Prophetic Faith

Link to video:

Date: 4 November, 2021

Text: 1 Kings 18:41-46

Title: Prophetic Faith

 

Introduction:

 

 note: I recently preached a message on Elijah - (From Depression to Refreshment)

- "subject to like passions as we are" - He was human and struggled like us.

BUT THE EMPHASIS OF THE VERSE IS ON THE FAITH OF ELIJAH.

 

James 5:17  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

18  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

 

History:

- King Ahab and Queen Jezebel - were wicked baal worshippers

- They had led Israel into idolatry.

- Elijah was the bold prophet who had withstood them in God's name.

- He prayed first for God's judgement for their wickedness.

Solomon's prayer - dedication of the temple - 

1 Kings 18:35  When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:

exp. Elijah had Biblical reason to plead with God to shut the heavens from rain. (God answered)

 note: The climax of the story - is a showdown on Mt. Carmel - where the prophets of Baal and Elijah have a duel - Both would build an altar and the God who answered with fire is God.

GOD ANSWERED ELIJAH'S PRAYER WITH FIRE.

1 Kins 18:37  Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

38  Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

39  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

- ELIJAH NOW PRAYS FOR GOD'S BLESSING ACCORDINGLY.

Back to Solomon's prayer - 1 Kings 8:36  Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.

exp. Elijah has truth from God's Word promising God's blessing upon His people - he pleads it.

Our text: 1 Kings 18:41-46 - is the second prayer of THAT story 

- of which James says, "Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are and he prayed earnestly"

 

WE THINK - ELIJAH WAS A PROPHET - I COULD NEVER HAVE FAITH LIKE A PROPHET.

 

JAMES SAY - ELIJAH WAS A MAN AND YOU CAN HAVE FAITH AND PRAY LIKE A MAN.

 You too can have prophetic faith AND PRAY ACCORDINGLY.

Are you praying down ANY rain from Heaven? 

Are you BOLDLY entering into the arena of faith for Christ and His cause?

PRAYER

You too can have prophetic faith AND PRAY ACCORDINGLY.

 

I. Faith that unashamedly believes God.

41  And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

exp. Elijah had seen God answer prayer.

- God had stopped the rain for 3 years in answer to His prayers.

- In obedience to God - he has just prayed and God sent fire from Heaven.

- He is getting ready to pray for rain and he UNASHAMEDLY believed God would send it.

- He tells wicked King Ahab - get ready because God is going to send a deluge.

ill. Jesus: obviously the premier example of a man who UNASHAMEDLY believes God.

John 11:42  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

ill. Paul - 21  But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. (scriptural - "I told you so.")

22  And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship.

23  For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

24  Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

25  Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

exp. I don't mind telling you - I believe God is going to do this.

 ill. Our church has participated in this kind of faith when praying for God's blessing on Gala Day. We let the committee know that WE BELIEVED GOD AND WERE PRAYING. 

 exp. We have had them tell us, "God answered your prayers."

question: Why don't we often say to an unbeliever - I believe God can do something about that?

ill. 2 Kings 5:2  And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.

3  And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.

exp. She had simple child like faith in the power of her God. (She said God will....)

 app. Are you as bold as that young lady - DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE GOD WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT IF YOU PRAY? If not, you aren't going to let it be known.

 transition: Get prophetic faith - faith that unashamedly believes God.

 

II. Faith that perceptively believes God.

41 ...for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

 question: Did Elijah physically hear rain coming? No - but his spiritual ear heard it!

question: Do you ever have any SENSE that God has answered your prayers before receiving?

 ill. Revival on the Isle of Lewis 1949 - Channel of Revival - Duncan Campbell's Bio.

"The Christians longed to see a renewed manifestation of God's power. This was evident in the earnestness of the weekly prayer-meetings and in the conversations of God's people when they met together..... Gradually in many praying hearts concern deepened into a conviction that God's time to favour them with a further outpouring of His spirit had come. Prayer was intensified and faith encouraged. Expectation grew that something would happen." (page. 113)

 note: This idea in prayer has been called "praying it through." There is a pereption that God had answered though the blessing had not yet fully come.

1 John 5:15  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

ill. There have been times in my Christian life and experience where I know God answered because I knew God had heard my prayers.

- I was in my car driving across Tucson when God answered that Katie and I could be married a year before finishing school. (I would be a second year grad/ Katie and senior)

- I was in my closet (literally) in my dorm when God answered my prayer that it not rain on the night Katie and I would be engaged.

