When the Opposition is Strong (pt 1)
We have been continuing our series “Beyond Ordinary” on the life of Elijah at Brooklife Church. My message was entitled “Beyond Ordinary…When the Opposition is Strong.” I was taking us through 1 Kings 18, where Elijah confronts Ahab and the prophets of Baal and Asherah on Mount Carmel.
This is an amazing story and could be rightly called the extraordinary moment in Elijah’s life. I focused my message in on three aspects of this episode in Elijah’s life. I’ll offer the first two in today’s post and the third in tomorrow’s post:
1. Confronting the Opposition: For Elijah, confronting the opposition meant facing the idols around him. While idolatry may seem removed from our contemporary lives, it is not quite so far as we might think. .I define idolatry as anything in our lives – good or bad – that we put in the place of God in order to control our lives. For the Israelites in Elijah’s time Baal, the so-called god of fertility, was an idol by which they tried to control their crops and survival. What idols do we need to confront in our own lives?
2. Defeating the Opposition: Elijah sets up a great contest between Yahweh God and Baal where prepared sacrifices must be consumed by miraculous fire from the skies. This gives Elijah the chance to defeat the opposition by a) helping the people remember their identity as God’s chosen people (1 Kings 18:30-32) and b) purging idolatry from the people’s’ lives by destroying the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:40). Two questions we should consider are: 1) Do we remember who we are in Christ and what God has done in our lives? and 2) What practical steps do we need to take to purify our lives from the power of idols?
I am a husband to Kelly, father of three boys, a pastor, musician, avid hiker, disciple of Christ. Currently, I am employed as the Senior Pastor at Eastbrook Church in Milwaukee, WI. Before that I was the Associate Pastor at Brooklife Church in Mukwonago, WI, which I helped to plant a few years ago after serving for five years as the Collegiate Ministries Pastor at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, WI. I graduated with a Masters in Divinity from Northern Theological Seminary and a Bachelors in English and Christian Education from Wheaton College (IL).