Time For the Showdown
AKA – Make Up Your Minds
This is the mic drop, epic ending to our series “Serving our own gods” that we have been in for the last 4 weeks. (Check them out in the archives.)
As mentioned last week, there is quite a caseload of precedent for what happens when people serve their own gods and there is ample evidence from history of the results. So, let’s conclude with a massive smackdown between The Lord – Jehovah God and Baal.
In this senario, we find a man of God, under the inspiration of the Lord , calling the prophets of Baal to a showdown with the stated purpose:
How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow Him; if it’s Baal follow him. Make up your minds.”1 Kings 18:21 The Message Paraphrase
You see, I believe that this is the clarion call today as well. The fence sitters are being called to take a side. Yoke up with their god or yoke up with the “only wise God.” The fence is coming down and minds must be made up.
You may remember the rest of the story. The God who answers by fire is the true God. 1 Kings 18:24
The 450 prophets of Baal build a stone altar, cut up a bull, and lay it on the wood-covered altar. Then they begin to call on Baal- their god, to come as fire and consume their offering. They pray all morning, shout, cut themselves, dance and jump, asking for Baal to come and show himself strong for them. But nothing happens. Not a breeze, not a voice not even a spark.
Then the Lord’s prophet, Elijah, does the same. He repairs the altar, cuts up his offering and lays it on the wood that is upon the stone altar, but he also digs a trench around it. Adding insult to injury for Baal’s prophets, Elijah pours 4 jars of water over the offering, the wood, and the altar, filling the trench to the top.
Then Elijah set himself to pray to his God. As he prayed, he said,
Answer me , O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord are God…”1 Kings 18:37 ESV
“Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” 1 Kings 18:38
My friend, the Lord is THAT God who answers by fire, performing miracles and revealing Himself the God of God’s and Lord of Lords. He is THAT God who shows up in power to expose all other gods as impotent. He is THAT God who shakes men and women off of their fences and calls them to make up their minds.
I have no hesitation in saying that these days are showdown days. The gods of this world and those who represent them are being called upon to show their strength, and reveal themselves. And isn’t that what we are seeing on our screens, in our Capitol buildings, school campuses and businesses?
A showdown is mouting.
The followers of Baal and the followers of The Lord are about to face off, because the Spirit’s behind each of those are in mortal combat for the prize of dominion. But the Good News is, The Lord has already secured the ultimate victory, just like in the example of Eijah. He has purchased our freedom by His death on that wooden cross, where he became our sacrifice. He triumphed over death by coming to life after three days, and He answered by fire, as seen on the Day of Pentecost, in the first century church.
The spirit behind Baal and other false gods hope to distract you from that truth because they know The Lord and they fear Him and His power. They know they are losers. Mark 1:21-24; James 2:19 They know that The Lord has already won the great showdown.
The purpose of sharing these things is to call a people out and up, away from their own ways and gods, to the only Wise God, Creator of all things, the Great Jehovah God of the Bible. The Lord is The Lord yesterday, today and forever and wise is the one who gets off the fence and makes up their mind to serve Him.
There is grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, love and acceptance to the one who responds to The Lord. But not all will.
In the end, just like those prophets of Baal were slaughtered, those who refuse to yield to The Lord will also meet their eternal end, their eternal judgment. There is much more after this life, and The One True God is the One sitting on that judgment seat in that life. Our relationship with Him here, in this life, is the basis for our eternal life – with or without Him.
In the showdown, whose side are you on? What God are you serving?
You must make up your mind.