Ask A Pastor
By Pastor Scott Osenbaugh, The Healing Place
(Nashville Assembly of God)
Not long after my seventh birthday, I heard my first Bible story. My parents had not been much interested in church things, not until a neighbor persuaded them to try out the church his family attended. It was there in Mrs. Rosenberg’s primary class that I heard about David and Goliath, about Elijah and the evil King Ahab, about the creation and the twelve sons of Jacob. It was also there I found out about Jesus and His miracles, His stories and His life, and then the apostle Paul and all the letters he wrote. Over the years, those stories became very familiar, many of them studied in depth in preparation for a pulpit message or a Bible study.
To choose a favorite story is not easy. I like them all. Each one has a lesson to teach, a timeless truth God means for His people to know, understand, and put into practice. That said, there is one account in the Old Testament that has taught me much about having faith in God when things look their darkest.
Israel, because of their sin, had been judged with no rain, affecting the whole agriculturally based society. Elijah the prophet faced up his nemesis, Ahab, and told him the time had come for the drought to be broken. Elijah went off to pray, sending his servant repeatedly to look at the horizon, to see if there was a cloud of any kind. Finally, on the seventh trip to look, the servant saw a tiny cloud, about the size of a man’s hand. Elijah told Ahab the rain was coming, that the king ought to get back to his palace before the rain made it impossible for the royal chariot to navigate the road. That afternoon, the rain came after three and a half years of dryness.
The striking part of that 1 Kings 18 account is the little cloud. Elijah continued to pray, even though at first there was nothing. On the seventh time, that small puff of wispy white appeared, and the prophet knew the drought was about to be broken. What would have happened had the prophet only sought the Lord four or five times? Here is what grabs my attention: Elijah continued to pray until something happened, and when that something was just a small cloud, the prophet in faith believed God for greater things, which in fact did happen.
God sometimes deals with us through the little things, encouraging our pressing forward to gain an even deeper sense of intimacy with the Lord as well as a stronger faith that sees the things that are not being called into being through the power of God. Faith believes God, not the circumstances, and it is through faith that God works amongst His people. Seeing things through God’s view, a view gained through consistent, focused prayer, will do more to advance the Kingdom of God than anything. Believe God today for the miracle you need in your life!