“Ahab did evil in the sight of the Lord… And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam, he took for his wife Jezebel.., and went and served Baal and worshiped him. He erected an altar for Baal… And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him…
“Now Elijah said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.’ And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘Depart and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith… You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.’ So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
“Then the word of the Lord came to him, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath… I have commanded a widow there to feed you.'” 1 Kings 16:30-33; 17:1-9
Elijah was sold out to his Lord. What God directed, he did, not because it was easy, or pleasant, or rewarded, but because it was right. When he announced the judgment of a drought, we can only imagine the wicked king’s reaction. What we see is the tender, faithful care of Elijah’s God.
He spoke directly, personally, with clear instructions to His servant. He invited his obedient faith onward, and hid him in safety in a lovely place. He provided miraculously for him morning and evening, displaying His glory and power. He was enough, never forsook him, and continued to lead, step by step, proving His love. (17:10-16,22-24)
He does the same for us when we do the hard and right thing in the face of rejection, evil, or opposition. When the Lord calls us to stand, act, and speak for Him, He is clear about our task, and present for the challenge. He understands every concern and need. (Exodus 3:10-14; 4:10-12; Ezekiel 40:1-4)
Do we make ourselves available for God to use in unexpected ways? Are we even open to standing up, standing out, speaking up, disrupting our lives for His sake? If we set aside our plans, and take time to explore His, we might be surprised at what He enlists us to do. When He calls to some new or bolder service, He will make the way, and bless our obedience beyond imagining.
“When we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.” ~John H. Sammis (1887)
Would we change praying, ‘Lord, take and bless my schedule,’ to ‘What are your plans today, Lord? Help me obey.’?
“‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
and to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
and to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!” ~Louisa M. R. Stead (1882)
Lord, may I boldly keep Your agenda, in Your enabling, for Your glory.