One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the account of the showdown on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the false prophets of Baal. The God who answered by fire showed Himself to be the One True Living God. Many times in Scripture fire symbolizes the power, person, and presence of God. As the Bible says, “Our God is a consuming fire.” When the fire of God fell that day, it not only consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the altar, and the water in the trenches; it did much more. The fire of God also turned the hearts of the people back to the Lord and it condemned the false prophets of the day. I love to read the declaration the people made, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”
Yes, the fire of God fell on Mount Carmel that day, but the nation had been in a severe drought and famine for three and a half years. Do you think the people were wanting fire? These people were looking for rain. But God had to send the fire before He sent the rain. Fire purifies, melts, melds, warms, illuminates, spreads and attracts. We want the showers of blessing. We continue to ask God to bless us, but oh how we need the fire of God to fall again today! In His holiness and glory, God sent the fire. In His grace and mercy, God sent the rain.
It had not rained in three and a half years, but listen to the faith of Elijah when he tells Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the abundance of rain.” (1 Kings 18:41) By faith, Elijah not only saw what others could not yet see, he also heard what others were yet to hear. He believed, persevered in prayer, and God sent a “heavy rain.” (vs.45)
As we ask God for revival, let us realize that we need the fire and the rain. We need God to do whatever He needs to do in order for our nation to turn back to Him. Like Elijah, we must not quit praying and believing even after we have looked for the third, fourth, fifth, or even sixth time.
When God did send the rain, notice that the heavy, abundant rain came initially from a cloud that was very small. When the Lord does bless us with revival, it most likely will come from a small, out of the way church or town. It may begin in the heart of someone that the world would deem unimportant. God loves to take the things and the people that the world considers to be small, weak, or unimportant and use them for His glory. May He send His fire and His rain on our hearts.
In Christ’s service,