Monday, February 1, 2016

Elijah Part Three. God Our Source

Notes from preaching at The Spring Church on 01/31/2016.

Read 1 Kings 17:2-6

Life-Lesson:   God wants His people to know that He is their only Source.

Idolatry – trusting in something other than God as your Source

Jeremiah 17:5-8

God is your Source.  Everything else is a resource He uses.

God puts you in an isolated, bad situation to make you trust Him as your Source.

How is God our Source?-                   

Remember, He always knows the next step

1.         God is the source of our protection when facing enemies.

             Psalm 121

2.         God is the source of our direction when facing decisions.

The Lord always knows the next thing we should do, the next step forward.  – Kendall

You and I need to know the next step forward when it comes to God’s plan or us.  He does not reveal the totality of that plan from A to Z.  He leads us from A to B, from B to C, etc.  Don’t ask, What is Z?  Ask, What is B?  The next step for Elijah was not to head to Mount Carmel, but to head eastward, cross over the Jordan River, and settling in the Kerith Ravine.  Wisdom is having the presence of the mind of the Holy Spirit, which also means knowing the next thing to do.  – RT Kendall

3.         God is the source of our provision when facing needs.

The righteous shall live by faith.  He believes God’s Word so completely he leans on nothing else.  He has found his source of everything in Christ, who is all-sufficient.  – David Wilkerson

God’s primary desire is to get people to trust Him.  When faith is found, God can do anything through those people.  When unbelief is present, God chooses to do nothing.  “Now without faith it is impossible to please God” (He. 11:6).  – Blackaby, A God-Centered Church

During tight financial days at Liberty University, at times Jerry Falwell would take the school's bills to his prayer closet and lay them out before the Lord.  He would ask God weekly to send in the money to pay the school's necessary bills and professor's salaries for that week.  In the late 1980's, due to the decrease in financial donations to religious organizations after the PTL and Swaggart scandals, funds at Liberty began drying up.  After four years the school owed more than $100 million.  Those years became ones of survival, asking God weekly to provide what was needed.  Falwell wrote, Through days and nights of fasting and prayer . . . we raised enough to pay our electric bill and meet salaries.  

In 1996, Falwell sensed God challenge him to go on two separate 40-day fasts, asking the Lord to pay off the school's debt After that season, God performed several miracles for the school, paying off the debt and securing their financial future.  Today it takes $2 million a day to fund the school, it has a financial worth greater than $1.2 billion, and a bond agency has ranked LU at AA+.  Today they are the world's largest Christian university.

Before God led Liberty University to its days of prosperity, the Lord led them to Cherith.
God has, day by day, met our every need.  Dr. Jerry Falwell

You can read more of Falwell and Liberty's testimony in Elmer Towns' book Fasting for a Miracle.

Ravens were unclean birds according to Old Testament law.  God sent unclean birds to feed his servant.  Here again, God was teaching his man to trust Him.  "But God, I was taught they were unclean."  Trust Me, Elijah.

Jesus taught us to pray for our "daily bread" - not for our weekly, monthly, or  
 six-month supply (Matt. 6:11).  Later in the same chapter he challenges his 
 followers, [D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your 
 body, what you will wear. . . .  Do not worry about tomorrow (6:25,34).  He wants us 
 to learn to trust Him daily for our needs.

Daily Bread and George Muller       Man’s necessity is God’s opportunity

Muller, a godly man who built orphanages in Bristol, England, in the 1800's, learned to look to God's daily provision for his work.

God has His own mathematics.

Psalm 34:9; 81:10

Our funds are deposited in a bank which cannot break.

November, 1839, when the needs again were great and the supplies small -  I was not looking to the little in hand but at the fullness of God.

When the poverty of their resources seemed most pinching, Mr. Mueller comforted himself with the daily proof that God had not forgotten and would day by day feed them.  Often he said to himself, Man’s necessity is God’s opportunity.

During one seven-year stretch, the ministry never once had more than a three day supply of money in the bank.  Reflecting on that time, Muller wrote that they experienced these trials not because God had forsaken the work but so that his soul would be strengthened and encouraged to continue trusting Him.

He wanted to be a testimony to the faithfulness of God, to induce the reader to venture wholly upon God.  The supreme object of the institutions, founded in Bristol, was to prove God’s faithfulness and the perfect safety of trusting solely to His promises.

You can read more about Mueller and his work in George Muller of Bristol: His Life of Prayer and Faith.

4 Lessons from Cherith

1.  We must be willing to be set aside if we are to be used.

2. God’s directions include God’s provisions.

3.  We learn to trust God one day at a time.

4.  God knows the next step.

Read Elijah Part Two here

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