Are we there yet?
I Kings 17:1-6
I Kings 17:1-6
1 – Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
2 – Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah:
3 – “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.
4 – You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.”
5 – So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there.
6 – The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
In this passage of scripture, we see God speaks to Elijah and tells him to leave where he was at, and turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.
God tells Elijah that he will drink from the brook and that He has commanded the ravens to feed him there.
Somebody say there –
This morning I would like to speak a message entitled “Are we there yet?”
There are a few things that I would like to point out from this passage of scripture.
The first thing that I would like to point out in this passage of scripture is that:
1 – Elijah had got a word from the Lord.
In a time of drought and famine when people were starving and going without food Elijah got a Word from the Lord.
God told Elijah that He was going to feed him and take care of him, by giving him water from the brook and meat from some birds.
Water uit die spruit…Vleis van die Kraaie
Imagine that – being told to leave where you are and to go to a place where you will be fed by a brook and by some birds. Now I don't know about you, but my natural mind would have probably thought twice or would have wanted to stay where I was at.
But how many know if God promises you something He is going to come through, whether it looks good in the natural or not.
God is faithful to His Word and if God promises you and I something then He is going to come through, no matter how it looks in the natural.
The Bible states in Numbers 23:19
God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
Elijah made a move because he had a word from the Lord.
Instead of being led by his feelings or his situation, he was led by what God told him to do.
You will be surprised on how many of us can make decisions based on what we want to do and what our emotions lead us to do, instead of what God wants us to do.
Elijah wasn't like that, he made a decision based on what God told him to do.
When you and I make decisions based on what God has told us to do we cannot go wrong.
Even though in the natural it might not make sense. Even though we might have to step out by faith, and we can't see what God is doing.
You and I cannot go wrong by stepping out on God's word.
Not only did God tell Elijah to go to the Kerith Ravine, but He also told him I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.
2 – Elijah stepped out on the Word of God.
Not only did Elijah get a word from God, but he was willing to step out on that Word.
Even though it might not make sense and you don't understand it in the natural, the challenge for you and I is to trust God to come through.
God told Elijah I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.
So, to be fed by a Raven took a lot of faith.
Maybe God has challenged you and I to do something, but it doesn't make sense in the natural and because it doesn't make sense we don't step out.
Maybe your financial breakthrough is in the there
Maybe your healing is in the there.
Maybe you and I going to another level is in the there.
God maybe giving us a challenge that goes beyond our natural abilities and we don't understand it in the natural, so we stay in the where instead of stepping into the there.
But I believe we have some people in the house like Elijah who say I might not understand what God is challenging me to do, but I am not staying in my here I am getting to my there.
Is there anybody in the house that is heading to your there?
See God will give us a Word, or a challenge and our responsibility is to step out and meet Him in the there.
In the natural it doesn’t make sense to be fed by a Raven.
Ravens aren’t trying to feed people in the natural. As a matter of fact, most birds that I see are trying to take your food. Not only that, but Ravens were a bird that was known for not even feeding their own young ones.
I remember one time at Waterfront I was fellowshipping with some of the G.A.N.G. and a seagull literally came and took some food out of someone’s hand while they were eating it.
God used the ravens to take from those who had and to bring it to Elijah. Now where did the Raven get the food?
Ravens don’t cook and they sure don’t buy food, so they probably swooped down on someone eating a meal and said thank you, you prepared this for the Man of God.
That kind of sounds like the scripture the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous.
To be fed by Ravens was a miracle itself, but Elijah had to be willing to step out.
Step out on the limb – that's where the fruit is at:
Tell your neighbor “Your blessing is in the there.”
3. The blessing was in the there:
Let's look a look at the statement “I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
See God didn't send the blessing directly to Elijah, but He sent it to a place called there. The place where God told Elijah to be.
What stands out from this portion of scripture are the words “I have commanded.”
Notice it doesn't say I will command, or I am going to command, but I have commanded.
So, God told Elijah I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.
Somebody say there.
So that means even before Elijah decided to step out and head to the place that God wanted him to go, the ravens were already on their way. The provision was already on the way.
So even if Elijah would've stayed where he was the provision and blessing would have still been there. The meat would've still been dropped off by the ravens and the brook would've still been flowing. The blessing would have still been there – just not Elijah.
Somebody say “There”
See Elijah could've stayed Where he was instead of getting there. In the “there” is where the blessing was. If Elijah would have stayed where he was, he might have starved in the famine.
Why, not because God isn't faithful to provide, but because the blessing was in the “there” and not the where Elijah was.
God sent the provision and blessing to the place that He had told Elijah to go.
What can we learn from this? You and I need to be in the right place to receive the blessings that God has promised us.
There is a song that says: Uko Uko Uko (Uko)
Tell your neighbor “The Blessing is There.” Uko!!!
I like to use a soccer illustration:
In soccer when one is advancing the ball for an opportunity to score a goal they don’t pass the ball to where the player who can score is at, but they pass the ball to where there is a window of opportunity.
The striker or the one who is going to score just needs to get there where the ball has been passed.
In order for Elijah to receive the blessing from the Lord he needed to be in the there. The supernatural supply of God for Elijah was in the there – not in the where.
Elijah needed to be in the “there” to get the blessing. If Elijah would've have stayed where he was the food would have still been there, just not Elijah, but because of Elijah’s obedience to the Word of the Lord he was able to pick up his blessing.
Somebody say, “pick up the blessing.”
Your there might be an area of ministry.
Your there might be being faithful at that life group on Tuesday.
