Yesterday we looked at how Elijah learned to operate by God’s Spirit. Today let us learn from Elijah, not only how to be trained but how to boldly confront the deception that surrounds our culture.
The world we live in is not very different from Elijah’s world. The spirit of Baal is very much alive in our culture. One of Baal’s names, Baal-hamon, means ‘lord of wealth or abundance.’ This spirit wars against the transfer of wealth to the church that God has promised. Another of Baal’s names, Baal-berith, means ‘lord of the covenant.’ The word ‘baal’ means husband or marriage. This spirit always works to cause the people of God to break covenant with Him. The Baal spirit is also the spirit behind sexual perversion, including homosexuality and pornography. Baal always seeks to destroy the next generation. He is a violent spirit that requires human sacrifice, the spirit behind abortion, and the ‘cutting’ that is prevalent in the vampire and goth movements today. This spirit is the spirit of death that has invaded America. Jezebel, witchcraft and occult spirits all operate under Baal, who is identified as the ruler of demons, Beelzebub.
The Bible says we are not to be conformed to the world, but most of us are….more than we realize. We have been brought up in the culture of the world. We have gained certain mindsets and predispositions that are as normal to us as the skin on our arm. We have beliefs about how things should work and what people should do. We read about God’s way in His Word, but we live according to ‘the way things are’ in the world. We think we have aligned ourselves with the Word, but God sees our divided hearts. He sees our worldly mindsets and our dependence on worldly things. He is no longer content for His people to be double-minded. He wants us to understand His Kingdom mindset and economy. He wants us to know that His ways truly are higher than our ways. Therefore, He is sending confrontation to His Church, just as He sent Elijah to confront Israel. He is letting us see how the world system cannot produce the security we thought it could. We cannot depend on our jobs, our bank accounts, our retirement plans, and our possessions to save us when crisis comes. God is calling us to an either/or decision.
Only God knows what lies ahead as we come closer and closer to the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. Only God truly knows what we need to be able to make it through this time. As our loving Father, He will discipline us, not punish us, so that we will be conformed to His image and we will be able to stand in the midst of hardship and persecution that will surely come. It is coming soon. The Word says, “no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful, yet afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness for those who have been trained by it…..shall we not…be subject to the Father of spirits and live?” (Heb 12:11, 9b) In His great love and mercy, God is sending His “Elijah’s” and allowing circumstances, so that we will be trained and made ready for His return and be able to stand with Him in the battle.
The tenacity and zeal, the spirit and power, of Elijah is needed to expose, confront and destroy the workings of the Baal system in our world today. Elijah was a powerful weapon in God’s hand because he was a wholehearted believer in God, he was obedient, and he was willing to suffer. He did not hold on to his comfort, but was willing to surrender all to God, knowing that God would prove Himself faithful. If we are going to effectively impact our world, if we are going to see people return to God, then we must first allow God to expose our own heart and be cleansed by Him. Then, as our faith is developed and we yield our lives to Him completely, He will cause us to operate in the spirit and power of Elijah. We must not love our own lives more than we love God. We must be wholehearted in our devotion to Him and trust that He will bring us through any crisis, that He will provide for us, that He will demonstrate His power through us and He will glorify His name through our obedience. His Word it true, Praise be to God!