Sunday, April 23, 2017

Preparing to Worship

                           ...for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may
boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5b-6

This week I've tried to clear some rocks out of the garden as I made rows and dug holes for transplants. It's amazing how rocks just seem to multiply just like the crops. Some were only gravel size, some larger. Some of the larger ones had been scraped by the tiller tines, others showed no signs of man's touch.

In Elijah's day worship was conducted on alters made by 12 unhewn stones. The stones represented the twelve tribes of Israel. The problem was the nation of Israel had turned away from God and was worshipping the idol Baal. Followers of God were hunted down and killed. One of King Ahab's men hid God's prophets in a cave. The nation was troubled. King Ahab blamed Elijah, but Elijah always managed to escape capture. Until one day God sent Ahab to challenge the prophets of Baal.

The challenge was to prove who was the true God. Elijah wanted the prophets of Baal to call on their god to rain fire down on their alter. The challenge was accepted. All day the prophets of Baal called on their god. They cut themselves and bled hoping that would make Baal answer.

All day, Elijah watched the world try to solve their problem without God. Along about the time of the evening sacrifice, Elijah began to prepare to worship.
  • He rebuilt the alter with 12 unhewn stones.
  • He had the alter drenched with water to make sure no one could deny God's power.
  • He prepared the sacrifice.
  • He prayed.
  • God rained down fire and consumed the sacrifice and the water.
  • The prophets of Baal were defeated.
Elijah probably thought that was the end of the story, but King Ahab and his wife Jezebel weren't finished. Their plan was still to kill Elijah. Elijah ran. He felt alone. He felt he was the only one who really loved the Lord. I Kings 18:17-39
I think we too, feel alone in the battle against evil. But God has not left Himself without a witness. You and I can stand strong by first preparing to worship, first with out families, then with our communities. God showed up and showed out in answer to Elijah's prayers and He will answer ours as well.
So do you feel you live in a crazy mixed up world?
How will you prepare to worship this week?
Hey Kids:
I know you love to pick up rocks and stick a few finds in your pockets.
Why not use them to prepare a reminder to worship the Lord every day?
Elijah prepared at the time of evening sacrifice. Maybe you and your family can have evening as a time of worship as well.
Preparing the evening worship:
  • Gather a few rocks to place in your home.
  • Set aside a specific time.
  • Place the rocks along side your Bible.
  • Prepare your heart with prayer to listen, worship and follow.
  • Allow God to show you where and how to study.
  • Expect God to show up and show out.
  • Expect confrontations from those who are following the world. Remember God had to remind Elijah that He was still with him and so were other followers of the one true God.

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