Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Monday, September 29, 2014

Standing For The Rights Of GOD

We have said that the ministry of the prophets consisted of leading the people back to the thoughts of God. It was a ministry amongst the people of God. It was about the rights of God in His house.

Let us return once more to Elijah, and let us note how things started. It starts with the Lord saying to Elijah: “Go, show thyself unto Ahab!” (1 Kings 18:1).

Three and a half years earlier He had said: “Hide thyself!”  (1 Kings 17:3). The prophet had therefore hidden himself all this time until then.

But now the word was: “Go, show thyself unto Ahab!”. He stands face to face with Ahab. We remind ourselves about what Ahab said on that occasion: Art thou he that troubleth Israel? (1 Kings 18:17).

People that stand without reserve for the rights of God will always be considered as enemies by those who reject the thoughts of God.

There is the point of view of Elijah, and the one of Ahab. Ahab, who says: “You, the troubler of Israel.” Or Elijah who can reply: “It is not I that have brought Israel into trouble, but you” (1 Kings 18:18).

Where did the trouble come from in reality?

Did it come from the side of those that wanted things the way that God wanted them?

Did it not come from the side of those that denied God His rights?

Those that do not want to go the full way with the Lord, who do not have the thoughts of God at heart, they are really His enemies.

On which side do we want to stand?

That is the real question. That is what it is about.

We know how Elijah expressed himself in reference to his own life:  I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: (1 Kings 19:14).

Elijah has a clear picture of what God wants.

He can also see through to recognize what does not correspond to God’s thought.

But he himself stands outside of these matters. He is not entangled with the exterior. That is why he is able to be at God’s disposal.

His devotion includes the willingness to pay the full price necessary for a full restoration of the testimony of God.

Consequently, such witnesses will be fought as enemies.

Wherever a religious system has come to reign, it will always be held against them that it is they who bring the people of God into confusion. This is what makes the ministry so difficult. This is what makes the ministry so costly.

But behind all of this was Baal. Elijah was not against Israel. It was a blinded nation. Baal stood behind it.

The forces of darkness were working in the idolatry into which Israel had surrendered itself.

Israel was so deceived that it thought it was doing right in its idolatry. This is the highest level of deception, not seeing that everything one does, also that which is sincerely intended, actually serves the devil.

The prophet’s disagreement is not in the first place with Israel. His battle is with the whole spiritual system into which Israel is entangled.

Religious people would not even rebel against the ministry of the prophet, if the enemy did not instigate them. So they become instruments of the devil.

But the prophet is ready to encounter this. He is misunderstood, he is slandered and seen as an enemy; he is marked as the one who troubles Israel.

But he has a vision. He does not serve himself. He knows that his standpoint leaves no room for personal ambition.

But he has seen God. He is connected to God. And in the special standing which he has with God, the difference between the godly and the human has been revealed to him.

With this vision he has become prepared to carry the cost that the service of God demands.

~T. Austin Sparks~

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