Monday, January 26, 2009

Closer: 30 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Day 26: Decide

One of the raddest characters in the Bible would have to be Elijah. He was a prophet of God. These were the men that spoke for God to the people by divine inspiration. Probably the craziest story about Elijah was when he faced off with 850 pagan prophets on top of Mount Carmel.

He presented a challenge for them and the people of Israel.

1 Kings 18:20-21
20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."
But the people said nothing.
Elijah told the pagan prophets to call down fire from heaven to burn up a sacrifice. After hurling some unique insults at their powerless gods, he prayed and the true God sent down fire that even burned up the rocks of the altar he had built. Then the people knew that Elijah's God was real and chose to listen to him.

Isn't that a sad story? They had to wait for God to send fire down from heaven before they would actually believe. Jesus had a similar group to deal with.

Matthew 12:38-40
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you." 39He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
"But the people said nothing." Those words are unsettling. I would hate to think that given that chance I would make the same mistake. Yet sometimes, I too demand a sign before acting on what I know is right. My hope is that we as Christians make our minds up now whom we will follow. Let's not wait for angels to tell us what to do. Jesus already gave us the sign of Jonah. He died and three days later rose again. Let's believe that is true. Let's share that with others. Let's decide to follow Him with our whole hearts.

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