“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
♦ ♦ ♦
Today I thought we would focus a little on our relationship with El Chay our “Living God”. That’s because sometimes we feel as though we are dead, even in life. We are anxious about making ends meet, worried about our health, wondering if our jobs are secure and pondering whether our faith will really see us through. Know this: God is not dead, He is alive! He is on fire for us and will do whatever it takes to see us through – as long as we keep our eyes on Him and not let the devil distract us. So here goes.
The Lord – He is God!
The name “El Chay”/Living God as we said before, suggests that our God therefore is not an idol made of metal or wood or clay. He is the great source of life; He made heaven and earth, all of the animals and us humans. 1 Kings 18 provides us with a wonderful example of God’s living power (and humour). In verse 1 we learn that there was a severe famine in Samaria, but the real action starts with the Prophet Elijah rebuking King Ahab for ‘abandoning God’s commandments and following Baals.’ To prove the futility of such worship, Elijah told the 450 prophets of Baal to call on the idol’s name while He called on the name of the Lord, noting that ‘the god who answers by fire – he is God’. This declaration is followed by an intense worship session where the prophets of Baal shouted and danced for many hours, yet Baal did not answer. Elijah, firm in the faith of his living God, taunted them in verse 27: “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” Elijah knew His God wasn’t sleeping, busy, travelling or deep in thought, and after building an altar with a sacrifice drenched in water, he prayed by inviting God to demonstrate that He was indeed the one true God. As we know, the great fire of the Lord came down upon Elijah’s very wet sacrifice, totally consuming everything including the water in the trench. The people finally acknowledged: “The Lord – He is God!” and after that yes, heavy rains came!
But is God alive and with us today?
Do you find it hard sometimes to believe that God is real and alive? It’s like, how can He be truly looking after us when we are losing our jobs, losing our loved ones and/or losing our health? And then there is this thing called life that for some of us is filled with the disappointments of unfulfilled dreams, meaningless jobs, and the never-ending challenge of balancing inputs with outputs (financial, emotional and spiritual). Where is God when we need Him most to show us His infinite love, to reinforce our faith, to help us hold on one more day when it seems easier to let go? Well the interesting thing is, the devil is very very busy and uses thick smoke screens to distract us into thinking we are alone BUT God never leaves us! He always has and always will be with us – as long as we keep our eyes on Him. Let’s continue to build our altars of praise and worship, of thanksgiving and love, while inviting God to consume our challenges with His hot hot fire. The people of Baal called and called but Baal did not answer but we know that our living and true God, He will answer us – always.
So go out and share the encouragement found here with someone else if you agree that: our God is real!
♦ ♦ ♦
“At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “LORD, the 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 at your command. Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 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.”
1 Kings 18:36-38
“Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)