- More recently I was running (near the land) praying, "If it be thou bid me come," as God opened the door for us to make known our burden to get property through which God abundantly supplied financially.

 note: I would say - with these and other occasions where God has worked like this - I know where I was when God answered my prayers.

exp. Would to God that my heart was more in tune with God - perceptive to His listening ear!

 app. Do you know at times "perceive" that God has heard you to the point that you know He has answered your prayers. Are you praying it through?

transition: Get prophetic faith - faith that unashamedly and perceptively believes God.

 

III. Faith that specifically believes God.

41 ...for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

exp. Why rain? Because he was going to pray for the specific blessing which God in answer to his prayers had withheld.

question: Do you know the difference between specific and generic praying?

 ill. I've noticed with parenting that children are specific in what they ask.

- Can I get paid? (Not - you know what blessing I need to day and wait on you to give it.)

- May I buy  _____? (Not - if you see fit to guide my wondering feet....)

 exp. They don't speak gernerically because they want me to answer specifically.

note: If you desire God to answer specifically, you need to pray specifically.

We can say - God will you bless the missionaries.... but we won't be able to know God answered.

- But, if we prayed for God 

- to heal Sandra Calin and give them contactst for their ministry, ministry location

- to help Su Olmstead get a children's ministry started, For Robert, Danny's son

- For God's provision of finance for the men's home, etc.

 ill. Our church building/ property need.

- visible, durable, functional, beautiful, affordable, accessible, maintainable.

 exp. This list has already helped us discern God's will as we seek His answer.

ill. Jesus, Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 7:8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

9  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

app. Do you really believe that God will answer according to your asking? If you do, you will find yourself praying very specifically and believing that the ANSWER will be specific.

transition: Get prophetic faith - faith that unashamedly, perceptively, specifically believes God.

 

IV. Faith that confidently believes God.

41 ...for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

exp. Elijah did not hear the sound of a gentle mist, he heard the sound of ABUNDANCE of rain.

Psa 81:10  I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

exp. God brought them out of the land of Egypt.

- WITH MIGHTY MIRACLES and GREAT WEALTH.

- WITH A MIGHTY HAND - destroying the armies of Egypt in the Red Sea.

NOW GOD SAYS, 'SAY AH" AND  THE SAME GOD IS GOING TO FEED YOU.

ill. I am a fishermen. Most of you have not seen this part of my life. We were homschooled of a while in high school - we would put our fishing poles on our bikes, head to the small dam.... (mostly small mouth bass - above - large mouth bass - the difference among other things - the size of their mouth.)

 question: Are you a small mouth Christian or a LARGE mouth Christian?

Jer 33:3  Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

exp.  Are you a Christian that looks at this promise and says,.....

- I'm worried that God can't supply my need 

- financially, emotionally, medically, relationally....

OR DO YOU SAY, "AH" AND LET THE GREAT AND MIGHTY GOD FEED YOU.

 note: The bank of Heaven is open - ready to give out GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS and some believers are barely getting necessities for themselves, their family and friends.

 app. I believe you open your mouth in prayer. And if you hardly pray or barely open your mouth in prayer - you limit what God wants to put inside. 

transition: Get prophetic faith - faith that unashamedly, perceptively, specifically, confidently believes God.

 

V. Faith that diligently believes God.

Jas 5:16  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

exp. Elijah didn't say - I believe God and stand there and say - I believe God - why isn't God working? Because He believed God he got to the place of prayer....

A. Going to the place of prayer.

42  So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel;

exp. The wicked king wasn't going to obtain the blessing Israel needed, but the man of God would obtain it IN THE PLACE OF PRAYER.

 NOTE: A place of prayer is important.

Mat 6:6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Mat 14:23  And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

 ill. In the Garden of Gethsemane - Jesus went to a place of prayer.

Matthew 26:38  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

 exp. You don't really pray unless you have a place where you go and pray. (It doesn't have to be the same place, but you have to get away if you want to really pray.)

 ill. BJU - 2/3 roommates - busy schedule - busy campus... I had to find places to pray

- I prayed in the practice shacks (rooms with pianos for instrument practice)

- I prayed in the prayer rooms

- I prayed on the athletic fields

- I prayed in the stair wells.

 app. Where do you pray? If you WANT PROPHETIC FAITH you diligently believe God and get yourself to the place of prayer.

B. Getting in the position of prayer.

42 ...and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,

ill. Remember Jesus position in Gethsemane - Matthew 26:38  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

exp. You don't have to always kneel in prayer - BUT IF YOU NEVER KNEEL IN PRAYER - one may wonder if you diligently believe God.

 ill. We enjoy watching the film about - Sheffey - the circuit riding preacher - who loved the camp meetings - you'll remember that Sheffey carried a sheep skin on which he would pray.

 note: Muslims bow - Catholics kneel -

WE WHO KNOW THE LORD ought to at time find ourselves diligently seeking God on our knees.

 app. Does you place or position testify that you are DILIGENTLY believing God?

transition: Get prophetic faith - faith that unashamedly, perceptively, specifically, confidently, diligently, believes God.

