1 Kings 17:1-24

1 Kings 17:1-24

1 Kings 17:2Vintage message from March 5, 2000.

Have you ever asked yourself, “God, why are the bad things happening in my life the way they’re happening?” Have you ever found yourself struggling with a hard time? Have you ever found yourself, especially becoming angry and despondent over hard times in your life? Well, let me tell you, one of the reasons that these things happen in your life — just one of the reasons, there are many reasons… — the simple reason of humbling [us]… And you know what? Being humbled by God is not a bad thing. We look at the hardships as being bad, or we look at the hardships as being punishment. We look at the hardships as being something that is disastrous, but do you realize that it’s the hard times that forms character within us? It strengthens us, and it causes us to trust in God in ways that we never thought possible to trust in a God. We begin to put faith and trust in our own strength, in our own flesh, in our own life, in our own jobs, in our own way of life… Is God trying to get your attention? Have you ever asked yourself that question? In the midst of a struggle, “Hmmm, God, have I not been listening to You? Are You trying to get my attention?” Humbling us is one way that God uses to bring us back into His will, to make us right with Him…

Another question I have to ask today, …have I repented of the sins of my life? Have I given God any reason to hold any sin against me? Have I tried to hide anything? Have I made myself unusable? Or, if my history was ever written out — you’ve got to ask yourself these questions occasionally — if my life was ever written out by the finger of God, what would God say? “David was wholly devoted to Me. He was a man after My own heart. Well, except in the case of…” for me, maybe many! I don’t know, because I hide so much. Do you realize we hide our hearts far more than we should? From each other and from God. Jesus was very clear that we were to share our sin, to repent of our sin and to be cleansed from it and freed from it…

We don’t always think about it. We don’t think about how our actions affect the heart of God. One minute we trust God, we’re crying out to Him, the next minute we’re trusting in our own devices, in our own strength, and our own power. God has become the McDonald’s religion; the fast-food God. We pull into the drive-thru and we come to the speaker and we give God one of these: “Yes, You can take my order, God. I’ll have some rent money and some utility money and, oh yes, God, my car payment is due. And, oh by the way, God, yes, You can throw in the healing for my kids because they’ve been sick…” Many of us, even though we don’t pray in those exact words, we pray this way. God is the God of convenience for us. The fast-food God, because when we finish the prayer then we say, “Oh yeah, God, make it snappy, because I’m in kind of a hurry here. Bless me, God. Bless me, God.” And you know what? It’s amazing, it is amazing, that even with those kind of prayers, God hears, and God answers… But understand, fast-food is not healthy… Praying selfishly, praying that fast-food prayer will kill you. It’s not healthy. God wants people… His eyes are roaming through looking for men who’s hearts will be fully devoted. Not the ones who are only going to cry out Him when they’re in a hard situation. He wants men and women who are going to pray, “God, use me because You want to use me. Let Your will be done in my life. If there has to be some hardship in my life, God, then let it be. Humble me, but make me Your vessel.” Now, pray that prayer sometime. I’ve done that one, too, and let me tell you, I didn’t like it because sometimes God calls us, and He uses us, in ways that we don’t want to be used…

Once again, I just have to ask the question, “Are you struggling in your life? Are there hard things going on in your life right now? Is God trying to get your attention for some reason? Is there something that God is trying to say to you but you do not want to listen to Him?… I know so many people…that suffer desperately in their life, that are sick, maybe not physically but spiritually, and God allows the illness in order that they might cry out to Him, but they continue, day after day, week after week, in this illness of the spirit. They become completely useless to the Lord because they refuse to cry out, “God, You have my attention.” Not, “God, heal me. God, do something with me. Do something in me,” but simply, “God, You have my attention.” [Do] you want to hear God speak to you? You want to know God’s will in your life? You want to know the direction God wants you to go? Instead of laying out the shopping list for God, the list of everything you want God to do for you, just simply say, “God, You have my attention. Tell me what You want.” It’s amazing. If you do that enough, [if] you trust His Word, God will do great things with you. You may not think they’re great, but from God’s perspective, everything He’ll do with you…is great.

Pastor Dave Elkins