Read: 1 Kings 16:29-17:24
Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.” 1 Kings 17:24
I don’t know about you, but it’s always easier for me to believe something when there’s proof.
“Did you brush your teeth? Let me smell…”
“Is your homework finished? Let me see…”
“You’re sorry? Prove it. Make it right.”
In today’s passage, there’s lots of obedience without proof. I think it’s interesting that it’s after Elijah and the widow are blindly obedient that they get their proof that it was truly God working through them.
I’ve called myself a Christian for as long as I can remember… I grew up going to church and Sunday school, and attended a Lutheran school through 8th grade. Push really never came to shove in that time period, so I can’t really say if I had true faith or not. I believed in Jesus, but I’m not sure I was living in Him.
Fast forward *lots* of years… married and a couple kids later. Decisions are more difficult and hold consequence for more than just my life. The foundation of knowledge I received as a kid was a great place to start, but being involved at the Vineyard pushed me to grow in my faith. God called me to be obedient in serving, obedient in tithing, and obedient in spending time with Him. Along the way, in small bits, it was clear to me that God really was who He said he was. And after I was obedient, I got my proof.
During that time I had two injured feet. With two small kids, the doctor’s advice of rolling frozen water bottles on my feet 5 times a day for 30 minutes each was completely out of reach.
I was also in the Alpha Course (if you haven’t taken it, YOU SHOULD). One evening one of the leaders described falling asleep picturing herself in the arms of God. I loved that. Shortly thereafter, I was praying before I went to sleep, picturing myself in God’s arms, and I felt a heavy, warm blanket cover me. I was alone (my hubby was out of town), so I knew exactly Who it was. In my prayer, I said, “Well, God, since you’re here… would you heal my feet??” (Maybe I need to work on my prayer skills??)
I don’t really remember anything after that… I went to sleep. When I finally remembered to pay attention, I noticed that my feet were completely healed. Pain free. Both of them. If that’s not proof, I’m not sure what is.
Now, can I make a definitive statement that IF you are obedient, THEN you’ll get proof? No. That’s not up to me. Or you. Some may not need the proof that others so desperately desire. But the God of Isaac and Jacob, and the God of Elijah and the widow is the same God who made you and knows you and loves you.
Your obedience to the living, unchanging God will grow your faith in areas that God knows you need. It’s personal. Just like it was for the widow in today’s passage, and just like it was for me and my feet.
God, I want to live in You, not just believe in You. Will you make it clear to me where in my life I need to be obedient? Will you show me how to grow my faith so I can be the person and live the relationship that You created for me? Draw me close, Lord. I love you, too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.