Friday, May 22, 2015

Get Your Buckets Ready!

I Kings 18:41-46

"41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”  42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees,  43 and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.”
So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”
44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”
45 Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel.  46 Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel."
If you are not familiar with this story, or what has taken place prior to the passage here, Israel was being ruled by the wicked King Ahab, he had not only led Israel away from God into Idolatry but he had also married a witch named Jezebel. Together the two of them have led the children of Israel into deep rebellion and idolatry.
God raised up a prophet, Elijah, who would not be shaken and would not compromise. God has sent him to confront this spirit of wickedness and false religion.  Elijah confronted Ahab and the false prophets of Baal and called fire down from heaven.  Now the people have repented and the false prophets have all been destroyed.
In the above passage of scripture Elijah prophesied the rain is coming. The drought is over. He tells King Ahab basically, “don't worry, be happy,” the rain is on its way. So the king goes up to eat and drink, but Elijah goes away by himself along with his servant and throws himself down to the earth and begins to pray. 
He sends his servant out to look toward the sea and see if there is any evidence of a change in the weather on the horizon, to look and see if the rain coming. His servant comes back with a negative report, an empty report, he comes back with nothing. He reports to the man of God, there is nothing.
Elijah sent his servant out seven times.  Seven times the servant leaves Elijah to plead with God while he scans the heavens for a sign, looking for any evidence that God has heard his prayer. Six times the report comes back the same, “there is nothing.”
There was no mistaking his words, they were clear, they were sharp, and they were to the point, “there is nothing.”
There can be no doubt that these words would have had an effect on Elijah’s spirit, but his faith was not shaken by what his servant seen or rather did not see, but instead of allowing discouragement to overcome him, Elijah turns up the heat, he presses his request toward God and he intensifies his prayer. Elijah takes the negative report as a challenge to the Word of God. God had told him to appear before Ahab and he would send the rain and so he stands on the Word of God, and it says, “He prayed fervently.”
Now on the seventh time his servant returns with what seems to him as a side note: There is still nothing, but I saw a little cloud the size of a man's hand rising up out of the sea. The servant was ready to hear those familiar words go look again. Instead Elijah jumps up off his knees and sends his servant a different direction with new instructions.
Elijah tells the servant to go and tell King Ahab to hitch up his chariot and get down off this mountain for there is the sound of rain. There is the sound of a down pour and the flood of abundance is on the way.
When I read this passage this morning this is the word God put in my spirit: In the place where they said there is nothing, there shall be an abundance.
I don't know who God gave me this word for, it may have been just for me but I felt the need to write so I think it is for others also, I don't know what it may mean to you, but you do. Somebody has heard those words, “there is nothing.” You have heard them spoken not once or twice, but over and over again.
You have been told repeatedly, “there is nothing.”
There is no money, there is no cure, there is no answer, there is no love, there is no hope, and there is nothing we can do.
These words are lies from Satan, they are intended to steal your faith, to rob you of the substance of things God has told you to hope for, they are meant to destroy your courage, and to end your prayers. 
You have been to the financial advisor and he said you’re out of options, the marriage counselor said there is nothing else I can tell you, the doctors have told you to plan for the end, and all signs say your children will never come back to God.  In other words, you might as well quit: you can quit praying now, quit confessing now, quit believing now, quit dreaming now, quit praising now, quit marching now, and quit expecting God to deliver you because He’s not coming.
But I want to tell you, don't quit! Because in the same place where they said there is nothing, God intends to pour out an abundance.
Allow me to use and old cliché, “it is always the darkest just before the dawn.” Warfare always surrounds the birth of a miracle. A woman never comes closer to dying then when she is giving birth. Just before your greatest breakthrough you will fight your greatest battle.
Let me say it like this: Your abundance is just beyond your nothing.
You may be going through the biggest struggle of your life, but you're in the perfect position for a miracle.
The disciples fished all night and caught nothing, but with one word from Jesus they went from nothing to abundance.
Your miracle, your healing, and your breakthrough are closer than you think. You're on the brink of a breakthrough, why do you think hell has been fighting you so hard. I know you can't see it, but God's been working in the dark. God still works the night shift. He does His best work in the night seasons of your life.
Even when you can't trace the working of His hands you can trust the faithfulness of his heart. And whether we can see it or not, all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
Isaac was dwelling in a land stricken with famine. That means no rain, severe drought, no crops. It was a desolate place, and horrible conditions. He thought to go to another place, to go and look for better conditions, to look for a better environment, to seek out better weather and better ground, but God said no. He told Isaac to stay put and sow his seed here where there is nothing.
No doubt Isaac was criticized and ridiculed, no doubt they called him a fool for wasting his seed sowing in a drought stricken land. But Isaac obeyed the Lord and sowed his seed in that land where there was nothing and there came forth and abundance. He reaped in the same year a hundred fold in the very same place.
I want to tell somebody who is looking for a better place, a better environment, and more favorable circumstances: Hold on, God is going to bless you right where you are. In the place where they said there is nothing, there is about to be an abundance.  Praise God!
I know it's hard to keep marching when there is no visible evidence of change. I know it's hard to keep tithing and sowing your seed when you're in a financial famine. I know it's hard to praise God for healing when your body is wrecked with pain. I know it's hard to stay positive when everything you see is negative. I know it's hard to believe for rain when you've been in a long season of drought.
I want to declare to you by the word of the Lord. The drought is breaking, there's a drought busting anointing in His presence! I hear the sound of the abundance of rain! I've heard all the negative reports. I've heard all the discouraging words. I've heard all the dream killers and faith assassinators. I've heard the dry bones talking about how dry they are and how hopeless it is. I've heard the weather report, no relief in sight. There's no rain in the forecast man of God.
But I'm believing like Elijah, I'm tuned in to a different frequency and I'm hearing heavens forecast and heavens forecast is predicting heavy amounts of rain.
Elijah standing in the place where he heard the words there is nothing, now turns around and says, I hear the sound of the abundance of rain. In other words, it's already been released in the heavens, it’s on the way.
It’s on its way and it's closer than you think. The anointing is changing your season right now. That yoke destroying burden removing anointing is on its way right now!
Your prayers have not been in vain, your praise has not been in vain, your sowing has not been in vain, your tithing has not been in vain, your faithfulness, and your obedience has not been in vain.
You may be standing in the middle of the desert and you may be staring at sand, or you may be standing in the middle of the valley of dry bones with nothing but death all around you. But let me remind you that it was into Ezekiel’s boneyard that the wind of God began to blow and put back together everything that had been stolen and everything that had been broken and God raised up a mighty army.
Let me say it one more time: In the place where they said there is nothing, shall come forth an abundance. The rain is falling, the wind is blowing and, the anointing is flowing.
Get your jars ready, the anointing of God is about to come where there has been nothing!

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