Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Listening to God’s Voice
1 Kings 17:17-24
Vs.22 The Lord listened to the voice of Elijah; the life of the child came into him again, and he revived.
Don’t we hate it when things don’t go according to our plan? Well, we can definitely relate to Elijah in this passage. At the beginning of this chapter, we see that Elijah waits for and obeys God’s commands. Elijah went to the Kerith Ravine where food and drink were provided to him by ravens and a brook, respectively. He is then told to go to Zarephath and stay there, as God had commanded a widow to supply Elijah with food using a jar of flour and a jug of oil (verse 16). Elijah is pretty good at sticking to the plan! This is where things get interesting.
    The widow’s son suddenly falls ill. To make things worse, God did not provide any commands for Elijah. There was no response from God. So what does he do? He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried  out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die? O Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” (verses 19-21) The completely unplanned operation works as God listens to Elijah’s cry and revives the boy.
    What happened? Up until this point, the passage was about listening to God’s voice. In a surprising twist of events, God listens to Elijah’s voice instead. I believe God honored the truth in Elijah’s cry for help. The boy’s breath returned to him because God saw Elijah’s actions as being done in true faith. 
    Finally, the widow says to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is  truth” (verse 24).
    No matter how big or small a miracle may seem, it all starts with an act of obedience. Every step we take, towards God and His plan for us, must be taken with faith and a heart of obedience. It may sound easier said than done, but this story of Elijah brings us closer to His plans for us.
Loving Father, we thank You for all of life’s wonderful blessings. We pray that we live our lives according to Your plan, as Elijah did when he started his ministry. We pray for that same obedience and faith as well. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen. 
"Faith is the step between promise and assurance."
Jessie Samuel, St. Andrews MTC, NY
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church