To provide context, there has been no rain for the last three and a half years in Israel, which has led to a season of famine. Then, the Word of the Lord came to Elijah,
February 20, 2023
1 Kings 18:1 – After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.”
To provide context, there has been no rain for the last three and a half years in Israel, which has led to a season of famine. Then, the Word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” This is a prophetic Word from the Lord, promising that rain is coming. Elijah knows that God will send rain after three and a half years, as he has heard it.
1 Kings 18:41 – And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.”
The rain has not yet come, but it is going to rain. God said, “I will send rain.” However, when Elijah went to Ahab, he said, “Let’s celebrate, for I hear the sound of the rain.” Now, the question arises: how can you hear the sound of the rushing rain without the rain actually falling? The answer is that Elijah heard the Word, and in that Word, he heard the sound of the rain falling. The Word said, “I am sending the rain,” and that was enough for him to hear the rushing of the rain. What Word of God has come to you? Because in that Word is the reality of what will happen.
A lot of times we get discouraged because we heard the voice of the Lord, but it still hasn’t come to pass. I heard the Lord, it was very clear, but it’s not happening I don’t see it. I heard the Lord saying, I’ll restore your family, but it’s still not happening. Or I heard the Lord say, I’ll give you a promotion. It’s not happening. I heard the Lord say you’ll be married by so-and-so time. It’s not happening.
We come to know of Noah from the Bible. God called Noah and he said, Noah, I’m going to destroy the earth and because I’m going to destroy the earth, I’m telling you a secret. Make an ark so that you can protect your family. You and your family will be saved.
God told Noah about what He was going to do, and Noah began preparing an ark. This ark was bigger than a football field; it was as tall as a four-story building, and Noah and his sons were the ones building it. They built a huge ark that could carry animals and creatures of all kinds. Can you imagine how much time it took for Noah to build that ark? The Bible says it took 120 years, all because he heard the voice of the Lord. Yet, here we are, getting frustrated with a period of waiting. How many years have you been waiting? Noah had no reference point for what the ark looked like or what rain looked like because they had never seen rain. He simply heard the voice of the Lord and began doing it. Why? Because in the word of the Lord is the reality of what will happen.
So Elijah here receives a Word from the Lord saying there’s a rain that is going to happen. And then he tells Ahab, to go celebrate. Because I hear the sound of the rushing of rain.
“Every Word that you receive has a reality of what God has for you. So, if you are feeling frustrated or annoyed by the delay, and you might think, “Oh, I have waited for so long and it still hasn’t happened,” then can I tell you this? The Word that you’ve received is good enough because that Word contains the reality of what is about to happen.”
Hebrews 11:3 – By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
What is the author saying? He’s saying everything that you see in the universe came out of what cannot be seen. Everything that is visible came out of the invisible. Everything that you see came out of the unseen realm. But it is only by faith you can understand this. You cannot understand this through education.
In fact, you have to be educated enough to not understand this. By faith, we understand that the entire universe was created by God’s Word. Anything that you see has been created by God’s Word. Your kidneys are created by God’s Word. So if God’s Word can create kidneys, God’s Word can also recreate kidneys.
If God’s Word has the power to create anything, then it also has the capacity to recreate them. However, this understanding can only be achieved through faith. Without faith, it is impossible to grasp this concept. Faith comes from the heart, not the mind. So this understanding is rooted in the heart, and not the mind.
You may understand in your mind that the entire universe was created out of God’s Word, but unless you have faith in your heart, you will still be afraid when problems arise. Many people believe that God is enough and that He can do all things. It is easy to believe that God can do all things, but not everyone has faith that He WILL.
Do you see the difference between belief and faith? We all believe that there is one God and that He is good, but not everyone has faith that God is good, that He is enough, and that He can take care of anything.
“What distinguishes believing from faith? Faith goes beyond belief by requiring action. While belief comes from the heart, faith involves an equivalent action. As James noted, “faith without works is dead.” In other words, faith involves not only believing in something but also actively living according to those beliefs.” For example, if you have a stomach ache and a doctor recommends a specific medicine, you may say that you believe the medicine will work. However, if you do not actually take the medicine, your belief is not enough to relieve your pain. Similarly, if you believe that a car will take you to your destination, but you do not actually get in the car and drive it, your belief is not enough to get you there.
Therefore, faith requires both belief and action. If you truly believe in something, you must also act on that belief to show that it is real.
Joshua 1:1-2 – After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant,“Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.
So here, God says, I’m giving to you, it’s like almost there. It’s future tense. Every place that the soul of your foot will tread upon, I have given to you. It’s past tense. God has a huge inheritance for you, but how you possess it is by faith. So God told Joshua, I’m going to give you this land that you see, I’m going to give you every place that your foot treads upon. So your step of faith possesses what God has for you. You have to take an equivalent step of faith to possess what God has already given to you.
