Immanuel Voices
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June 14, 2019, 4:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Elijah-Between Two Gods (Week 3:5)


Elijah-Between Two Gods

 

1 Kings 18:36-39

And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”

 

Thought for Today

After hours of watching the prophets of Baal exhaust themselves calling on their god, Elijah steps forward. He prays one simple prayer, a prayer inviting the Lord to show Himself and turn the hearts of His people back to Him. In response to those uncomplicated words fire pours down from heaven. The offering is consumed. The stones, dust, and even the water they poured on it all are engulfed. The people who witness this terrible demonstration fall on their faces and declare the Lord to be the only true God. It is a dramatic triumph! Note how small a role Elijah actually played in this grand drama. He simply showed up and prayed a simple prayer. This is often how it is when you serve God. We think He is calling us to a grand and difficult work. We wonder if we have the strength and wisdom to accomplish what He has called us to do. We fret and worry about the outcome. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the tasks God sends. He is already planning on doing all the hard parts. Most often He is simply looking for someone with the faith to trust Him and the courage to show up. He will take care of everything else. What have you been putting off out of fear? Today is the day to move forward in faith. Ask God what the next step is and just show up. Trust Him to do what He has planned. He never fails.

 

Prayer

Lord God, grant me the twin blessings of courage and faith today, that I may follow You wherever You lead me and marvel at the work You do. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

I gave in, and admitted that God was God. ― C.S. Lewis

 

Quote of the Day

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently. ― Maya Angelou

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June 13, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Elijah-Between Two Gods (Week 3:4)


Elijah-Between Two Gods

 

1 Kings 18:26-29

And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

 

Thought for Today

This is one of the funniest and most tragic passages in the Bible. With the offerings set on the altar Elijah lets the prophets of Baal go first. They spend the whole morning praying and dancing. By noon Elijah is getting bored and he begins to taunt them. Not a very proper thing for a man of God to do, but funny none the less. He begins to offer suggestions as to why Ball isn’t answering them. My favorite is when he suggests that maybe Baal is busy using the toilet! This spurs them into manic action. They begin to beat and torture themselves, believing that Baal will notice if they suffer enough. Tragically, there is no answer to their pleas. There is no answer because there is no one to hear them. Baal is not real. How often do we see people engaging in self-destructive behavior thinking that it is either what they deserve or will get some imaginary version of God’s attention? How often have you thought that bad things were God’s will? God does not desire His children to suffer. It breaks His heart. It still happens because we live in a fallen world and God can bring good out of the worst circumstance, but it is not His preference. It is often our preference and God will not stand in the way of our free will. If you find you are hurting yourself or suffering in God’s name, stop! Quit worshiping a god of your own creation and turn to the true God. He is merciful and compassionate, abounding in steadfast love for you. Allow Him to offering you healing and peace.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I confess that I sometimes attribute the suffering I bring upon myself to You. I am sorry. Help to know You for who You truly are. Help me to find mercy and peace in You. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

I seemed to hear God saying, "Put down your gun and we'll talk. ― C.S. Lewis

 

Quote of the Day

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. — Indira Gandhi
 

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June 12, 2019, 7:00 PM

Daily Inspiration: Elijah-Between Two Gods (Week 3:3)


Elijah-Between Two Gods

 

1 Kings 18:23-24

“Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”

 

Thought for Today

Baal was the Canaanite god of the sky, whose wrath came with the storms and whose judgment was sent as lightning. Elijah chooses the simplest trial for the prophets of Baal. They would build two altars and place a sacrifice upon each. The god who provided fire from the sky is really god. The other is a fake. The prophets of Baal had to be delighted at the challenge. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. What does this tell us about our God? The Lord is almighty. That means that He is powerful in every area. Baal’s strength was supposedly in the sky. The Lord was powerful in the sky, on the ground, in the ocean, and in space. He made all of it. There is no arena of life in which God is weak. The amazing thing about God is that for His children He delights to show His strength at the point of their weakness. He comes to the place where we struggle and demonstrates His power by giving us the victory, because He knows we will see His hand clearly. This causes us to acknowledge His presence and worship Him. Conversely, when challenged, God loves to pick the area where His opponent is strongest, so there will be no doubt who is superior. So if you are feeling weak invite God in. Give Him the chance to do what He loves.

 

Prayer

Lord God, I confess that I am weak in ________________. Show me Your love and power in this area of my life so that I will receive the double blessing of victory in the area and the growth in my faith in You. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It's not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He's made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, "Let's go do that together. ― Bob Goff

 

Quote of the Day

We were given the Scriptures to humble us into realizing that God is right, and the rest of us are just guessing. ― Rich Mullins

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