July 5, 2020

HIGH AND LOW MOMENTS OF FAITH

Preacher:
Passage: 1 Kings 19:9, 1 Kings 19:1-4, 1 Kings 17:12,Mark 622-25
Service Type:

Introduction

As I have been contemplating the verse of the theme of the year “Believe in the LORD your God and you shall be Established. Believe in His prophets you shall prosper (2 Chr. 20:20). The word “believe” continued to stand out as the determinant of my establishment and prosperity in 2020. Why, because there are low moments and high moments in our Faith in God. The low and High moments are experienced by everybody - rich and poor, mighty and small, adults and children, learned and unlearned, Kings and princess.

High and Low Moments

The risk of high moments is making promises that are not thought through (remember Herod promising whatever she would ask, he regretted later when she asked the head of John the Baptist – Mark 622-25). However, the low moments appear most dangerous.

The high moments are very good my dear sister and brother. They are indeed great and enjoyable moments indeed. We feel God’s presence with us and what we can do! Dou remember the return of the 70 disciples after they were sent out by Jesus in Luke 10:17? It was indeed a high moment of Faith “Lord even the demons are subject to us in your Name!” they were indeed joyous and excited with the experience of even casting demons in Jesus Name! This was a high moment of Faith!

In contrast, the disciples were brought an epileptic son who was demon possessed but it is reported to Jesus by the father that they were not able to heal him (Mathew 17:15-16). This must have been a very low moment. Disciples may have felt ashamed before people.

It is important for us to know that our walk to heaven, where our citizenship is (Philippians 3:20) is a journey of Faith. A singer of old sang “This is not an easy road….” (Aaaca, ino ti njira huthu!). The low moments are very dangerous because the devil can easily exploit them. One may find giving up the faith as the better option; one may feel like cursing God and die like wife of Job; one may blame fellow believers, family members and friends that they do not care; one may blame God as one who does not care; one may compromise the Faith very easily….. the list of the “devil’s sermons is long” Why? Because there are low moments of Faith! Which moment might you be in right now?

However, whatever the experience in any one given moment (High or low), Keep the Faith, ensuring that you do not give up in whatever you are doing. Above all, your name remains in the book of life! Keep this as your memory verse in your Low moments of Faith “Rejoice not against me, oh my enemy, when I fall (lowest point), I shall arise; when I sit I darkness, the Lord shall a light unto me (Micah 7:8).

Elijah is one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament. Let us reflect on some of his life’s incidences of high and low moments.

  1. Declaring drought in Israel for 3 years was a high moment

As Elijah declared before king Ahab “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain 3 years except at my word” (1 Kings 17:1) it was indeed a High moment. Think about such a moment, you standing before President Kenyatta and declaring this shall happen until you say… is it not a high moment?

  1. The Lord promising to and caring for him during drought was a high moment

“You shall drink from the Brook and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there” … and the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and evening and he drunk from the brook” (I Kings 17:4-6). This was a supernatural care despite the inconvenience of living in a cave.

  1. The dried up was a low moment

“The brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land” (1 Kings 17:7). He must have gotten anxious not sure of what will happen next. The level of anxiety determined the level went low, which also determined his level of Faith.

  1. Provision of Elijah by Zarephath Widow – Mix of high and low moments

God always has a good plan for us though it may not glitter. God told Elijah to arise and go to a widow, commanded to provide for him (1 Kings 17:9). It was a high moment for Elijah to leave the dried brook, no longer to sleep in the open and get to a home whose owner is commanded to provide for him. The Zarephath Widow was in her low moments – collecting firewood to cook the last meal from the last little flour and oil (1 Kings 17:12).

I am so pleased by the Obedient Faith of the Zarephath Widow, she believed the servant of God even in her lowest moment. “Do not fear, go make me a small cake for me first, afterward make some for yourself and son, for the Lord says that your flour bin shall not be used up and oil jar will never run dry” (1 Kings 17:13-15). The Zarephath Widow BELIEVING ACTION in God and His Servant even in her low moments resulted to Establishment and Prosperity! (1 Kings 17:16). It was a great and miraculous experience to all of them, witnessing everlasting provision amidst drought despite there being no such miracle before. God is able to take us through unfamiliar experiences for His will to be done.

