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This sermon – Standing Before God – was originally preached 2013.04.28 by Rich Bowman.
Passages used: 1 Kings 17:1-34, 1 Kings 18:1-46, 2 Kings 1:1-18, 2 Kings 2:1-14.
This morning we want to think about standing before God in a bit of a different light than we normally do. We want to learn from the life of Elijah. It will be somewhat of a character study of Elijah.
There are a lot of things that are attributed to Elijah, He was a great man of God. Even his exit from the world was an extremely interesting thing, He didn’t die, but rather was taken up in a chariot to heaven.
Elijah lived his life in readiness. He stood before God and asked, “What can I do for you today?” He is before God and he is ready to do what God wants him to do. Elijah understood the power difference between God and the King.
Throughout the stories of Elijah we see him saying the very line, “the God, before whom I stand…” At one point Elijah tells Obadiah that he too should stand before God.
Elijah wanted to make a difference in the lives of those who were around him. Especially the children of Israel who had been deceived and were serving false gods.
So what can we learn about standing before God?
Those who stand before almighty God obey him promptly. Elijah exemplifies this well. When God told Elijah to go sit by a brook and he would be fed by ravens, Elijah went – no questions asked. This happens throughout his life, God said go and Elijah went.
Those who stand before almighty God don’t fear men. It was quite dangerous for Elijah to stand before the king and tell him that it wouldn’t rain for a long time. Heads were cut off for lesser things. Even after years with no rain, he still was willing to stand before the king, knowing his life is in danger, and with no fear he tells him that he (the king) was the one who was troubling Israel!
The odds weren’t exactly stacked in Elijah’s favor at Mount Carmel. There was a whole bunch of prophets of Baal and only one prophet of God. Even then Elijah stood firm.
Those who stand before God believe that God performs miracles, and they live that way! Elijah believed that it wouldn’t rain for years, he lived in belief. The ravens feeding him seemed really weird, but Elijah was ok with it and he lived in belief that the miracle would happen. On Mount Carmel he poured barrels of water on the sacrifice before he prayed to God. Elijah knew that God would come through for him.
Those who stand before almighty God don’t halt between two opinions. On Mount Carmel Elijah was frustrated about how the people were following idols when the God who created heaven and earth wanted to bless them and be a part of their lives. Elijah asked them, “how long will you halt between these opinions.” He knew where he stood and he wanted to do the thing that God wanted him to do.
The same God that Elijah served is the same God that we serve. Are we standing before Him? Are we looking at each day and asking, “God how can I serve you today?” Do we respond promptly? Do we fear men? Do we waver between what is right and what is wrong?