I Kings 18:17-30
17 When Ahab saw him, he exclaimed, “So, is it really you, you troublemaker of Israel?”
: a person who consciously or unconsciously causes trouble
: to put into confused motion
If you are going to follow God you had better understand this reality: When you get serious about serving God, when you attempt to live a holy life and you are sold out for Christ, you will be labeled by the world and the lukewarm as a trouble maker. Why? Because these people are satisfied to live away from the altar or near the altar, but you have chosen to become a living sacrifice and have placed your life on the altar.
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Elijah was calling for the nation of Israel to come back to the altar. The greatest need of the Church today is for sold out believers who will rebuild the altar. The altar is the place where we go to meet with God, It is the place where we climb our mountains and give our Isaacs to God, it is a place of self-sacrifice, it is a place where we allow the coal to be placed upon our lips, and it is the place where we are cleansed and renewed in the Holy Ghost.
Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was building a picture of Israel under Gods divine government and living according His Word. He rebuilt the altar. He knew that if he could bring Israel back to the altar, and the altar back to Israel, that he would bring them back to God.
This is where the Church is at in America right now. Forget about the World Trade Center, the greatest structure that we can rebuild is the Altar of Sacrifice to God, in every church and in every home. It wasn’t torn down by terrorists attack, there is no terrorist that could destroy the altar, and it was torn down through neglect, and decay, and rejection, in favor of a more comfortable way of life.
The sin that has brought America to the spiritual decay that we see today is pride. We don’t need a symbol of national pride today, we need a symbol of national humility: we need an altar, the symbol of total surrender and dependence upon God.
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
The stones that Elijah used were whole stones, no tool lifted up on them, for that would pollute the altar before God. God doesn’t want fragments of our lives. No flesh shall glory in his presence, He will never give his glory and his honor to the prideful self-efforts of man. Contrary to popular opinion, God will not accept partial offerings or sacrifice.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Elijah called for the people to make an investment in their sacrifices. The 12 barrels of water in time of drought and famine was a tremendous sacrifice. If you are unwilling to make an investment in something, it really is meaningless to you. How hard we pursue change is proof of our desire for change. If you really desire change you will spend time in the pursuit of it. The importance of anything can be measured by the investment you are willing to make to have it. If we really want to see a move of God in our lives, it is going to cost us something. There will never be fire from heaven without an investment of water.
It seems today that the church is in a spiritual drought, the drought of dry eyes. We don’t see nearly as many tears on the altar in most churches in America today. The principle that is seen here in I Kings is still true today, the fire falls when there is water on the wood. Oh Praise God!
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Church it’s time to get back to the altar, it’s time to weep before our God over the lost of this world, it’s time to pray like we have never prayed, to seek God for the Holy Ghost like we have never done before, to cleanse and purify ourselves before a holy God, and to make an investment in righteousness. It’s time to show God how hungry we are.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied!
If we are going to see the power of God manifested, there has to be more work around the altar, If we don’t have any time to pray then we should not think it strange that we are powerless, and that there is no supernatural fire in our midst. Church we need to get the wood wet and let the fire fall.