Spirit of Elijah
For some months now, we have been preparing for the start of this ministry, and through the whole process, I’ve going back to what the Lord has spoken to me about the church in years past, not specifically this church, but the overall church of Jesus Christ especially here in America.
Barna Research, probably the largest Christian statistics organization in the US, did one of their largest studies on why millennials have left the church or why those that did not have a church background did not want to participate. The studies found that these intelligent kids know what the Bible says, know what the church is to be about, and found that the church today was far from what they’ve read. Its hypocritical to the max in their eyes, and they did not want to be a part of something that professes one thing and does another. That was the conclusion of the book. And with that conclusion, we can see why the church is not growing, and why the church lacks power to reconcile people back to God.
Because the bulk of the church appears to be powerless, it is quite apparent, we the church have no influence. We are disregarded, and those who receive their power from the dark side, know that we are weak, and they bully us due to lack of fear of us. We don’t back up what we preach and our dark society shows it.
I was thinking about spiritual power for the church and the lack of it, but was struck with the thought how the younger generation today are increasingly caught up with supernatural physical power. Its probably why there is so many shows on witchcraft, and so many shows about superheroes. Those that get into witchcraft, well we know its about control. Super hero worship, I’ll call it is because people want to save people. Lets keep that thought.
But I want to jump to control, or controlling spirits that are out there. Satan wants to influence people to go after those “powers” because he knows our sin nature from birth is to control. Look at babies.
And its funny that in the past couple days I have talked to two pastors and an friend and the issue of control has come up in our dialog. The media is all about it today. Underlying satanic physical power. That is why Satanism is growing again. Satan is all about control. People want control, so that spirit of control and rebellion because it is rebellion, is released on the world, and those who don’t know Christ are caught up in it.
The opposite of the satanic spirit of control, is the Spirit of God. The power that comes from the Spirit of God is not about control, but it is there to set people free. When we find freedom in Christ after making Him our Savior, our mind and heart changes from controlling to giving, or it should be that way.
The Spirit of God is life giving power, and Jesus expressed that while He was on earth. The ultimate super hero. He displayed that reconciling healing power by setting people free from numerous things as we know, then he told us to do it. When Jesus died and rose from the dead and went to the Father, He handed over the reconciling healing power responsibility to us.
I want this church to walk in that power or anointing. People need to see the truth. Because wonder working power is truth. God’s power is life giving power and in that life giving power is not only healing, but there is peace. Today, I think you all are with me on this one, there is not much peace today.
Watch the news. God’s power needs to be seen today. When all you are is about control, you have no peace, only strife. That is why the world is in such a flux. Everyone wants control. So no one has control and it just cycles around and around and the frustrations build. Look at this election, its about control. Outside influences attempting to control the candidates who want control themselves and trying every way they can to control the voter to vote for them. Its a vicious cycle.
God want us to break that cycle. He wants us to bring calm in the midst of the hurricane.
Now here at The Furnace we are pretty keen about Isaiah 61 and its fulfillment, but God has been impressing on me that we are to be a church of boldness through obedience in which He can use His power. We are to be a church that stands for His Kingdom and brings the truth that freedom only comes through Jesus.
“Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is heaven.”
God spoke to me on Monday about this, that he want us to reach this city in the Spirit and power of the prophet Elijah. Why, because Elijah was just like us, and we can be just like him.
Most of us know that Elijah was one of the greatest prophets in Bible who started his ministry around 875 BC, and is first mentioned quite abruptly in 1 Kings 17.
1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, " He isn’t brought on the scene like a Samuel. Elijah was a major prophet who was mentioned ~30 times in the New Testament, and ~ 68 times total. He is mentioned in all four Gospels. Elijah was considered a forerunner, because he arrived before Elisha who had a double portion. Like a John the Baptist setting the stage for Jesus.
Even though Elijah was a powerful prophet, he still endured trials like anyone else. “In James 5:16 James said, “Just in case you’re confused, Elijah was a man with a nature like ours”. So Elijah was a man with behaviors and weaknesses like you and I have. God made it really clear: Elijah was a man.”
