Devotional Week 4, 2019 Tuesday
Week 4 Tuesday
January 22, 2019
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“When thou goest, thy way shall be opened up before thee step by step.”
Proverbs 4: 12
“There is a self-opening gate which is sometimes used in country roads. It stands fast and firm across the road as a traveler approaches it. If he stops before he gets to it, it will not open. But if he will drive right at it, his wagon wheels press the springs below the roadway, and the gate swings back to let him through. He must push right on at the closed gate, or it will continue to be closed…Is there a great barrier across your path of duty just now? Just go for it, in the name of the Lord, and it won’t be there.”
Henry Clay Trumball
Today’s Study Text:
“Therefore send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah, who eat at Queen Jezebel’s table. So Ahab sent to all the Israelites and assembled the prophets at Mount Carmel.”
1 Kings 18: 19-20
“Revival is a sovereign act of God…Whereby He intervenes to lift the situation completely out of human hands and works in extraordinary power.”
Geoffrey R. King
“Meet Me On The Mountain”
“Will You not revive us again, so that Your people may rejoice in You?”
Psalm 85: 6
If I had lived in Israel at the time of Elijah and received a notice to come to Mount Carmel, how would I have responded?
Definition of Revival: A restoration to use, activity, vigor after a period of obscurity. The condition of being revived or activated and set in motion. To restore to life or to make operational again.
What does the word “revival” mean to me personally?
Why do I think God called the people of Israel to the top of Mount Carmel?
“Revival is God revealing Himself to man in awful holiness and irresistible power.”
When I began my training many years ago to become a Registered Nurse, one of the first things we were taught was CPR - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. We were provided with a useful tool called “Resusci Anne,” which was a mannequin designed to simulate a human’s respiratory system.
The reason “CPR” was one of the first elements we were taught is that adequate respirations and the beating of a heart are absolutely necessary if a patient is to be kept alive. In fact, “breath and beating” as I call it, happens to be critical to every person’s survival. When either a person’s breath is absent or their heart is not beating appropriately, sustaining life becomes critical.
This became a personal reality for me after our car accident. About a year later, Jim and I were able to get our complete medical records from all the hospitals we had been in. My interest was especially focused on the first few hours of care I received. What I noticed was the trauma surgeon’s notes which indicated that it would take two hours of “resuscitation before surgery can be performed on the patient.” When I was able to speak with the doctor about his observation, he told me that because I had lost over half of the blood my body would normally circulate and that because of multiple broken ribs and the abnormalities recorded in my blood gases, before risking additional blood loss and added trauma to my already fragile body, I had to receive multiple units of blood along with other vital fluids containing necessary nutrients which my body lacked, and just as critically, I needed oxygen. After more than two hours, the trauma surgeon felt comfortable getting me into surgery to repair the most serious fractures in my legs and feet, leaving many other fractured areas unrepaired until a later date when he felt my overall condition was more stable.
I share the details of this experience because as I was studying about the condition of Israel during the reign of Ahab and his father, it was as if the nation had sustained a terrible wreck. Everything that God had ordained for His children went to hell in a hand basket, so to speak. The worship of God had been turned into a Baal-adoring passion for idolatry. Even God’s supposed faithful had fallen prey to the in-roads made by the honoring of false gods.
The warnings of Moses were disregarded as “old-time religion.” What was left was a nation in total disarray. And before the drought, because of a general prosperity and an outward appearance of success, the people of Israel didn’t clearly recognize the deadly decay that was taking place under the cover of wealth, prosperity and unholiness. With the worship of the God of heaven and earth being relegated to some long ago traditions, the live-for-today attitude which pervaded Baal-worship became an accepted “norm.” And so, by the time the drought hit, I imagine there were some individuals who found it difficult to find any correlation between God’s answer to Elijah’s prayer and the cessation of rain and dew. Many may well have written the entire weather phenomenon off to a “cycle” that just happened.
But when Elijah received a word from the Lord to go and see Ahab again, this turned everything upside down. God’s message wasn’t only that it would rain again. He also made a call to all the people of Israel. As God had done throughout history, mountains seemed to be a place where God delivered critical messages to His children. It was on Mount Moriah where God confirmed His calling of Abraham when He delivered his son, Isaac. It was at Mount Sinai when God spoke with His children and shared with them His commands for a fulfilling and successful life. And now, at a time of national rebellion, God, through His messenger Elijah called His children to meet Him on Mount Carmel.
I find it interesting to note that Mount Carmel by some was considered a likely choice for the meeting between God and Israel for as William J. Petersen shares, “Mount Carmel was always the first place in Palestine to get rain. Clouds would come from the west, pick up moisture from the Mediterranean, be forced higher by the elevation of Carmel, and drop the needed precipitation. People knew that rain was finally on the way. Elijah was planning to rescind his anti-rain order. From all over the kingdom, the excited citizenry trekked to Carmel…This was a fitting site for the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.”
Elijah came to Mount Carmel.
Ahab came to mount Carmel.
The prophets of Baal came, too. Along with God’s children throughout Israel. It was time for a nation on life-support to be revived. Heavenly “CPR” was needed to awaken and revive God’s people. Before God could accomplish His purpose on earth, His children needed to receive heaven’s oxygen and blood transfusion. A time of revival would proceed the fall of rain. And God’s children would witness, with their own eyes, the power that accompanies the resuscitation within all our hearts when, we allow God to teach us and rule us with an undivided heart!
I hope you will take a moment to read today’s Affirmation which I chose because it conveys thoughts expressed by David in Psalm 42, thoughts on the longing in our hearts for the water from heaven, to refresh our parched lives. Each of us, I am certain, longs to have a renewed spirit. And as Stephen Olford correctly tells us, “Waiting for general revival is no excuse for not enjoying personal revival.”
Sometimes it is easy to pray for a big revival in a big way in a big country. Believe me, there’s nothing wrong with this. But I have found, during the last few years as I have increased the time in communion with my heavenly Father, that if I want an expansive revival that touches many lives, the best place to start is by asking for heaven’s revival to begin in my own individual heart. In the words of Christina Rossetti, which are part of my daily morning prayer: “O come to my heart Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for Thee.”
“Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.”
William P. MacKay
“As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God. My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God.”
Psalm 42: 1, 2
As Pants the Hart For Cooling Streams
“As pants the hart for cooling streams,
When heated in the chase,
So longs my soul, O God, for Thee,
And Thy refreshing grace.
For Thee, my God, the living God,
My thirsty soul doth pine:
O, when shall I behold Thy face,
Thou Majesty divine?
Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
Hope still, and thou shalt sing
The praise of Him Who is thy God,
Thy health’s eternal spring.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom we adore,
Be glory as it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.”
Nahum Tate and
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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