Settling issues pertaining to people influenced by evil spirits
God specifically led Elijah to be fed by the widow at Zarephath, 1 Kings 17: 8-16, because she was the only one, when compared to all other widows in Israel, who had the faith that was required to receive the prophet, and so, be a recipient of the miracle-working power that worked through him.
This is made clear from what Jesus said in Luke 4
24 And he added, “I tell you the truth, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.
25 But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, when the sky was shut up three and a half years, and there was a great famine over all the land.
26 Yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to a woman who was a widow at Zarephath in Sidon.
Let us ensure that our unbelief does not hinder God from performing the miracles that he wants to do for us, in and through our lives! However, the right kind of faith must be backed by works as can be seen when Elijah was sent to tell king Ahab that God was soon going to send rain*, 1 Kings 18:18-46.
The rain did not come until Elijah, who believed that God would send rain upon the land, did certain ‘works’ that his faith prompted him to do.
In the first place, he had to settle the ‘sin’ issue going on in Israel. So, to begin with, the altar had to be built in the right manner, vs 30-35, and prayer and supplication had to be made at the right time, vs 36,37, before God could send down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice, vs 38,39. Further, the prophets of Baal had to be killed, vs 40. It was only after that, that Elijah could pray rightly, not just once, but seven times, before rain fell upon the land, vs 41-45!
So, we see that only the right kind of faith, will lead to the right kind of action, (repentance from sin) and thus release the much-needed miracle that God Himself is so eager to give us! The sad part was that Elijah did not kill Jezebel and the remaining 400 prophets of Asherah, for we see that he killed only the prophets of Baal alone, 1 Kings 18:22-26;40. This backfired on him, and it wasn’t long after, that Jezebel’s death threat saw him fleeing for his life in fear, 1 Kings 19:1-4, and he became very depressed and suicidal too!
On refusing to continue the ministry, God graciously permits him to anoint 3 others, viz. Elisha, Jehu and Hazael, vs 15-17, in order to carry on God’s purposes during that point of time!
This teaches us that if we don’t go all the way in settling issues pertaining to people influenced by evil spirits, then those that we permit to remain invariably become thorns in our side and hindrances to us completing the perfect will of God in and through our lives. We also see that God will never force us to continue doing His will, and so, it becomes even more important to determine to make the right choices when encountering those difficult crossroads in our lives which make us want to give up on account of fear or unbelief!
Let us remember that as we ask God to make us ‘willing’ to go all the way to do His will, we can depend on Him being ‘our able’ too, for those who put their trust in Him, will assuredly, never be put to shame! Let us determine to remain in faith and persevere in patience, for that is the only way in which we can inherit the promises of God which are indeed, ‘Yes and Amen’ in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let us remind ourselves that we are never alone and God will never give up on us, provided we don’t give up on seeking to fulfill His perfect will for our lives with all our hearts.