Elijah was sent to confront. Bring the Word of the Lord to His people. And right out of the gate, Elijah performed miracles. Miracles we have available to us today. But even though he performed miracles of great magnitude, he struggled with his feelings and weaknesses. But God was there to stand him up even when he was running away. Elijah was just like us.
When you look back at the time he prophesied, and did his service for the Lord, Israel was kind of like today here in America. The government and the people falling away from God, and following after false gods. False prophets and teachers teaching in the land. The truth of the word being twisted. Quite interesting! Elijah was sent by God to shake things up. To give warnings to Israel of how far they had moved away from God. Something that is needed today here. Now we may not be confronting Kings and Queens, but we are confronting the same spirit that Elijah confronted.
And the primary reason Elijah was sent by God, was to restore the people. To bring restoration. To turn the hearts of the people back to God.
It states in 1 Kings 18:36, “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. 37 Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
Elijah was to re-establish the spiritual authority of God back to the people by using supernatural means. Showing that the false god’s had no power over him or the great God almighty or even the people. Heaven on earth power.
Elijah walked in the anointing of God. His power was obedience. His power, was knowing God. He knew His voice. When he heard God’s voice, he acted on it.
When Elijah declared drought to come upon the land in 1 Kings 17:1 “Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” He said it, God made it happen. God told him what to say, and God backed it up.
When the widow’s oil multiplied in 1 Kings 17:16 “For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.” It was God who did it. He multiplied the oil.
When Elijah called fire down from heaven in 1 Kings 18:38 “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.” It was God who did it. It was His fire.
It shows us, that if walk in faith and are obedient to the Word of the Lord, He will do miraculous things through us. I believe we put way to much pressure on ourselves that we have to perform something for God, when all we have to be is obedient to Him and his Word. God is saying, “Just trust me! Trust my word.” Speak the words I tell you to speak, and do what I tell you to do.
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide us to do the will of God.
Jesus said John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
Elijah altered the physical realm not through anything he could conjure up, but by what God could do. He had knowledge of God. He knew God. You can see it in the scriptures. Elijah was real with God. He told God how He felt, and God responded to him. It was no different with Moses, Samuel, or King David. All men.
When we come to a place to be in God’s presence, when we slow down, and seek him out, we will find Him, and in His presence is fullness of joy because not only His peace comes on us, but we hear Him, and when we hear Him, a sense of comfort and confidence comes over us.
Elijah heard God and boldly displayed the power of God, and today God is moving His Spirit on us to do the same. He is saying come to me my children, come to me. My orphans are put there, and they are dying, I am calling you to go to them. Heal them in my name. All that I have is yours, but if you don’t know me or my heart, how can you know what do, how can you display my love.
Elijah’s display of God’s power was God showing His love to His people. Showing his creation that He was real.
1 Kings 18:38-39, “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. 39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”
Today, God has not changed how He feels about His creation. He is trying to get a stubborn church to step out in the power of His Spirit to display his love through the power of the anointing that we have received.
Jesus handed us the keys to the Kingdom when He went to be at the right hand of the Father. So if we do nothing with those keys, if we do not speak doors closed or opened, in the spiritual realm, that affect the physical realm, nothing changes. In effect, as we look back at the Barna Research again, we have what we have read in the scriptures, but are we going to not only believe the scriptures, but do what the scriptures say?
God’s example of Elijah shows us that we can time after time when God speaks to us, alter the physical through supernatural ways to open the eyes of people to a living loving God.
But we have to know God to trust Him, and walk out in unchained faith in obedience to not care of the outcome. But leave that all up to God. We give up control.
In 1 Kings 18:21, “Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions?”
There is only one opinion for us as believers. That all things are possible through God who loves us, and we need to give up our wills to Him so He can make us a standard for Him.
Its time for the church to be done with mere words. We are good at talking and not backing it up. Now it is time for a display of God’s love through supernatural power so people say, “The Lord, he is God.”