hit land of Israel (James 5:15-18). There was no single drop of rain for nearly three years and six months, inspite of the bone dry surrounding circumstance, Elijah was able to hear through his spiritual ears of faith the abundance of rain and declare it boldly to the God-appointed highest kingly authority. Then Elijah persevered in prayer until a small hand size cloud came up in visiblity, with that hand size cloud Elijah boldly sent his servant and declared to King Ahab to go before the rain stops him. But the king Ahab was a man living by his sight and not by faith, so he rode away only when the sky became black with clouds and wind, with heavy rain to follow (2 Cor 5:7). That day Ahab must have really felt what it means to ride through in rain storm, he must have really felt bad for his delay to obey the prophet's word. Then the supernatural hand of the Lord came upon Elijah to supernaturally run ahead of Ahab the king who was riding his chariot in full throttle speed (1 Kings 18:41-46). All these things were of the supernatural order in the life of Elijah the prophet. It is indeed a glorious time of spiritual revival at its zenith, in the history of the nation of Israel and in the life of Elijah the prophet. But now after all these glorious works, the Lord wanted to deal that spiritual religious pride in the heart of this great prophet who has brought a revival of the highest order in the life of the nation of Israel.

This chastisement to Elijah came through a woman named Jezebel, she sent word through a messenger to Elijah the prophet threatening to kill him the next day. The man who had turned whole nation of Israel towards God by slaughtering 450 false prophets of Baal the false god, suddenly was gripped with fear and ran for his life like a coward. What a pity. God did not want His servant to continue with the same religious prideful attitude sitting in his heart unaware, so God allowed this in Elijah's life. Elijah went to the point of praying a suicidal prayer to God saying, "Take my life out, let me die. It is enough! I am not better than my fathers!". Here was the pride of Elijah peeping its head out of him saying that he has done great things for God like his fathers the prophets and he is also boasting that he is not better than them to live without dying in such opposition against God from his enemies. But God was faithfully and supernaturally taking care of his servant by giving him very high protein supernatural heavenly food through an angel. This teaches us that tough we are chastised by God through our enemies, still we are provided with all our needs of sustenance.

Then Elijah went in to a cave and hid himself in it. There God met Elijah and told him to come out of the cave hiding and stand out on the mountain. Then the Lord passed before him. Elijah thought God was in the mighty demonstration that he did before people, but God wanted to prove to Elijah that he had depended upon his mighty demonstration of the work and have forgotten to think about the Lord as a person who sees the heart motives of all men to reward them. Then the LORD passed by and ,
"...a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”" (1 Kings 19:11-13). When the Lord proved to Elijah that he was not pleased in the mighty works that Elijah did because he had religious pride still sitting in his heart, Elijah became angry towards the Lord and wanted to shut his ears to the Lord's voice. Then pride came out of him finally and he said to the LORD, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (1 Kings 19:14). The Lord did not immediately give Elijah the answer, but he wanted him to be a humble and obedient servant of Him. So the Lord instructed Elijah to go and do the assignment that he wanted him to further do, once Elijah heard the word of the Lord with humility then immediately God gave an humbling answer to Elijah's prideful question. God said, "Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18). It must have been greatly humiliating to hear the truth when God revealed this truth to Elijah. This must have really shattered Elijah's prideful mindset of exclusivity. Praise God that a humble attitude of Christlikeness at least returned to Elijah at the end of this ordeal for the GLORY OF GOD!

Many times God will take us through chastisement and will finally make us to learn the truths of God when we get humbled before him. It is better to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God in His presence
(1 Peter 5:6; James 4:8-9), than to fall in to destruction mode and then learn the truth after much humiliation before Him. The bottom line is, 'It is not about us, it is all about what Christ has done for us that should make us to work for him in gratitude. We should never ever forget that we are restored and blessed with HIS ANOINTING to WORK FOR HIM because of JESUS' sacrifice for us, not because of our goodness, special ability and qualification. Though we are weak and having not much ablity of our own to be successful in this competitive world, yet God has chosen us to fool the people who boast about their ability in this world. This was done so that we might not glory in ourselves from our achievement, but glory in the LORD (1 Cor 1:26-31). God has chosen us not because of our ability but because of our availability. Like Paul the apostle may we learn to say, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Gal 2:20). This is what it means to acknowledge the true grace of God working in and through us. May the Lord bring out all the prideful attitude that is hidden in our hearts out of us and make us be devoted to HIS CAUSE for the GLORY OF GOD! Praise the Lord!


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