Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Seeding the Clouds

The clouds have really caught my attention lately. After years of drought in our region it is especially good to see the sky full of big fluffy clouds. I had never really thought much about it before, but clouds have been causing me to think about God's promises and even more than that, about faith.

There is a type of scientific weather modification practice known as seeding the clouds where scientists are actually able to enhance a cloud's ability to produce precipitation. Likewise, when we allow faith to have it's full place in our lives, then we partner with the Spirit of God to sow into the clouds of heaven the very promises that have been spoken to us. In doing this we are co-laboring in faith with God who Himself, calls things that are not as though they were. We are seeding the clouds of our own promises.

We often forget that our life here on earth is more than anything else, a faith journey.  God is very partial to faith. In fact, He goes so far as to say, Without faith it is impossible to please Him.

Take a look at the Old Testament prophet, Elijah. Now there's a man of faith.  Just like us, the land was in a terrible drought.  Then the Lord told Elijah to present himself to Ahab and then he would send rain on the land.  This was no easy task for Elijah as he had been a hunted man every since Jezebel, Ahab's wife, had decided to systematically kill off the prophets of God.  But, Elijah would not be deterred by the threat of death.  He valued obedience over his own safety.

What follows is an amazing display of raw faith at it's finest. Elijah set up a very public challenge on Mt. Carmel where he invited Ahab to assemble the 450 prophets of Baal and the 450 prophets of Asherah.  They then each prepared a bull sacrifice, but neither was to set fire to it. Instead, Elijah suggested that they call upon their god, and He would call upon His God to set fire to the sacrifices.  Then comes my favorite line of the story......the god who answers by fire --He is God.

And the Lord God did answer by fire, and lots of it! And the prophets of Baal?  Not even a spark.

After all of this excitement, you would think that Elijah might have even forgotten God's promise to bring rain on the land after he had presented himself to Ahab. But, Elijah was holding on to his promise.  He boldly declared to Ahab, Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.   Now, there was no sound of a heavy rain yet, but Elijah was partnering with God and calling that which is not, as though it were.  He was prophesying what would be, before it was. 

Elijah then assumed a position of prayer all the time instructing his servant to watch towards the sea looking for the coming rain.  His servant must have been pretty perplexed because six times he was told by Elijah to go back and look again.  Elijah's faith would not budge, even though each time the servant reported that there was nothing to see.  But, the seventh time the servant saw 'a cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea.' 

That was all Elijah needed to hear.  The tiny cloud was as good as a flood to him, because He was operating from a realm of faith.  All along the way, Elijah's obedience, faith, and declarations had helped to seed the clouds that would then release a heavy rain on their land.

So, I'm humbled, challenged, and stirred by this glimpse into Elijah's life.  I can't help but think of the promises of outpouring that have been released over our region and the responsibility that has been entrusted to us as His people.  May we, like Elijah, assume the position of prayer that seeds the clouds with the heart and desire of our Father in Heaven.  And may we, like the servant, have eyes to see the cloud as small as a man's fist rising over our own land.