 

VI. Faith that patiently believes God.

 ill. I mentioned fishing - it was fun to teach the boys bass fishing techniques when we were back in the States. All of the older boys caught bass with lures. (lure fishing is a cut above bait fishing - anybody can bait fish - but lure fishing takes more skill.) Mac wasn't old enough to learn lure fishing. BUT FOR A 6 YEAR OLD (last year) he had a lot of patience.... needful for fishing.

exp. You aren't going to go far in your prayer life if you don't patiently believe God. You have to learn to WATCH and WAIT for God to answer.

A. Watching for the answer.

43  And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. 

exp. Elijah asked for fire - God sent fire immediately. (Prayer can be like that.) 

(Salvation, forgiveness, necessary immediate grace....)

But more often then not, there is an element of waiting on God and accepting...."there is nothing."

 ill. Fishing can be interesting - the bite can stop and start - you are catching nothing - then you are catching everything (for 15 minutes) then back to nothing....if a cold front comes through the bite may be off for a few days - impatient people can't stand that and turn to other activities.

app. If you want prophetic faith, you have to be content to watch long in faith.

Col 4:2  Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

B. Waiting for the answer. 

43  And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.

exp. Elijah didn't accept, "nothing" in answer to his prayers - 7 is the number of perfection and his servant was to keep going up until God answered.

ill. The grey mares tale - beautiful hike up to Loch Skeen - you know the lock is there but you continually come around bends hoping to see it and it's not there. I'd be curious how many people have stopped within a stone's throw of the lock because they grew impatient. (almost there)

app. Are you going to quit before God answers because you feel like God should have answered already. You have no idea - but you may be nearly there - PROPHETIC FAITH waits for the answer

Gal 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

transition: Get prophetic faith - faith that unashamedly, perceptively, specifically, confidently, diligently, patiently believes God.

 

VII. Faith that expectantly believes God.

44  And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.

 exp. Elijah's servant sees the distant cloud - and God's man says - that is the answer - get ready - it's coming.

quote: Barnes notes - "A little cloud ... - Sailors know full well that such a cloud on the far horizon is often the forerunner of a violent storm."

 exp. Elijah wasn't a sailor, but he was a man of faith.

 ill. Revival on Lewis - having just arrived in the village of Barvas - "That night he preached from Matthew 25 on the wise virgins, challenging the Christians to their reponsibility towards those who were asleep in sin. Dust rose from the pulpit cushion as he warmed up to his subject! "There's fire here" mused an elder, who felt so convicted that, instead of going home, he walked across the moor to kneel by a peat-bank and pray that God would meet with him afresh. 

A solemn hush came over the church the following night when Duncan turned this time to the foolish virgins. The service closed in a tense silence and the building emptied. As he came down from the pulpit a young deacon raised his hand and moving it in a circle over his head whispered: ' Mr. Campbell, God is hovering over. He is going to break thorugh. I can hear already the rumbling of heaven's chariot wheels."

Just then the door opened and an leader beckoned: "come and see what happening!" The entire congregation was lingering outside, relucatant to dispers; other had joined them drown from their homes by an irresistible power they had not experienced bfore . There were looks of deep distress on many faces.

Suddenly a cry pierced the silence; a young man had remained in the church, burdened to the point of agony for his fellow man, was pouring out his desire in prayer.... the congregation swept back into the church. The awful presence of God brought a wave of conviction of sin that caused even mature Christians to feel their sinfulness, bringing grones of distress and prayers of repentance from the unconverted....." revival came - men of God EXPECTANTLY saw it coming.

 app. Are you expectantly believing God - looking for God's blessing in such a way THAT YOU CAN SEE IT COMING before it arrives?

 

conclusion:

45  And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.

46  And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

exp. God answer the prophet - and GOD ANSWERED THE MAN. Just a man like us who went to God for His blessing upon His people. (SCOTLAND NEEDS RAIN, FREE BAPTIST....

Do you have prophetic faith? 

YOU TOO CAN HAVE PROPHETIC FAITH AND PRAY ACCORDINGLY.

Faith that unashamedly, perceptively, specifically, confidently, diligently, patiently, expectantly believes God.

Free Baptist Church

Meeting at the Midlothian Innovation Centre, Pentlandfield, Roslin, EH25 9RE.

Scottish Registered Charity No SC046125
01968381360, 0757 005 5211 freebaptistinfo@gmail.com
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