THE SEVENTH TIMEBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt"And Elijah said unto Ahab, 'Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.' So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. And said to his servant, 'Go up now, look toward the sea.' And he went up and looked and said, 'There is nothing.' And he said, 'Go again' seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, 'Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea like a man's hand.' And he said, 'Go up, say unto Ahab, prepare thy chariot and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.' And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain."1 Kings 18:41-45-------Today's Read: 1 Kings 18; James 5:15-18Three keys for receiving rain:Perseverance. Humility. Prayer.Context of our passage:Rain had not fallen on Israel's dry earth for 3 1/2 years.The symbolism of drought is remarkable and an able illustration of Israel's internal state.The land was scorched, food was scarce, and evil dominated the land.Ahab was the seventh king in the northern kingdom of Israel, the son of wicked Omri, and husband of vile Jezebel. His heart was hostile and rebellious to God and his hatred for Elijah was certain.Elijah was an eccentric rough-hewn reformer used mightily by God as a prophet to His people. It was his word (17:1) that instigated the drought and it was his prayer that produced its magnificent release.Three life applications:1) Communion with Christ produces perseverance and refreshment.Elijah walked with God in spite of a nation in opposition to God. Everything Elijah did flew in the face of what the people did:-While they were promoting evil, he was destroying evil. -While they were promoting idolatry and the worship of Baal, he was destroying both the idols and prophets of Baal.-While they were rebelling against God, he was speaking up for God.Elijah's insistence on declaring the word of God set him apart for God and thus a spirit of perseverance welled up within him and adequately sustained and refreshed him. Pressing into prayer, he perseveres and reached a "seventh round" with God before experiencing the rain.Mmm ... blessed man of God.The rain fell.2) A posture of humility is acceptable and pleasing to God and it rejuvenates the spirit.Elijah's position is almost "fetal" here but it most certainly is not futile. Head tucked between knees and eyes cast down, he retains an adamant position of humility and relies on the eyes of his servant to produce a response in keeping with his request to God.Recognizing God as the "Rainmaker," He remains in a position of utter humility until his prayer is effectively answered.Posture before God is a declaration to God of our thoughts of Him.Position yourself in humility and let none determine for you what that ought to look like.You'll find it a rejuvenating experience.3) Prayer is powerful and it revitalizes the spirit.Prayer is effective, essential, and "living."It has a life all its own and those who "bow to it" and succumb to it are God's most able and effective ministers.Prayer doesn't require a degree, title, or status;It requires a dependence and reliance on a faithful God and nothing more.Prayer is available 24/7 and it gets results.Understand who you kneel before and expect to see much when your figurehead is God.He honors individuals subject to Him,And He brings the rain ...In His time.Expect to be refreshed and keep an umbrella handy.------"Great blessings often arise from small beginnings, and showers of plenty from a cloud of a span long."-Matthew Henry
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