GUEST EDITORIAL: Marcel Turner “Every Prophets Battle”
“O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 1Kings 18:36-37
Elijah, whose name means “My God is Yahweh”, was a prophet who fought a great battle, one that every prophet has, and that’s the battle against Satan. And yet, Satan doesn’t have a chance against a prophet who knows his calling. Elijah was a prophet who knew his calling thus God was able to perform many miracles through him. He raised the dead, brought fire down from the sky, and was taken up “by a whirlwind”. In the New Testament he is especially known for his effective and powerful prayers (James 5:16-18).
Despite his great victories, Elijah lived during a desolate time in Israel. The nation was dark, and Israel had drifted far from the Lord. During his ministry, the kingdom of Israel had split in two because of rebellion and idolatry and became Northern and Southern Israel. The king of northern Israel was Ahab whose wife was the wicked Jezebel. Jezebel was known for drawing Israel away to worship false gods, causing them to turn their backs on the one true God. During this time, the Israelites main object of worship was a false god named “Baal”, which literally means “lord”, like the word “Yahweh”. This is eerily similar to “Beelzebub” or “lord of the flies”, the name of Satan. Thus, Baal contended with God for the hearts and souls of the people of Israel. Is Satan battling for your soul? Does it seem like he might be winning?
Elijah’s name alone tells us why he was born. To be used to fight the battle against this false god and show who the true God is. We see in his prayer above that he has a passion to make the true God known to Israel. At the same time Satan had a passion to deceive the people and cause them to worship a false god. Elijah was called to preach the truth even when everyone was against him. Exactly like you. You were born again and sent out to preach a message of hope in a hopeless world. The world hates a prophet who lives his/her calling. This calling comes from God alone!
“’I have not made trouble for Israel,’ Elijah replied, ‘But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal…who eat at Jezebel’s table.’ So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, ‘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.”
Elijah was being challenged by the king of northern Israel, Ahab, and being accused of “troubling” Israel. His response to Ahab was for him to bring all of Israel to him at Mount Carmel. Was he crazy? What could one man do to against 450 people? The answer is YES he was crazy! According this world. He knew he had God with him and could win the battle! How tempting it would have been to pull back and walk away. In the last few weeks I’ve heard a couple disciples just wanting to give up and go home. They feel like they just weren’t made for being a disciple or their financial pressure is just too much. I can relate. In my personal walk with God there have been multiple times where the battle just became too much. I gave in to fear and doubt so many times.
Even here in Orlando as I lead the powerful CAMPUS ministry I gave in to fear. There was so much persecution and opposition I stopped giving my heart to the lost. Sometimes in my relationships with those I disciple it felt like there wasn’t any impact I was making and I pulled back. My heart gave in to Satan’s lies. His lie was to convince me that God wasn’t with me or that I wasn’t good enough for the purpose of a disciple. But you know what: I AM GOD’S PROPHET! There is a purpose God has specifically for me to turn this world upside down! And this goes for every single disciple! If you are a disciple you must be convinced of this. Recently, I have decided to not allow fear to stop me from fighting this battle against the world. And my call to you is to do the same! That is why I ask “what battle are you facing?” because maybe you feel like it is too much just like I did. But take Elijah’s example and remember that God will help you fight this battle and you are not alone. Be bold and courageous and fierce just like Elijah against Satan and his army. You have God on your side!!!
Any battle you are facing in your life you have God right there with you. He will not abandon you and will give you success in that battle. FIGHT WITH GOD!!!
“Then Elijah said to them, ‘I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.’ Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire- he is God.’”
Though he felt alone physically he was completely convinced that God was on his side. See he had a dream to REMIND PEOPLE OF WHO THE REAL GOD IS! There was a security about his walk with God that made him unbreakable! What makes a prophet unbreakable? FAITH! Faith that he will win any battle against Satan. As long as you stand God will be with you. Don’t succumb to fear! If you have a dream let nothing stop you from living it out. There is a confidence about prophet who knows God is with him. A disciple who is insecure of who he or she is lacks the understanding of how POWERFUL they truly are. Be convinced of this: the HOLY SPIRIT is in you. What does that mean? That God lives in you and is with you. Every single step you walk God is with you. My encouragement to you is to write down a vision God has given you, make a plan to live it out, get advice, and make it happen!
As we all know Elijah wipes out all 450 prophets of Baal! Despite the IMPOSSIBLE odds against him, Elijah won the battle. Every prophet has the same odds against them. And every disciple is a prophet. A deliverer of God’s message to a hopeless world. You are called to a great purpose and God will use you in great ways. You are not alone in this battle and are called to a great purpose that comes from God specifically for you. Be confident in your faith. Write down a vision and LIVE IT OUT. Let no enemy stop you from winning this battle. Now go have a great victory just like our brother Elijah and let’s evangelize the world!
Marcel Jeramy Turner