34 "Do it again," he said, and they did it again.
"Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!" " 1 Kings 18:33-39
These verses today are part of a bigger passage in 1 Kings. I am going to encourage you to go read the rest of the account to yourself- beginning at verse 16. In these well-known verses, Elijah issues a challenge to the worshipers of Baal and Asherah, and these people readily accept the challenge, thinking their god will rise to the challenge. Clearly, they lose, because there is only one God- and He is mighty and Holy above all.
I read this the other day, and just felt like it was one that I needed to spend some time in, so I pulled out a few versions of the Bible and read it over and over, and I took some notes on it, and I just was amazed at this portion of the Bible- even though it's one of those stories I've heard since about second grade. When you're young, it's just a really cool story about how God works. But as I read it this time, we peeled back a few layers of the onion, and I see so much how this is to be applied to me, and the body of Christ today.
I want to begin thinking on verses 33 and 34, here's verse 34.
"Do it again," he said, and they did it again.
"Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench." 1 Kings 18:34
Not only did Elijah prepare his altar properly for the sacrifice, but after it was prepared he had all the people pour water on the sacrifice and on the wood- so much water that it was dripping wet, and a trench around the alter was filled with water, like a moat around a castle. Everything was soaking, and if you've ever been camping and tried to build a fire after a pouring rain, you'd understand that wet wood and kindling simply does not burn. It doesn't even smolder, it resists burning completely.
Now lets take this account of pouring on water, and think about other meanings for "dousing with water". I can think of one specifically. Often times, when a person is crabby or tries to bring someone down when they are excited, they are called a wet blanket. A wet blanket is someone who tries to bring down the mood, or ruin someones joy. Now think about all those times where you've been excited about something God is doing in your life, or that you've heard about God doing for someone else. When you mention that excitement to friends, neighbors, family members, there's almost always someone who tries to bring you down about that excitement. They give all kinds of logical explanations about why it cannot be God, or why they don't believe it, and just like that, your excitement and your passion for God goes down a few notches.
I think that as long as we are on this earth, there will always be servants of Baal trying to douse your passion for God with water. They will always try to throw a bit of water on your party to get you to stop being so excited about God. But the great news for us today is that the world around us can bring it on, and it won't make a lick of difference. When we focus on God, when we prepare ourselves correctly, and when we call on His Name, look what happens:
"Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. " 1 Kings 18:38
The water is rendered completely useless. In fact, when the fire of God fell, it consumed everything- including the water around the altar. And the result of that is that the people who worshiped Baal- the people of the world realized that God is God, and there is no other!
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!"
And when people see this- when they see that the "water" they keep pouring on us has no effect whatsoever, and they see the fire of God in our eyes, they will have no choice but to accept that He Is God!
Right now, God is stirring up great fire and passion in His servants. I see it every time we go to church. I see it every time we simply gather with other believers. He is stirring up the passion and filling His people with an all-consuming fire. We don't need to be afraid of this fire, this passion. We just need to accept it and allow it to burn unrelentingly inside of us, and when we do, the world will see the fire in our bellies and want it for themselves. They will want it, and the awesome thing is that they can have it! This fire is for everyone who wants it! And everyone will want it. Everyone will want the fire. And everyone will burn with the fire of the Lord.