A devotional moment by Chris Garcia
1 Kings 18:30-35 (NKJV): Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.
The children of Israel were worshiping a false god, Baal, and there was a showdown. You have on Mount Carmel, these two people groups. The false prophets of Baal and Elijah, the servant of the Lord. He says to them, look the god that answers by fire, He's the real God of Israel. He tells the children of Israel, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” You know what God is desiring? Your worship. Some of you are compromising. Some of you are between two opinions. If Baal is god, worship him, but if the Lord is God, worship Him. Don't stagger between two opinions. You are either with the Lord or not. What's interesting is this, that the scripture says that Elijah said, ‘Look, this is what you're going to do’, to the false prophets of Baal, ‘We're going to take a bull, we're going to cut it in half you are going to chant and yell and scream and call on the name of your god and the god that answers by fire, he's the real God of Israel.’ So, they did that and the scripture says that they started prophesying and they were cutting themselves and they were yelling and they were screaming. They were making a whole lot of noise but there was no voice. Just because things are loud, just because there’s shouting, just because things look demonstrative, doesn't always mean that God's voice backs it up. The scripture says that they were doing this all the way up to evening time and Elijah says all right now it is my turn. I want you to hear what I'm saying because there's some very powerful keys here, I want you to see this in verse 30. Elijah does something before the fire falls. Number one, Elijah said to the people, come near to me. That is a provocation of faith. Immediately, that struck a chord of faith to the children of Israel. Expectation. He provokes them to expect something from God and then he repairs the altar of the Lord that was broken down. Some of you need to repair the altar of the Lord that was broken down. Some of you have left your first love. Some of you have left that place of seeking the Lord.
Before the fire falls, two things must be present. Number one, faith. Number two, the repairing of the altar. Then we see here in verse 31, “And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, ‘Israel shall be your name.’ Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed”. Now, the third thing that we see Elijah does before the fire comes, is this, he repairs the altar of the Lord, but he repairs it in the name of the Lord. You cannot come to the altar of the presence of God outside of the name of Jesus Christ. Not by your own works. You've got to repair it in the name of Jesus. Look what it says here, verse 33, “And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood,” and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood,” Then he does something that is very interesting that the other false prophets did not do. He fills four water pots with water and pours it on the burnt sacrifice on the wood. Keep note of this. Then he says do it a second time, then he says do it a third time and the water ran all around the altar and he also filled the trench with water. Why is that important? Because the children of Israel, during this drought, had a rare commodity. Water. Water, during this drought, was so costly and so valuable. Water was the most valuable thing that the children of Israel needed. Why? Because there was no rain. There was no water to fill their crops. So, Elijah takes the most costly thing and he pours it out. Not once, not twice but three times. Three times is the number of completion. Now, not only did he do this to make it impossible, but there is something much deeper than that. It was costly. You see, the presence of God, true worship, true worship that is so deep, touching the heart of God, is a worship that is costly. True worship that is true to God is an offering that costs everything. Number one, we must understand something. That it cost Christ everything to establish His altar upon our hearts. He was the perfect sacrifice because He was the most costly prize to the Father. In the same way, because we are now in covenant with God, what He requires of us now, is our lives. Which is the most costly thing we can give. It is simply a response to that which has already been given. He gave us His life. He wants you to give it all to Him now.
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