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Spiritual Intelligence: 850 against 1!

“I’m not the troublemaker,” Elijah answered. “You are—you and your father. You are disobeying the Lord’s commands and worshiping the idols of Baal. Now order all the people of Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel. Bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah who are supported by Queen Jezebel.”

Good morning friends. By way of background, please allow me give a synopsis of this scenario. Israel was delivered by Yahweh from Egypt with mighty hands. The power of His hands were demonstrated through great signs and wonders, including the division of the Red Sea for safe passage enroute to the Promised Land, and leading them by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night – what an awesome sight? Just a take a second to imagine the degree of fear that consumed the surrounding nations.

Fast forward generations later, Yahweh had been forsaken for the gods of their Canaanite neighbours and enemies. The worship of Baal and Asherah became so dominant, alienating worshipers of Yahweh, hence the title of this thought – 850 against 1!

Today we face the same predicaments in the church. In the words of Paul to his son in the faith, Timothy;

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

So, back to my opening text. Elijah confronts king Ahab and demands for a power encounter with the false prophets on Mount Carmel, in full view of the citizens of the nation. Elijah then made this charge to the people;

How much longer will it take you to make up your minds? If the Lord is God, worship him; but if Baal is God, worship him!” But the people didn’t say a word.

He asked for two bulls; one for himself and the other for the false prophets. The sacrifice that is consumed by fire would be that of the superior God. The people gave their approval, and Elijah suggested that the false prophets have the first go.

His opponents cried all day, but to no avail. Elijah then stepped in, erected the alter that had been forsaken by the people, built a trench around it, prepared his bull, and asked for gallons of water to be poured on it. Then he called fire from heaven, Yahweh answered consuming the alter with holy fire!

In bringing this thought to a close, I’m reminded of the words of Jude, I leave it with you as a prayer, encouraging you to hold on and stand your ground for the almighty God. It doesn’t matter what the majority are doing, it won’t be long, He comes with judgement and rewards.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen.

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~ Sabali

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Spiritual Intelligence: Planet Paradox

“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”

So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

Once we fully immerse ourselves into God’s Call, a whole new world of possibilities is opened-up. This world I’ve tagged – Planet Paradox. Perhaps the best description of its operations can be found in contents of The Rabbi’s sermon on the mount, and the following declaration by the project Isaiah;

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Back to the thought at hand, we see the prophet Elijah given clear instructions to a particular location, and a contact for his sustenance. On getting there he meets a widow in a worse situation than himself – what a paradox?! Through the human mind, that software would be said to have been corrupted – something has gone badly wrong here… There is a definitely a bug in the system. I was expecting to be sent to meet a very wealthy man or woman in Israel, not a widow scrambling for crumbs to cook her last meal for herself and her dear son before they both die, even worse, not one from Jezebel’s hometown!

But in these seemingly paradoxes we see a faith connection beyond our wildest dreams. This passage gives us a snippet into the awesomeness of Jehovah. The widow had faith in God in a time when the very elects (Israel) were in apostasy, and Elijah had trust in God amidst persecution and hunger – friends that’s all we need. These two currencies can move our earthly mountains to float on the currents of God’s power!

In the words of our dear friend Paul, the great theologian and philosopher;

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

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~ Sabali