1 Kings 18:38
“Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.”
I think it is fair to say we would all like to see God’s power in our lives. We want to experience God’s power firsthand; we want Him to come through in our circumstances when no one else can, we want His miracles to unfold in our lives, and we want Him to use us powerfully in ways we know are beyond our own capabilities. And yet many of us go through life without personally knowing His power. Sure, we hear stories of Him doing amazing things in other people’s lives, but not ours. Why is this?
Although there are many possible answers to this question, I want to discuss one particular possibility. Perhaps we don’t experience more of God’s power in our lives because we quite simply fail to do anything that would require God to show up. If we’re honest, many of us would admit we want God’s power in our lives, but we are not willing to take a step of faith, get out of our comfort-zone, or do anything we know we would fail at if God does not show up. We want God’s power in our lives, but without taking any kind of risk on our part.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go through life watching God work in other’s lives, but not my own. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and realize I missed out on seeing God do amazing things in and through me because I was too afraid to put myself in a situation in which I absolutely needed Him to come through.
The Prophet Elijah knew a thing or two about putting himself in a position that required God to show up or face certain failure. In 1 Kings 18 we read about just such a situation.
Elijah had been in hiding for 3 ½ years during a drought the Israelites were suffering as judgment for their idolatry. The Lord then told Elijah to reveal himself to the evil King Ahab. Elijah bravely asked the king to gather all of the people together at Mount Carmel for a showdown to see whose god was real. 850 priests of the false gods, Baal and Asherah attended. Elijah asked the prophets of Baal to build altars to their gods. The god who made fire appear would be the real god. The prophets of Baal prayed and chanted all day but they could not get their gods to send fire down to burn the sacrifices on their altars. Finally, taking the showdown one step further, Elijah had his altar doused in water and then prayed to the Lord to send fire. Fire immediately consumed the sacrifice, the wood, stones, soil and even the water that had overflowed into the trenches around the altar. After this miracle rain also came to end the drought.
Now consider the risk Elijah took when he challenged the false prophets of Baal. If God hadn’t come through and started the altar on fire, Elijah would have failed, plain and simple. However, if he hadn’t taken the risk and placed himself in a position where he needed God to come through, he would have also missed out on experiencing God’s power in his life.
My prayer today is that God would give me the boldness to pursue endeavors in which I need Him to show up or I will fail. I don’t want to ever miss experiencing God’s power in my life because I allowed fear or self-focus to hold me back.
Today, if you want to experience God’s power in your life, take a step of faith and place yourself in a position where you truly need Him. Don’t sit back any longer and just observe God working in other people’s lives. Remember the Prophet Elijah and take a bold step and experience God’s power personally!