Your there might be in the music ministry.
Your there might be in the Men’s or Women’s home.
Your there might be in the children’s ministry.
Isaiah 1:19 says – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Being obedient to God puts us in a position to receive His supernatural supply.
I don't know where your there is, but the question we need to ask ourselves is “are we in our there?”
Ask your neighbor “Are we there yet?”
4. The Brook dried up
Now even though Elijah was obedient, and he was were the Lord wanted him to be, the Bible says “sometime later the brook dried up.”
What do you do when the brook dries up?
Now Elijah’s there is somewhere else.
The Brook and the Ravens are not the way that God wants to provide any more.
So, God told Elijah to go to Zarephath and I have commanded a widow to feed you there.
What do you do when your old way of seeing God provide is outdated and God wants to do a new thing?
Elijah had some decisions to make. Do I step out again or do I get comfortable here?
This Morning God is about to do a new thing in someone life. You are about to go to another level of blessing and allowing God to use you.
God is about to take someone from “where is my blessing” to “there is my blessing”.
Tell your neighbor your blessing on already on the way.
There may be some of us here this morning where God has already commanded your blessing all you have to do is step out and get to the there.
The challenge may be to step out in what God is challenging us to do.
There may be some of us here this morning that God is challenging to step out in a new area of your life.
You blessing is there.
When the brook dried up Elijah didn’t stay camped out at the dry brook reminiscing on how the blessings used to flow.
He moved on to the next spot where the blessings where flowing. Even though the Kerith Ravine used to be the there, now God had told him to go to Zarephath and God was going to take care of him there.
Elijah stepped out, but what are somethings that could have stopped him?
Let’s look at a few things that could have kept Elijah by the Kerith Ravine instead of stepping out and going on to Zarephath.
God was taking care of Elijah through the ravens and the brook. That was the method of God’s provision, but then that method dried up.
Now when the brook dried up, Elijah could have gotten attached to the method and said I will just go drink from the Jordan that is not too far from the Kerith Ravine.
He could have walk over to the Joran River and drank from there, I am pretty sure it was still flowing.
Why do I say that?
Well you have a brook and a river.
Both are a type of stream. The main difference is that of size. A Brook is a small stream, whereas a river is a large stream, that generally flows into another stream, lake or sea.
The brook had dried up, so being that a river is bigger than a brook, the river probably still had some water in it.
The Bible doesn’t even say that the Ravens stopped coming, it just says some time later the brook dried up.
So, all he needed was some water, maybe he could have stayed there and just drank from the brook, but Elijah sensed God wanted to do something new, so he got another word from God.
He was willing to leave the old method that used to effective for another method and that was a widow in Zarephath.
How many know sometimes the thing that stops you and I from going to the next level is we get attached to methods. It is amazing how we can get attached to things that don’t work.
It is sometimes difficult to bring change because we have been doing something a certain way for a period of time.
Have you ever been in a meeting and you are meeting about something that needs enhancement, but then someone suggest a new way of doing it and the response is I don’t think we should change it.
Well if it is working fine then keep doing what’s working and why are we meeting about it?
Elijah had to be open to a new method of Gods provision.
Elijah could have gotten attached to the method of blessing and not the one who was doing the blessing.
Sometimes it is hard to let go of relationships to get to the next level.
Example: Friends in High School
You are excited about graduation, but the thing that makes it hard to graduate is the relationships. You are excited to leave the place and the work, but the relationships with friends is the hard thing to let go.
Imagine being 35 years old and still meeting old friends at school every morning because we didn’t want to let go of the relationships.
Elijah could have gotten attached to the Ravens. He could have said I don’t want to leave these ravens they are my friends, they have been taking care of me all this time.
How many know just like you get attached to people you can get attached to animals.
It’s funny I was just missing a dog I had over 15 years, why because I was attached to him.
Elijah could have said even though the brook is dried up, I am not leaving because I have to many relationships here.
One of the hardest times to make a change is when you are having success.
The Bible doesn’t say that the Ravens stopped coming, it just says that the brook dried up.
Even though Elijah was being blessed in this spot, he was willing to make changes to be in the place that God wanted him to be.
Not every time when someone moves on from a job, school, ministry or even a responsibility it means that they were not being successful.
Maybe God has another there for them.
It is easy to move on when something isn’t working, but the challenge is to be obedient to God even during success. If Elijah didn’t head to the next there, I wonder if this widow woman and her family would have made it through the famine.
It wasn’t so much that God wanted to provide for Elijah, but it was that God had a family that He wanted Elijah to minister to.
It is not so much of you and I being successful where we are at, but it is being successful in what God has called us to do.
If Elijah would have stayed at the brook and reminisced on all the times that God did come through, He would have missed out on an opportunity to be used by God to minister to a family.
Before Elijah was in a place where he was getting blessed, but now God wanted him to be a blessing. God wanted to use Elijah to minister to a family.
The widow and her son may not have made it through the famine.
He brought life to a family that didn’t have any hope.
It is not about you and I going to the next level or getting to our there, as much as it is the families and people that are waiting for us there.
Is there anybody here who says I am ready to step into my there, because I have been in my “here” for too long?
You say I am ready to step out and go for all that God has for me.
I don’t want to let my old methods stop me.
I don’t want to let relationships stop me.
I don’t want to let success stop me, but I want to go for all that God has for me.
Is there anybody willing to step out by faith even though it doesn't look good in the natural and you may have to change some methods, build some new relationships or allow God to do a new thing.
Its 2019 and I need to get there…