Week of October 26
The Fulfillment of God's Promise
Immediately following God's incredible, supernatural intervention on Mount Carmel, Elijah told King Ahab, ""Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain" (1 Kings 18:41) Ahab went down to eat and drink. Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel where he knelt on the promise God had given him.
The promise God gave Elijah was a conditional promise. While Elijah was still in Zarephath with the widow, "the word of the LORD came to Elijah: ‘Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.' So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab" (1 Kings 18:1-2). The Lord said He would send rain if Elijah presented himself to Ahab. At this point, it had not rained in three and a half years. There was a great famine and people were desperate. Elijah's obedience was the condition of the fulfillment of God's promise.
Some people today love to claim the promises of God while trying to escape the conditions. God must be true to His Word. If a promise comes with a condition, the condition must be completed so the promise can be fulfilled. God set these conditions, and He is not going to change them. An example is sowing and reaping. Paul wrote to the Galatians, "A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:7-8). It takes time for a crop to yield its harvest, but you will always reap what you sow. A man who sows corn does not reap cotton.
The promise God gave Elijah was a personal promise. It was given to Elijah for that time and place. Do not try to make a personal promise in Scripture a universal promise.
Elijah had a personal, conditional promise from God. He had fulfilled the conditions of the promise and was praying for its fulfillment—for rain. Elijah knew He was going to see the answer to His prayer. He knew God's character—God always tells the truth and He always keeps His promises. Still, he prayed persistently.
He sent his servant out seven times to check for rain. On his seventh trip, he saw a small cloud in the distance. Expectantly, Elijah alerted Ahab to take cover because rain was coming. Humbly, Elijah ran before the King all the way home—refusing to steal the glory of this victory from the Lord.
What are you doing with the conditional promises of God? Are you refusing to keep the condition of the promise? Or have you simply just given up?
Please examine your heart and ask the Lord to take away any hindrance to fulfilling the conditions of His promises or in persisting in prayer for the fulfillment of His promises. May the Lord empower you to never give up!
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."--2 Peter 3:9
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