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Day by Day - July 22, 2008

July 22, 2008

by Charles R. Swindoll

1 Kings 18:22-40

God answered Elijah's prayer. This not only brought fire, but far more importantly, it turned the hearts of the people back to God. It also rid the land of the prophets of Baal.

Then Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape." So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. (1 Kings 18:40)

Some read that last verse and say, "What an extreme response!" Is it? What would you think of a physician who found a mass of rapidly growing malignant cells in your abdomen and said to you, "I think we'd better remove some of those cells"? Or, "I'd like to do just a little minor surgery"? No. A good physician would see that deadly mass and would say, "We have to get all of those cells out of there, along with any surrounding areas that might be contaminated." That's not extreme. That's essential. That's wise.

The prophets of Baal were an immoral, hostile, and anti-God malignancy in the land of Israel. Elijah knew he had to cut away all evidence of such a godless menace.

Nothing makes us more uncertain and insecure than not being sure we are in the will of God. And nothing is more encouraging than knowing for sure that we are. Then, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what happens, we can stand fast.

We can be out of a job but know that we are in the will of God. We can face a threatening situation but know that we are in the will of God. We can have the odds stacked against us but know that we are in the will of God. Nothing intimidates those who know that what they believe is based on what God has said. The equation is never eight hundred fifty against one. It is eight hundred fifty against one plus God.

When we know we're in the will of God, we're invincible.

Never once was Elijah intimidated. In this passage, Elijah spoke eight times, and every time he commanded. Yes, every time. He didn't shift, he didn't stutter, he didn't suggest; he leveled a command. He wasn't on the defense; he was on the offense. He knew where he stood. The word to describe that? Invincible.

Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.

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