DEPEND ON GOD
A Sermon by Pastor Emeka Ndu at the Sunrise Service on Sunday, July 16, 2017
Bible Text: 1 Kings 17:1-6 [NKJV]
In our homes, we were raised to be independent young wo/men which is good; but sometimes, God wants us to be dependent on Him alone. From the reference text, we read about Elijah, an anointed man of God, at his word different things occurred, and there are a lot of things we can learn from this story.
1. With God, things that seem impossible become possible. In the normal order of things, one would have thought that even if God were to provide for Elijah, there would be a different way to do it. However, you cannot decide how God would do His things. God decided to use the ravens to feed Elijah; and for a period of time, that was the way Elijah survived. At times, we look at the things of God and look for man-made solutions when we should be looking for God-given solutions.
2. When God speaks, it is your job to listen. The problem with most people is that they expect God to tell them what they want to hear, rather than hear what God is actually saying. You must be open to what God is saying, and hence, your job is to listen. Once you listen to God, and hear what He wants you to do, life becomes easier - you are no longer struggling to get God to approve what you have decided to do; you are in the flow of what God wants done. Elijah listened to God and obeyed Him. A lot of the time, we want things done in our own way, but get a lot of heartache in the process, not because God wishes it to be so, but because we have decided how we want things to be done. Meanwhile, it may not be the way God wants it done. God sent Elijah to the Brook of Cherith (1 Kings 17:3). Cherith means cutting off. God wanted Elijah to go for a cutting off or separation, so that he would be prepared for the greater things that Elijah would do in His Name. God had a purpose, and no matter what Elijah did or anyone decreed, God had ordained that it would be three years of separation for the children of Israel to know that He was God indeed. When you get to where God wants you to get to, you will find out that God has always had a plan for you, but you were the one who did not know. God's timing is always perfect, He is never late. When you are going through challenges, listen to what God is saying and obey Him, because God's time is the best. Patience is very key when God is taking you through different phases in life. In the reference text, we see that God did things in His own way, not how Elijah wanted it. Elijah being fed by ravens for three years would have learnt dependence on God. Don't look at whatever challenge you are going through now as terminal, look at it as a preparation for what will come in future. Learn to be patient, obedient and dependent on God. Sometimes, God takes us through hardship so that we can learn to pray. As a Christian, pray that you never get to that point of ease where you forget God (Deuteronomy 6:10-12). When you recognise that it is God that you are dependent on, your life is different.
3. When you do the right things or even the things that God has told you to do, it won't always be comfortable. Sometimes, it could be inconvenient or it could mean that you bury your ego. When you do the things God requires from you, there is no guarantee that it would be pleasurable. Elijah suffered because of the drought that he proclaimed. Most times, when you do the things of God, it means you would go through deprivation or wonder if God has instructed you.
When you start to feel self-actualised, it is very dangerous. When God takes you through the wilderness, it is to teach you self-dependency, because trouble teaches you dependency on God. When you start to succeed too quickly, that can be very dangerous because that is when pride comes in. When you find pride creeping in, watch your heart if you are looking for the glory of man or the glory of God. Even in your hard work and success, recognise that it is God that made it possible. Do not elevate man or make man your God; rely on God and look up to Him alone. If you have made man your God at any point in time, pray that God will forgive you and He will hearken unto your prayer.
In conclusion, the LORD can only hearken unto your prayer if you have a relationship with Him, and have made Him your LORD and Saviour. If you have not made Jesus Christ your LORD and Saviour, do so right now; and God will be with you, write your name in the Book of Life, build you up, and make you brand new.
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