Call to Worship: Psalm 18:1 “I love you, Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Songs: You Are God Alone Steve Green
Great I Am Phillips, Craig & Dean
The Solid Rock Nicol Sponberg
Scripture: 1 Kings 18:16-46
Song: God of the Impossible Everfound
Sermon: “Do Not Waver”
Song: Light the Fire Again Brian Doerksen
Benediction: Psalm 85:1 “You, LORD, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. 2 You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. 3 You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger. 4 Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. 5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? 6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 7 Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation. 8 I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly. 9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. 10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. 11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. 12 The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. 13 Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.” Psalm 80:18 “Revive us, and we will call on your name. 19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
Sermon: Do Not Waver
The word waver means to pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness, you’re hesitant unsure and weak. That is not a definition of a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. As we read during our scripture reading, Elijah made a statement in the form of a question because they were doing what he says here. 1 Kings 18:21 “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing.” Jesus said in Revelation 3:5 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” Another way to say it is wishy washy, one day they believe this or that and the next they believe something else as they really have no idea what they believe. Then there are many who are just afraid to commit. John 12:42 “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.” Many people want to be part of Christianity at least until it interferes with their lifestyle. You can’t depend on people who waver because they don’t know what they believe. When the time comes to depend on them you are not sure who is going to show up. Are they believing that day or questioning. Wavering means you have not decided for sure whom you believe.
Many people want to have both Christianity and the ways of this world. Then they try to justify those ways. As long as church fits in with the schedule then all is good but if not church will have to be changed. That is why repentance was no longer the way tot he Kingdom of God. God’s expectations were just too much for most so they changed them. Many want to sort of commit but that is not the commitment Jesus is looking for. Jesus said Luke 14:25 “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” The bottom line is we are all in or we are all out, there is no in-between. There are also those with minimal commitment. Malachi 1:13 “When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” Many think they can get through this life with minimal commitment and still receive all God’s blessings and an eternity with God but not really participate in His commands. Remember you are not just trying to get a participation ribbon but a gold medal. Like many athletes they are not playing for silver but gold. Romans 4:18 “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” 2 Timothy 3:14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.”
We must be fully persuaded that God will do what He said he would do. James 1:6 “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” The KJV says “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” Wavering can be equated to being unstable. Peter said about Paul’s writings, 2 Peter 3:16 “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” We can’t be like those people but we also don’t want Jesus to rebuke us for our lack of faith. We don’t want to be like the disciples who wavered in their faith. Mark 16:9 “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.” The two disciples were walking in the wrong direction because they didn’t actually believe what Jesus had said. Wavering is usually because you don’t believe. If you totally trust God you will not waver.
As we saw with Elijah they were not sure who God was. They wavered between Baal and God. It was not until fire came from heaven that they believed. The question is; will you believe even if you don’t see the fire? Many have believed false gospels for that very reason. They do not see, so they do not believe. Instead of believing Jesus, as in the case of the disciples, they reject God’s word and believe what they can or can’t see with their eyes. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” So because they do not see, they make up doctrines and adapt to doctrines of demons like ceasationism and choose to believe something man has said or something satan has deceived then with. The scary part is they do not waver while follow these false gospels. They run full speed in the wrong direction. Instead of repenting and asking God to heal our land and shine his face upon us, they reject God’s word and settle for a powerless church. They not only refuse to repent, they refuse to wait on God for his plan to unfold. Psalm 106:6 “We have sinned, even as our ancestors did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly. 7 When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles.” 13 “But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.”
The problem is that most Christians have no idea what the plan is and how it is set in motion. This plan does not happen without the power of the Holy Spirit. The promised Holy Spirit happens when we obey God’s word. We see this promise in the form of fire from heaven. 2 Chronicles 7:3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Kings 18:38 “Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.” Then at Pentecost the fire fell but this time it was different. Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” After preaching Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” This gift only happens when we obey. Just going to church isn’t on the list in Corinthians 12. Peter said, 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Rejecting the word of the Lord is corruption. If we do not accept what God has for us, we are rejecting God. He says in 1 Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” Save yourselves from this corrupt generation who stand in their pulpits and teach God no longer does this. At Pentecost the gift of languages was just one thing that happened. Acts 2:5 “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” Another event happened Acts 3:6 “Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk.” Acts 3:7 “They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” Matthew 10:19 “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
I am amazed how many people refuse to seek God for the power of the Holy Spirit. Stephen sai, Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” People still react the same today when they hear these words of Stephen. “57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.” They have been deceived and deluded out of this power and have settled for a form of godliness but continue to deny the power. This rejection of the Holy Spirit leads to death and destruction but we do not wan that result. Paul said Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” We desperately need this enlightenment so that we can know this same power the disciples had available to them. Nowhere does it say it is not available to us. Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 10:1 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you. 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Acts 6:8 “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.”9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.” Mark 16:5 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Matthew 28:8 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ this is what is available to you and I also. But as Gideon said in Judges 6:13 “Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about.”
I think you get the picture of what we are missing. All those gifts of the Spirit are the church operating the way it is supposed to. Teaching against that is of the antichrist. When the church stands in the power of the Holy Spirit it is invincible just as they were when they crossed the Jordon. The plan was take the land. God would go ahead of them and everywhere they set their foot would be theirs. No one could stand against them if they obeyed wholeheartedly. They were to destroy, demolish, tear down the gods of their enemy. Nothing has changed as we must do the same. We must tear down the high places, the foreign gods / false gospels, the idols and all that is evil before God. This will offend people and they will try to kill you. Jesus said, John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth.
Without the power of the Holy Spirit we cannot defeat the prince of this world. If we want to continue and do as Jesus said we would do we must do as he said. John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Revelation 12:10 “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.” We cannot do this in our own strength. Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil and we were to continue in His strength and authority but over time they returned to these gods of the land they conquered just as we have returned to these useless manmade gods called false gospels. 1 Kings 16:33 “Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.” 1 Kings 21:25 (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)” Over time we have turned away and have not held fast or stood firm on God’s word. We too have aroused the anger of God and now we are left desolate. But now Nehemiah 1:3 “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” The church sits desolate and powerless yet the church refuses to repent and continues to resist the Holy Spirit. Deuteronomy 32:15 “They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. 16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. 17 They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear. 18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 The LORD saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. 21 They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols.”
We have angered God by what our hands have made so we repent and turn back to the Lord as those who have gone before us have lead us down an empty path that leads to death and destruction, not life and prosperity. 1 Samuel 7:2 “Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only. 5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” 6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” 7 When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 8 They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him. 10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
If we want God to thunder against our enemies, and to have the power of the Holy Spirit once again, we must turn away from our wavering wickedness. If God is God then serve him. Joshua 24:14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” The god who answers by fire—he is God,” and He has. Acts 8:14 “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” Acts 19:1 “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” The church is missing this anointing by the Holy Spirit as most do not know what this power means as they have been told they have everything now. Most do not know yet many reject this anointing and say it is already here yet there is no power. As we seek God, pray for this baptism of the Holy Spirit. Pray that God will forgive our sins against him and turn his face to shine on us once again. We are supposed to be the church of Pentecost power. Continue to pray and don’t give up. Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
As we sing this song, plead with God to light the fire again. When 1 Samuel 3:1 “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out.” We live in those days. Jehoshaphat said, 2 Chronicles 20:9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us. we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” David said, 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” 36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”