There is no time I have read 1Kings chapter 18:20-46 (Elijah versus the prophets of Baal) that my spirit has not been ignited with the fear, fire and awesome might of the almighty God. The same goes for 1 Samuel chapter 17:26-58 (David & Goliath) and Daniel chapter 3:8-30 (Shadrach Meshach & Abednego versus King Nebuchadnezzar) and Daniel 6:1-28 (Daniel in the Lion’s Den)
A very long time ago, a man called Elijah threw a simple challenge, a test, or call it an examination if you like, but the venue was on Mount Carmel. He said:
“…call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” 1Kings 18:24
Everyone agreed and at the end of that challenge, the real God manifested in honour of His name and prophet and the false gods were disgraced and so were his so called prophets. Answer: The God who brought down fire won! But what makes the challenge exciting, was the telling of it and all the ensuing drama that led to the challenge and the historic victory on Mount Carmel. The battle was between one man who had just one God against 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah who had the whole earthly might of the King and queen of Israel and yet the one man and His one God toppled the multitudes of gods and his multitudes of prophets. Doesn’t that tell you something? That the God of Elijah is not a God of the crowd nor is He swayed by popular opinions. Romans chapter 8 verse 31 states clearly:
“…if God is for us, who can be against us?”
As far as God who is called Yahweh is behind your actions, supporting and encouraging you, then you’ve got nothing to fear. But before God would put His lot with you and stake His integrity and power on you, it is you who have to show Him that you are totally surrendered to His will and His ways and that come what may, you are committed to being in this relationship with God for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do you part only to reunite in heaven. God who is not a respecter of persons do not bow to the fickle-minded wishes of men of clay who have no regard for His Holiness. He has absolute authority over all His created things and therefore He cannot share His glory with a mortal man. Impossible! Hell will freeze over before God does that. Therefore when He desires to deal with man, He seeks out one who is faithful and available; He seeks out one who will not be swayed by materialistic tendencies; He seeks out one who will not be carried away with the mundane affairs of man, king or country. He expects absolute worship and total obeisance. That was the character and attitude of Elijah the Tishbite.
All the adventures from Moses in the wilderness, to David, Elijah and Daniel, clearly tell me one thing: as long as we are on this earth, there will always be battles between the forces of good and evil. The fight is always between good and evil, between light and darkness and there are no gray areas. That fight may come to you in different forms these days. It may come to you when you challenge a status quo that is corrupt; it may come to you when you try to bring down an evil cabal; it may come to you when you choose not to participate in an act of injustice; it may come to you when you question those in authority and ask for accountability and transparency; it may come to you when you choose to disagree with a decision based on your faith, values or principle; it may come to you at the worst of times and the best of times, but when it comes, it comes. And the onus lies on you to prove your mettle.
There is a deciding factor that makes God & the whole of heaven to stand at attention when something is going down on earth. It is what we have always known as the X-factor ingredient in a star. It is your heart, your statement and your commensurate actions which equates to your attitude towards the things of God! Until faith is released on earth, God cannot be pleased and therefore heaven will not be moved.
“Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even If He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” Daniel 3:16-18
The above declaration can only come from men who have died to self and are completely yielded to the will of God. That is the kind of commitment that God requires from His children. An ‘If I perish, I perish’ attitude, when push comes to shove and complete dependency on His ability to deliver us from our battles. He doesn’t beg for your service rather He demands wholesome worship and devotion. Anything less than 100% in commitment, is below His standard. With Him, there is no democracy or egalitarian society; because He Himself said, the poor will always be with us – that is a fact of life. He is the only exception to whom absolute power do not corrupt absolutely because in Him, there is no sin or corruption.
Yesterday, I read somewhere online where a statement was ascribed to the governor of my state: Governor Jonah Jang and I actually burst out laughing. He said and I quote: “God is a democrat, does not support rigging but if you rig and succeed, that means God approves of it.” That is one of the most untrue and absurd statement ever to come out of the mouth of a Christian about God. The God of the Christian faith is not a democrat. In fact, based on the historical precedents of the bible, He is an autocrat (for lack of a better word) and He does as He pleases. The world may not like that about the God I serve but their opinion is not important to Him. The clay can never question the work of the Potter. My God is an absolute King whose authority is unquestionable. If it is the same bible Gov Jonah Jang & I are reading, then surely, one of us is definitely wrong!