  1. Widow’s son death and resurrection – Mix of high and low moments

When the son got sick and finally died, the widow was so low that she blamed Elijah “What have I done? Have you come to bring my sin into remembrance and to kill my son?” (1 Kings 17:17-18). Elijah for a moment also got very low and seems to blame God. “Have you brought tragedy on the Widow with whom I lodge by killing her son?” (1 Kings 17:20) – However, Elijah decided to turn to God in prayer “Oh Lord my God, I pray let this child’s soul come back to him; and he was heard and child revived (1 Kings 17:21-22). This resulted to a high moment as Elijah took the son from the upper room and presented him to the mother. “See, your son lives! By this I know now you are a man of God, and the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth (1 Kings 17:21-23-24). It seems the miracle of cooking flour and oil had not convinced the widow yet (or she had already forgotten).

 

  1. God of Elijah answered by Fire – quite a high moment

This was during the Mt. Camel contest when Elijah confronted the people of double-mindedness. “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” but they kept silent (1 Kings 18:21). The contest rules were set between Elijah (representative of the Lord God) and 450 prophets of Baal and agreed upon by all the people “The God who answers by fire He is God” (1 Kings 17:23-24). Such a declaration by Elijah emanated from his BELIEVE IN God. It resulted to great Establishment!

There was anxiety when Baal failed to respond from morning to evening despite his prophets even cutting themselves with knives – to the extent of Elijah mocking them to be louder lest he be asleep, busy, on a journey or meditating (1 Kings 17:26-29).

When Elijah took his turn at the time of evening sacrifice – prepared the altar and poured even water – he said “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant and that I have done all these things at your word” …. Fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burned offering, the wood, stones, dust and water. People saw, fell on their faces in worship and proclaimed “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!” (1 Kings 17:36-38). This was indeed a high moment for Elijah even as he killed the prophets of Baal.

  1. Declaring end of Drought – Mix of low moments and high

Elijah declares to King Ahab that he can hear a “sound of abundance rain.” (1 Kings 18:41). But we find same Elijah making intercession (his face between his knees) 6 times, each moment his servant reporting that nothing could be seen towards the sea (1 Kings 18:42-3). Declaring there will be no rain for 3 years was just a declaration. Ending the drought was time consuming despite telling the king there is sound of rain. This was to me a low moment for Elijah.

Elijah continued BELIEVING God, until when a positive report came in the 7th time “there is a small cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising from the sea”(1 Kings 18:44).  This was a high moment as he sent message to Ahab to hurry to his house before the rains stopped him. The sky was confirming Elijah’s words as it became black with clouds and wind resulting to a heavy rain for the first time in 3 years (1 Kings 18:45). It was indeed a high moment for Elijah that he even ran faster than Ahab’s Chariots.

  1. Elijah faces death threats – A very low moment

The wife of king Ahab (Jezebel) after hearing all what had happened sent message to Elijah of her intent to murder him latest the following day. Elijah responded by fleeing for his life into the wilderness. As he sat down under a tree, away even from his own servant, the champion of the previous day at Mt. Camel now expressed exhaustion and had given up the fight. “It is enough! Now Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers! (1 Kings 19:1-4). He actually slept waiting for the prayer to be answered – to die.

Indeed, some low moments may be exploited by the devil to make us even see God to be far away from us. We may express the desire to give up in whatever we are doing, and even to die physically. You are not alone, Elijah the champion at Mt. Camel, even after calling fire and rain from heaven found himself in such a low moment. Our Fathers mind are not like ours, He does not accept the giving up, he desires you be strong to continue with the journey ahead of you (1 Kings 19:7-8).

  1. Elijah Speaks to God face to face at Mt. Horeb – A very High moment

I have noticed that God sometimes like asking us questions (not because he does not know the answers), usually because at such time we are usually lost and want to have a conversation with us to assist us realize ourselves.

God asks Elijah, “What are you doing here?” (1 Kings 19:9); God repeats the same question in a still small voice after demonstrating His power in the strong wind, earthquake and fire (1 Kings 19:11-12). Elijah gives his part of the story (testimony) to God about his zeal for the Lord of Hosts, the Israelites sin, killing of prophets and is the only one left. The Lord re-assures Elijah that his assignment is not complete yet, and he is not alone. There were other 7,000 who are still faithful to Him. This must have been a high moment experience.

Therefore, beloved of God, high and low moments of Faith are common and occur to everyone. Why? The journey of Faith is a lifestyle. To me, when we are in our low moments, it does not mean God is not with us (Its us who cannot see or feel Him). When in high moments, it does not mean that it is the only moment God is with us. Jesus (Emmanuel) is with us to the end of ages; never to leave us nor forsake us. Whichever moment you are in dear ones (High or Low), take heart, eat and drink (both spiritual and physical) for God still have an assignment for you!