by Sheri Schofield
It’s way too early for a heavy snow! But that didn’t stop it from coming. Eighteen soft, cold inches fell on our house last week, burying green plants, weighing down trees not yet golden with the autumn chill, and covering up the grass, the major food source for many of our Montana animals. In the valley below, where the snow is only eight inches deep, the horses and cattle are pawing the snow away from the grass, fighting for every mouthful of nourishment.
Across America and around the world, another kind of snow is falling – a snow of misinformation from a world that does not know God, and in many cases, does not want to know Him. We are bombarded daily with a blizzard of anti-Christian opinions that are presented as facts. How do we stand against the wind?
Elijah was facing a similar challenge. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel had corrupted Israel with pagan worship. All but a small remnant of Israel was devoted to Baal. Elijah felt isolated, lonely, and abandoned. Where was God? Where were His people? Had they completely vanished from the face of the earth?
In 1 Kings 17-18 the Bible tells us that Elijah, for God’s honor and name, declared there would be no rain. For three years, the rain ceased. Famine hit the land of Israel.
Then Elijah issued a challenge to the prophets of Baal, to be played out in front of all Israel at Mount Carmel. The prophets of Baal would be allowed the first shot at proving their god was real: they were to slaughter a bull, place it on one of their altars, and call out to their god for fire to burn up their offering. Elijah would do the same. If Baal sent fire to consume the offering, then Israel could know that Baal was god. But if Jehovah answered by fire, they would know that Jehovah was God.
All day the prophets of Baal danced around their sacrifice. They cut themselves with knives in their frenzy. But there was no fire. Then it was Elijah’s turn. He built an altar to Jehovah, slaughtered a bull and placed it on the altar. He dug a trench around the altar. He had people pour great amounts of water over the sacrifice until the altar, the bull, the wood and the trench around it were completely saturated. Then, stepping forward, Elijah 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 these things at your command. Answer me, LORD, answer me, so that 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. (I Kings 18:36-38, NIV)
Israel turned back to the one true God that day.
You may say, “Oh, yes, the prophets in Old Testament times were able to do these kinds of wonders. But not today! The Lord is silent now.”
But that is not what the Apostle James said! In James 5:13-18, he told us that when we live in a way that pleases God, our prayers are as powerful as Elijah’s prayers were! Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes, His disciples would receive power. (Acts 1:8) That happened at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is still here.
Let’s take on the challenge! Melt the snows of deception through godly lives and prayers of faith!
“…when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” Luke 18:8, NLT
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.
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