Ulcer left my body, April 16, 1972, the day I gave my life to Jesus. In 1976, while driving from Enugu to Lagos, at Ijebu Ode, it appeared as though my stomach was pierced with a dagger. I did not know by then how to reject another man’s letter in my letter box. Keeping quiet meant that I accepted the letter, which was the ulcer. It had come back through the back door! In 1980, during a vigil, I received God’s Word that made me to dump my ulcer drugs into a trash can, thereby also dropping the ulcer there! It left my body that day, 41 years ago, till today. Victory by the Word! This is victory that comes from God, through His Word. This means that God announces our victory before the battle. We shall be considering how Elijah, by the Word, won the victory on Mt. Carmel – I Kings 18.
God honours His promises. He promised Elijah rainfall in a country in which rain had not fallen for three years, but he had to meet King Ahab. It is good to hear from God through Rhema and logos, so long as the Rhema does not contradict the logos. That was what made Paul to admonish his son, Timothy, to: ‘Study to show yourself approved of God…’ 2Tim 2:15. God may tell us something that makes no sense by human equation as He told Elijah, like a suicide mission, to meet King Ahab. How could he when Ahab had been searching for him to kill him? The choice then was between obedience and getting the victory he needed. Elijah obeyed. He went and met Obadiah, Ahab’s servant, and told him to tell King Ahab that, ‘Elijah is here’. God also told Moses to meet Pharaoh, whose fear had driven him away from Israel for 40 years. Moses obeyed and obtained victory.
Boldness is essential for victory. When they met, Ahab tried to intimidate Elijah, using his position as the king, by accusing him of troubling Israel, when he was the one doing that. To his surprise, Elijah told him how he and his father’s house were doing that, abandoning God and worshipping Baal. It is not disrespectful to point the truth to anybody, irrespective of his status in life. Elijah was in charge of the situation, commanding the king to summon all Israel, 450 priests of Baal and the 400 false prophets on Jezebel’s payroll on Mt. Carmel and he did. The contest was that the God/god that would consume the sacrifice by fire, let Him/him be the acceptable God/god. Victory starts when you are in charge. You are in charge of your street, bus, car, plane, on top of okada, etc.
Elijah did not hasten the priests of Baal. He was patient with them, allowing them to take their time to avoid any excuses. Imagine, from morning till evening, Elijah was waiting for them and did not hasten them till they submitted, accepting the failure of their god. Be patient with yourself, with God and with people.
The key for Victory is in verses 30 to 32. Elijah commanded the crowd to move close to him so that nobody would be left in doubt of what he was going to do. He then brought out the key for victory! Yes, Uncle Elijah brought out the key by repairing the Altar of God that was broken down. Why? ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves…’ Sin hinders prayers. He did not want to pretend at all. ‘How can I own up in public that I did this?’ Some people will argue within. We must make a choice between pride and getting what we need. Pretending that things are okay when they are not, denies us victory from God. He accepted that the altar was broken, and he repaired it. This is the Christianity that takes someone to Heaven. Is there anything to repair in your life?
He also repaired the altar of relationship between the twelve tribes of Israel, broken down during the time of Jeroboam and Rehoboam. Reconciliation is a prelude to victory. What Cain and Abel did was recommendable by giving God their offerings. Uncle Cain did not know that God accepts an individual first before considering his offerings. He accepted Abel and his offering but rejected Cain and his offering. That was why Uncle Elijah repaired the broken Altar. ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves…but if we confess our sins…’1John 1:8-9. ‘Without holiness no man can see God’; ‘Be ye holy for I am holy’- 1Peter 1:16; Heb. 12:14; ‘Righteousness exalts a nation…sin is a reproach’ – Prov. 14:34; ‘Whoso covers his sin will not prosper’.
Faith is important in this battle if victory will be won. Recall that faith is acting on what you believe. Elijah initiated the battle. He challenged the Baal worshippers. We can do the same, proclaiming before the devil who we are in Christ. The shield and the sword are weapons of warfare, each serving a different purpose.
The shield is for defence. Nobody wins a battle by utterly defending himself. This is true also in soccer championships. To win, you must start the battle and pursue your enemy aggressively. Joseph played defence and had to run away when the heat was much. The devil will bring obstacles. To David, it was Eliab, his eldest brother, who insulted him so that he would withdraw – 1Sam 17:28. With boldness, David challenged him: ‘Is there not a cause?’ The devil reversed his strategy, using King Saul. Unlike Eliab, in calm voice and subtle manner, he tried to dissuade David – v.33. With testimonies, David subdued him and killed Goliath. So will you do, in the name of Jesus.
Uncle Elijah’s faith was so strong that he told them to pour water three times on the altar and the objects of his sacrifice. He then prayed and God answered, sending fire that consumed the sacrifice. That was Victory No. 1. The crowd shouted triumphantly, ‘The Lord, He is God’ and so will He ever be in your life and business, in the name of Jesus.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0909 041 9057; [email protected]