“LET’S TALK TO ELIJAH” – 1 Kings 18:20-40
CWBC – 6/10/18
INTRO – Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad that we are here to worship Jesus together today!
How many of you know what the Medal of Honor is? The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Only 3,497 Recipients in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have been awarded this acknowledgement of extraordinary achievement in military service.
Medal of Honor Citation: Sergeant First Class Bennie G. Adkins distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Intelligence Sergeant with Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces, during combat operations against an armed enemy at Camp A Shau, Republic of Vietnam from March 9 to 12, 1966. When the camp was attacked by a large North Vietnamese and Viet Cong force in the early morning hours, Sergeant First Class Adkins rushed through intense enemy fire and manned a mortar position continually adjusting fire for the camp, despite incurring wounds as the mortar pit received several direct hits from enemy mortars. Upon learning that several soldiers were wounded near the center of camp, he temporarily turned the mortar over to another soldier, ran through exploding mortar rounds and dragged several comrades to safety. As the hostile fire subsided, Sergeant First Class Adkins exposed himself to sporadic sniper fire while carrying his wounded comrades to the camp dispensary. When Sergeant First Class Adkins and his group of defenders came under heavy small arms fire from members of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group that had defected to fight with the North Vietnamese, he maneuvered outside the camp to evacuate a seriously wounded American and draw fire all the while successfully covering the rescue. When a resupply airdrop landed outside of the camp perimeter, Sergeant First Class Adkins, again, moved outside of the camp walls to retrieve the much-needed supplies. During the early morning hours of March 10, 1966 enemy forces launched their main attack and within two hours, Sergeant First Class Adkins was the only man firing a mortar weapon. When all mortar rounds were expended, Sergeant First Class Adkins began placing effective recoilless rifle fire upon enemy positions. Despite receiving additional wounds from enemy rounds exploding on his position, Sergeant First Class Adkins fought off intense waves of attacking Viet Cong. Sergeant First Class Adkins eliminated numerous insurgents with small arms fire after withdrawing to a communications bunker with several soldiers. Running extremely low on ammunition, he returned to the mortar pit, gathered vital ammunition and ran through intense fire back to the bunker. After being ordered to evacuate the camp, Sergeant First Class Adkins and a small group of soldiers destroyed all signal equipment and classified documents, dug their way out of the rear of the bunker and fought their way out of the camp. While carrying a wounded soldier to the extraction point he learned that the last helicopter had already departed. Sergeant First Class Adkins led the group while evading the enemy until they were rescued by helicopter on March 12, 1966. During the thirty eight hour battle and forty eight hours of escape and evasion, fighting with mortars, machine guns, recoilless rifles, small arms, and hand grenades, it was estimated that Sergeant First Class Adkins killed between one hundred thirty five and one hundred seventy five of the enemy while sustaining eighteen different wounds to his body. Sergeant First Class Adkins’ extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces and the United States Army. (http://themedalofhonor.com/medal-of-honor-recipients/recipients/adkins-bennie-vietnam-war)
Ever faced a situation that like that? A situation that seemed completely overwhelming to you? Scared you to death? Odds completely against you?
Man Cave Conversations continue as we talk to Elijah today.
Open your Bibles or your Bible app & turn to 1 Kings 18:20-40.
1 Kings 18:20-40 (ESV)
The Prophets of Baal Defeated
20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down.31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,”32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs[a] of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.”34 And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.
36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.
Face your enemies, bro!
How do we do this?
If we were talking to Elijah, he may tell us these things we need to do to face our enemies like he did:
RECOGNIZE YOUR ENEMIES
Elijah may have faced 850 flesh & blood people on that mountain, but they were not his actual enemies. His enemy was the one who those 850 prophets of Baal & Asherah represented: They represented Satan & all that he throws at the people of God.
Same true for you & me. Our enemies are not the people we deal with every day. Our enemy is Satan himself & all the demons that are under his command. Our enemies are the schemes & plans & devices & traps he uses against us every day to trip us up, to distract us from the things of God, to get our focus off of God’s plan for our lives & tempt us w/ the temporary sinful pleasures of this world.
REALIZE HOW FOOLISH YOUR ENEMIES ARE
The antics of the false prophets was so foolish & fruitless. Didn’t matter what they did or how crazy they acted, their god was not going to answer b/c they HAD no god! Their false god had no power over them except what they allowed it to have. What an incredibly foolish thing to do & incredibly foolish way to live!
And yet, how many times do we do the same thing? Even though Satan & his demons are powerless against us b/c of Christ in us, we foolishly allow him to control us & direct us in directions that are completely opposite of how a Christ-follower should live.
REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST
The pagan prophets spent hours foolishly crying out to their gods. Hour on end. Crazy antics. Probably immoral, perverse activities. Blood everywhere. Exhausted.
Then Elijah spoke to God. Simply. Plainly. Profoundly. Trustingly.
3 simple requests:
- Let them know that YOU are God.
- Let them know that I am YOUR prophet.
- Turn their hearts back to YOU.
Elijah knew who his God was & he knew who he was as God’s man. You & I need to know those same things.
First & foremost, you are a child of God IF you’ve place your faith & trust in Christ alone for your salvation. B/c of that, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you to give you everything you need to face your enemies.
You are a worshiper of God.
You are a person of faith.
You are a person of prayer.
When the enemy of doubt shows up, remember who you are in Christ. Remember the promises of God’s Word.
When the enemy of lust shows up, remember that God has called us to a holy life & we must put sexual immorality & lust to death.
When the enemy of bitterness shows up, remember that God warns us to not allow bitterness to take hold & develop into a deep root in our lives.
When the enemy of grief shows up, remember that God says that weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
When the enemy of confusion shows up, remember that God has a plan for your life, plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give a future & give you hope.
When the enemy of fear shows up, remember God’s might.
When the enemy of worry & anxiety shows up, remember that God tells to not be anxious about anything, but to pray about everything.
REJOICE IN GOD’S VICTORY OVER YOUR ENEMIES
God will come through for you. It will be in HIS time & in HIS way, but He will come through for you. When all the odds are stacked against you – when there seems to be no way out – when it seems that Satan & his forces have truly won – God will come through.
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: “My Biggest Enemies” – sheet of paper – homework – Get alone w/ the Lord sometime today or this week. Don’t wait too long, or your enemy will come & steal this away from you. He will make sure you get really busy, or really distracted, or really upset & angry about something.
Pray & ask the Lord to reveal to you what your enemies are that your #1 enemy is using against you to draw you away from the Lord. Write them down. As the Lord keeps revealing, you keep writing. May have to get another sheet of paper. Keep going until you sense that you’ve written down everything that the Lord wants you to write down.
Then get down on your knees & give this list to the Lord. Claim the promise that these enemies do not have dominion over your life. Claim the promises of God from His Word of who you are in Christ – “More than a conqueror.” Claim the promise that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Thank God for the victory is that is YOURS RIGHT NOW in Christ. Then go burn that list. No, it’s not going to be the fire that falls from heaven that burns up that list. But, just like that fire burned up the sacrifice on Mt. Carmel in a powerful demonstration of the power & victory of Almighty God, this fire that you set will be a demonstration to you of the power & victory of Almighty God in YOUR life. How many of you will commit to doing this? Raise your hands.
FACE YOUR FEARS, BRO!