Imagine that you come to my house for a party, and I say to you, “Feast! This is your party. Eat as much as you want.” I have provided an abundance of food for you to enjoy. However, if you do not actually take part in the feast, you will remain hungry even though the food is there.
The same applies to God’s promises. He has given us all things, but we must take action to claim them. The problem is not on God’s side; it is on our side. We must have faith and take action to receive what God has promised us.
2 Peter 1:3 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
So the problem is not with God. God has given us all things in Jesus. Have you received Jesus? If yes, then you have received all things. But you have to possess them. You have to walk in those things. Every place that your foot treads upon, has been given to you. That’s how you possess it. When we got our house, our initial task was to register it, which granted us the title deed and ownership of the property. However, we couldn’t fully appreciate the benefits of owning a home until we began living in it. Similarly, each person possesses a title deed from heaven, granting them a divine inheritance. But to fully experience the joy of this inheritance, one must take a step of faith and begin to claim it as their own. Only then can the true benefits be realized.
Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
God has blessed you with every spiritual blessing. That means He has not left out any blessings for you. He has given you every spiritual blessing. Now, for every spiritual blessing you have received, where have you received it? In the heavenly places. But where are you right now? You’re on the earth. So where do you need all your blessings? You need them on earth. That is where the problem is. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, but where we need those blessings is here. We need them on earth.
Let’s consider a scenario where I have a business and a bank account in the United States. Whenever I conduct business in the US, I earn revenue in US dollars. However, since I reside in India, I require the currency in Indian rupees (INR). To convert the funds, I must determine a solution. The same principle applies to converting your spiritual blessings from your heavenly account to your earthly account. This process requires a “currency exchange,” which is faith. By faith, we understand that the entire universe was created by God’s Word. That everything that is visible was made from the invisible.
So, you’re blessed with every spiritual blessing. His divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, but it will take faith to convert your heavenly blessings into physical ones. The sad reality is that you can be blessed with every spiritual blessing and still die without fulfilling God’s purpose on earth. That’s a sad truth because even though God has given us all things, we have to take and possess them. And that requires faith.
1 Kings 18:41-42 – And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees.
What is Elijah doing? He goes to the Mount, and he’s praying, why is Elijah praying when God already told him that I’m going to send rain? Wasn’t God clear enough? God was clear enough. So why is Elijah praying, any idea?
Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
The Greek word for “blessing” is εὐλογία (eulogia). It is derived from the words εὖ (eu), meaning “good,” and λόγος (logos), meaning “word” or “saying,”. So God has blessed you with good words in the heavenly places. Every word that God gives you needs to be converted by faith into the physical realm. So every word that God has released over the earth, God is looking for a man or a woman who can partner with him to establish that word on the earth. That’s what Jesus taught his disciples to pray: ‘Father, hallowed be your name. Let your kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ That means God’s will is not being done. Did you know that? Oh, but God is sovereign, yes. But He has given the earth to the Son of Man, and for anything to happen on the earth, you and I have to partner with God so that His will is done.”
What is the ultimate desire of God, who is considered sovereign? It is that all people should be saved. However, why isn’t everyone saved despite God’s sovereignty? The reason is that salvation requires partnership with human beings who are created in God’s image. Just as anything that occurs in one’s home or life requires their partnership, the same is true for both God and demonic forces. Any negative spiritual activity that happens in someone’s life occurs because they have allowed it to happen. The truth is, no demon can enter a person’s life without their permission. Any spiritual activity, be it angelic or demonic, requires the individual’s participation and partnership. However, the good news is that people have the power to decide. If they hear the voice of the Lord, they should not harden their hearts but listen to it, and thus experience salvation. Therefore, if people choose to partner with God’s Word, they establish it on Earth.
So even though Elijah heard the Word of the Lord, it requires faith for that Word to be established on the earth. Without faith, without somebody partnering with God’s Word, it’ll not happen. So you might say, oh, but I heard the prophetic Word. It’s not still happening to me. It’s because you did not partner with him. Because it requires your faith to possess what he has given.
1 King 18:43 – And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.
So, how many times did Elijah have to pray? Well, it was a total of seven times! During each prayer, Elijah would ask his servant if he saw anything, but unfortunately, the answer was always negative. But the seventh time the servant finally spotted a small cloud shaped like a man’s hand rising from the sea. It took seven prayers for Elijah to see the manifestation of God’s Word, and the small hand-shaped cloud was evidence of it. Even so, from the moment he saw the little cloud, he was sure that the Word would be fulfilled.
1 Kings 18:42 – And Elijah went up t o the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees.
I want you to think of that posture, he bowed himself down and put his face between his knees. Can you visualize it? During the Jewish era, when a woman was pregnant and needed assistance delivering her baby, midwives would use this same posture to help.
Do you know what Elijah was doing? The Word that he received, he was pregnant with that Word, and he was delivering that Word. Any Word that you receive has the potential for that Word to become bigger and to be delivered on the earth. That’s why it requires a partnership between a man and a woman.
