Posted by: arieliondotcom | April 30, 2013

Mission Improbable (1 Kings 17)

Mission Improbable
(1 Kings 17)

You may remember movies with Tom Cruise called Mission Impossible. (If you’re a really old stinker like me you may even remember a TV series by that name.) The premise was the same. A group of spies did things there seemed there was no way to do. So technically, they were missions improbable to happen. But they could.

Now let’s look at this chapter. Solomon is long dead and because of his idolatry the kingdom is torn apart and the people have horrible, wicked kings. (with a good one popping out now and then). As we rejoin our story there’s the worst one yet, Ahab. He seemed to enjoy being evil. As evil as others were, Ahab made it a hobby to be worse, including worshipping foreign gods everywhere even in GOD’s Temple, murdering babies, and openly sexually perverted acts of “worship” done in public. And he was was encouraged in doing all this evil by his equally if not more proficient at evil wife the foreigner Jezebel.

But GOD isn’t willing to entirely abandon His people so he raises up the prophet Elijah to discipline them. GOD uses Elijah to bring the drought Moses warned them about way back in Deuteronomy 11:15 before they entered the Promised Land. He had told the people how blessed they’d be if they obeyed GOD. But GOD through Moses also warned them that they would suffer discipline if they worshipped other gods. One discipline was drought. And that’s Elijah’s mission, to bring that drought.

This is where we get to Mission Impossible. How likely is it that one guy is able, just by speaking, to order all rain to stop? And not only rain, but dew! Every drop of water, even the brook near where GOD told Elijah to hide, was dried up. How can one man do that? Impossible. But GOD can. And that’s the difference. As the Blues Brothers would say of themselves in 1970’s movies, Elijah was on a mission from GOD. And as Scripture says, with GOD nothing is impossible. So all of these things, drying up water, being fed enough by a bird to keep alive, even raising a boy from the dead, all of it was impossible. For Elijah. But Elijah was the tool GOD used to do the mission so the mission got done. There are no impossible missions. GOD can do anything. There are only Mission Improbables, not possible unless GOD is involved.

And here’s where the mind bending happens. Because as James says in the New Testament, Elijah was just a human being like us. Elijah, like the apostles and like us, are only tools used by GOD to do His missions. But in His mercy He makes us children and co-workers with Him. Ane we have the joy of being used by Him. If we are His, and if we are doing His mission. And that’s the key.

Nowadays many will say they are working on GOD’s behalf. They will even seem to do miraculous things. But unless they are doing so in accordance with Scripture they can’t be of GOD because only GOD can do these things.

How likely are we to stop rain, raise the dead and do other miracles? Impossible unless it is our mission. And we learn in Revelation even Satan in human form, AntiChrist, will be able to mimic these things. But only GOD can truly do them if it is our mission for Him to do it through us. How likely is that? Very, very improbable.

Unless you’re a missionary in a remote village, it’s very unlikely GOD will use you to do missions like speaking in a language you never learned. Especially if you have or have had the opportunity to learn them or it’s only to prove something to yourself or someone else. But if there were no other way for that foreign person to be saved and you had no previous opportunity to learn that language, nothing is impossible with GOD and you would only be the tool He, in His Grace, uses. As improbable as that is.

How hard do you think Elijah prayed to stop the rain, knowing he was a dead man if it didn’t work? How hard do you think Elijah prayed over that dead boy, heartbroken, guilty and embarrassed as he was that widow blamed him for letting her son die? He prayed with everything in him. It was no magic trick. He knew he had no more power to do those things than a fork has of jumping out of a drawer and feeding you. But he knew nothing is impossible with GOD.

How much did GOD need Elijah as a tool to do this mission? Not at all. He could have had the same birds He used to feed Elijah, or angels, or manna from Heaven, to feed the widow and her son.

And speaking of the widow, did you catch the beautiful back story between the lines? When Elijah shows up and is used by GOD to feed her and her son she assumes she is forgiven for some unknown sin. When her son dies anyway she screams as if GOD had betrayed her. Yet He had forgiven her and was blessing her more by reinforcing her faith in Him that there was nothing, nothing impossible for Him. We aren’t told what her sin was. But we are left to know that GOD’s grace was greater.

And through it all, GOD met both Elijah and the widow in their humanity. GOD used Elijah to stop the rain but Elijah suffered from lack of food and water, too, and had to learn to depend on GOD for survival. The birds who depend moment by moment on GOD taught that same lesson to Elijah then used Elijah in an improbable mission to save a widow and her son from starvation and death. And even in her hunger, GOD had moved the widow like the widow in the New Testamen JESUS points out, to sacrifice the last she had for herself in trust GOD would provide.

What is your mission? I can almost guarantee it won’t involve changing the weather or raising the dead. Not physically, anyway. But we each have a mission much greater than anything Elijah had to do.

Our mission is to spread new Life, to be used as a tool for GOD’s Holy Spirit to pour through us like the oil poured through those vessels. First, to ask JESUS to fill us and give us new Life, a forgiven Life, a Life He bought for us with His Life. An eternal Life He guaranteed with His resurrection. A life He pours through us to bless others in His Name every day. We have the mission every day to walk with JESUS Christ and, trusting Him, let His life and Love pour into every life we touch.
It’s impossible for us unless we overflow with His Life and Love ourselves. Then, improbable as it seems, GOD will live and act through us. And with GOD nothing is impossible.

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