For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
I heard a sermon recently by Sarah Jakes Roberts entitled, “Wet wood still burns.” Just the title alone is intriguing because obviously if wood gets wet it is difficult to even ignite it, yet, here is this imagery of wet wood burning. I was very encouraged by what she was sharing and I also thought of the prophet Elijah when he challenged the prophets of Baal in order to prove the true and living God.
They each had to kill a bull and place it on some wood. They then had to call on the name of their gods to send fire to consume the offering. Of course, the prophets of Baal called upon their gods for several hours and no fire came to burn up the offering. Elijah, however, proceeded to build an altar, place the wood and the bull on it. He also built a trench around the altar and poured water on the sacrifice, on the wood and the altar until the trench was filled. Everything had been drenched in water and was soaking wet. He then called upon the name of the God of Israel and the Lord sent fire and completely consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the altar and all the water that had filled the trench (1 Kings 18:19-39).
Expecting God to do a miracle and send fire from the sky was one thing. But for Him to consume water and everything that had been soaked by that water was another. You see, at the end of the day, our God is still the God of the impossible. We usually use water to extinguish fire, not the other way around. Only God could have accomplished such a feat. I’m sure no one there expected the fire to do what it did, but it did because God did it. I am in awe of the fact that Elijah had so much faith in God that he actually added water to everything. And he didn’t just add water, he completely soaked down everything and put himself in a position to possibly look bad in front of all Israel. But he didn’t. His God, their God, did not let him down because He saw his faith.
This story is not just a story of bold faith but of hope, that no matter how bad things seem, how saturated your situation may be in hopelessness and despair, like I love to say, God still has the final say. And it’s not over until God says it’s over.
Think about it. Sometimes life doesn’t just throw one thing at us at a time, but many things all at once. The enemy’s purpose is to so ambush and bombard and overwhelm us with a number of negative things all at once, that we may feel as if we are drowning in this “flood,” as if we are, figuratively speaking, unable to keep our heads above water. And it is at times like these that we have a choice: we can either choose to handle it the devil’s way or God’s way. Many times in desperation we may use weapons that don’t line up with the Word of God, weapons doused in fear, bitterness, anger that only make things worse not better. But God’s way of doing things will always be the best way. Use His spiritual weapons: stand on His word, pray, praise and worship and obey His instructions to you. Sometimes it just means resting and that can be extremely difficult to do.
Remember, wet wood only burns if God is doing the burning. Maybe the burning also entails burning up all those negative, impossible things in your character, in your heart, that you just can’t get rid of yourself. At the end of the day, the challenges we face come from both within ourselves and from external situations. At any given point in time, we are battling both the negative attacks from without as well as the negatives from within that want to destroy us. This is when we may feel thoroughly overwhelmed and as if the battle is so unfair. But, when you feel completely “soaked” and burdened, it is good to remember that only God can consume even water. Isaiah 59:19b says: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” In other words, God will send Him running!
There have been a number of times in my own life where I have felt bombarded by the enemy’s attacks from without and within. I felt backed into a corner but when I fixed my focus on God, just like He has been teaching me to do over many years, He always comes through for me. Sometimes He changes the situation and sometimes He simply changes me in the situation.
When God intervenes, we may not always be able to tell Him how to fix it, how to do His job, but we can trust that He will cause all things to work together for our good (Romans 8:28). We are not alone. God is interested in what is His best for us. God’s way of thinking and His way of doing things can be so very different to ours. But at the end of the day, there is still a bigger picture He is trying to complete, and it will be completed His way.
If you want to be a part of God’s bigger, beautiful picture, ask Jesus to come into your life. Allow Him to take what you can’t fix on your own and to use it to bring out His best for you and in you.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.