“Can God do whatever He wants? Yes. But does He do it? No. Do you know why? Because He respects the authority that He has given to man. It is like when I rent out my house to somebody, even though it is still my house, I will not walk into it anytime I want because I respect the authority of the tenant. Similarly, just because God’s Word has come to you, it will not come to pass automatically. You have to partner with Him and put your faith in that Word so that it can be established on earth. God’s Word is like a seed with the potential to become a tree, bear fruit, and produce even more seeds. That one seed, that Word that comes to you, is like a seed. You are receiving seeds right now, and they have the potential to bear fruit.”
“This is what effortless living is all about. Effortless living is where the Word bears fruit, without us having to strive for it. We don’t need to try to live a life of morality or holiness because if we labor in the Word, the Word has the potential to bring out righteousness within us, leading to eternal life and revealing the holiness that is already within us.”
Now, in the parable of the sower, Jesus talks about a farmer who’s sowing seeds. He sows seeds on different grounds. The first ground is the wayside ground. The second ground is rocky ground. The third is among the thorns, and the fourth one is the good soil. What happens to the first one? The birds come and eat the seeds. What happens to the second one? Some root is there, but it’s not deep enough. So when the sun hits, the plant withers away. The third one does have some roots. It comes up. But because of the thorns around it, it gets choked.
Every soil represents your heart. The meaning of the parable is that the seed is the Word of God and the soil is your heart. And based on the condition of your heart, you bear fruit. So the wayside is the hardened heart, and the rocky ground is the shallow heart. Doesn’t have enough room for roots to grow. Among the thorns is the divided heart. It wants to bear fruit, but the thorns are choking it up. What are the thorns that Jesus talks about? It is the deceit of riches, pleasure, and cares of the world. So your heart is divided.
The first one is a hardened heart. Jesus explains the reason why it is hardened is because of a lack of understanding. The reason for the shallow heart is a lack of perseverance or endurance. It doesn’t have the capacity to withstand heat. It doesn’t have the capacity to withstand the persecution that comes once you receive the word. The reason for the divided heart is a lack of patience.
Now, how do you get to understand? Faith gives you spiritual understanding. This is not understanding the world. This is understanding that comes from faith. So even if you keep coming to the church, if you keep listening to God’s Word, faith comes by hearing God’s Word. And that faith will give you understanding. So in respect of which ground you are, if you continue to come for fellowship, and if you continue to stay in God’s Word, it will change the condition of the heart. You can’t change the condition of your heart by yourself, only the Word can.
The second one, is endurance. This comes from joy.
James 1:2 – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Hebrews 12: 1 and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.
So it is joy that gives us endurance. So if you’re somebody who received the Word with joy, but you’re not able to sustain it, you need joy, the joy of the Lord. This is like progressive, from faith to joy, joy to patience.
Hebrew 6:12 – so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
So how do you inherit the promise? Through faith and patience. But how can you have patience? When you become imitators. How do you become imitators? By becoming part of a fellowship, part of a local church.
So the local church kind of gives you an atmosphere where you can imitate one another saying, Hey, if that person has gone through the same journey, and if he could do it, then I can also do it. So there are Paul’s in your life, Barnabas’s in your life who are encouraging you. Come on, It’s okay. Stay there on God’s Word. Keep hearing God’s Word. Keep hearing the rushing of rain, because the Word has that reality. Stay there and it will happen. You will deliver that Word that you’ve conceived, it’s just a matter of time. Why is it a matter of time? Because Word is like a seed. It takes time. But the beauty is once it has borne fruit, it can keep bearing fruit again and again and again.
Hebrews 11:3 – By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God.
What is the significance of this? The Word of God is sufficient. It stands alone and requires no other supplement. Regardless of one’s level of education, job status, or relationship status, the Word is adequate because it has the power to create all things. Staying focused on the Word of God is crucial, as it leads to progress and transformation. Hearing God’s Word is like progressing from conception to delivery. Although the process may be frustrating, just like waiting for a baby to be born, patience is key. Delay may be inevitable, especially when delivering a great champion, as seen in the lives of biblical figures such as Samuel, Abraham, and Isaac.
In the event of a delay, it is essential to understand that God is working behind the scenes to accomplish something significant. This is why the waiting process may take longer. An insightful story regarding this matter involves a dog observing a pregnant elephant. The dog grows impatient with the length of the elephant’s pregnancy and questions if everything is alright, to which the elephant responds, “Yes, everything is fine. I’m about to deliver, but I’m not just giving birth to any ordinary baby. I’m bringing forth an elephant. When an elephant is born
and grows up, its movements shake the earth. A champion is within you, and therefore the wait is necessary. The timing is not delayed, but rather perfect according to God’s plan.”
There’s something that’s growing within you. You know it, your life is changing, and your hearts are being transformed. Your emotions are not the same place as they were three months ago. Your thoughts are not the same. Your body is not reacting the same. That means God’s Word is bringing changes within you. That same Word that can change your heart is the same Word that can change the circumstance of your life.