We have a currency that works for us – it is called faith. God expects us to so believe in Him and His awesome might that we can wager or risk putting all our eggs in one basket simply because He holds the basket. Finito! You have to so trust God that even if He doesn’t come through for you, you will just keep on trusting with a dogged resilient that is unwavering! Hebrews 11:6 says: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
What then are the X-factor characteristics of a God pleaser, God mover and a God-winner?
1) You must be born again! (John 3:3) Simple but true. Acknowledge and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour for God will not even acknowledge you as His child if you don’t acknowledge Him as your God and maker which translates to Him being your father too. And you would have to abide by his heavenly commandments.
2) By faith is everything done in Christendom. What that means is that, though we can’t physically see this God or touch Him, we know that He is the all powerful, all knowing and ever present God. That is a powerful conviction to have about the God you serve. What that means is that, if you first believe that this God Yahweh is the Omnipotent, Omniscience and Omnipresent, your matter is as good as solved. If you first believe that indeed there is no other god greater than He is on this earth or heaven above or underneath the earth, then no devil or agent of the devil or children of the devil, no one ever, can bring a challenge against your God and win. Only those who know their God and their rights as children of God can even dare to use those inalienable rights in the first place.
For as long as you don’t know your rights, you can never take any step towards asking for it or claiming it in the first place. And there will be people who have a lot to gain by this grave ignorance of yours. For example, your privileged benefits like rights to good health, rights to divine protection, rights to prosperity, rights to long life, rights to being the head and never the tail, rights to dominion over all the works of darkness, rights to living like the son or daughter of the King – all these royal but divine privileges will all be taken away from you because you don’t even know that they exist in your name. But supposing you were to wake up from your ignorant slumber and realize that, ‘wow, I have been slacking and suffering for nothing, enough is enough – I am getting back what belongs to me; I am taking back all that the devil has stolen from me; I am stepping into my rightful inheritance as a child of the King’ – I tell you, people will notice. People will notice because suddenly, your voice will change and take up a note of diffident but assured authority; your walk will have a swagger that is not boastful but assuredly confident; your smile will be brilliant like that of the ‘maclean-confident’ advert; your poise & demeanour will be better than the President of the U.S and most certainly, superior to the King of Wales. Ladies and gentlemen, I tell you, there is something about having resolute trust and dogged faith in God, that makes Him by pass others, simply to make a great and outstanding example of your faith and consequent actions. What this means is that, you cannot have faith by mere pronouncements – it must be backed up with actions, an attitude and a heart that is ready to die for what it believes.
I am happy and thankful to God that I come from a country that supposedly have their fair share of churches, non-stop Christian activities and programmes (ranging from fire-falling preachers & their programs to meek-preaching pastors and their church activities) everywhere you go in Nigeria, you are bound to meet both comfortable and persecuted Christians. And I can assure you, as we say in Nigeria, we no dey carry last when it comes to religious talk and activities. We are definitely ranked amongst the top three religious people in the world! Whoa! Aint that something! Yet we are mostly engrossed in being Christians who merely talk the talk, talk the walk but not walk the talks. You will find the best brains of Christians workers in the best paid organisations but when we have problems to do with our country Nigeria, we choose to hide behind fasting and prayers only.
Elijah lived a life of prayer. What that means is that, prayer to Elijah was not defined by being on His knees alone. No. While he walked, he talked with God. God spoke to Him everywhere He went. God was with Him in and out of office, in and out of church buildings, in the cave, on the road, in the air, everywhere he went, His God went with Him. Every talk he spoke, His God backed Him up. Every action he took, His God supported Him a 100%.
Why? His faith in God was resolute. He was the oracle of God on earth. His actions supported both his thought, and his spoken words. He did not have a form of godliness denied of its power. No, no no. He had godliness and the commensurate power that godliness attracts. And that is why he never could back down from a challenge with the devil. In fact to put it in a better way, he took the fight to the camp of the devil – he went looking for the devil to throw him a challenge. And we know the outcome of that historic battle.
That is what I call absolute Faith! I believe that God is still looking down on earth, still searching for a man or woman – a little Samuel or David – who will give Him a challenge worth His time & glory.
The question now is: Are you the one? Will He still find faith like Elijah’s on the earth? Are you up for the challenge? Are you up for the most exhilarating adventure of your life with God?
Chalya Princess Miri-Gazhi