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Day Nineteen

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” With the stones, he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces, and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.

“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”  1 Kings 18:30-39

Danny Simpson, a 24-year-old Canadian, was sentenced to 6 years in jail for robbing a bank in Ottawa, Canada of $6,000. The gun he used in the robbery, however, ended up in a Canadian museum. The .45 caliber Colt semi-automatic turned out to be an antique made in 1918 by the Ross Rifle Company of Quebec City. His pistol was worth up to $100,000. If Danny Simpson had known what he had in his hands, he would not have ended up in jail.

During the days of Elijah, if the nation of Israel had only known what they had in their hands, they wouldn’t have ended up in spiritual slavery, held captive by Ahab and Jezebel in their own land. It was the same song, second verse – they had come out of Egypt, but Egypt had not come out of them.

We know that God is powerful and our human lives are weak, but did you know God wants to fill your life with His power and strength? Many Christians spend their lives searching for God’s power and presence, not realizing it is already in their hands. Do you know that you have been clothed with His power? “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

People are attracted to power. They want the power to control. They want the power to dominate. They want the power to succeed, no matter who it may hurt. But it’s hollow; it is nothing but smoke and mirrors. The power of this world is empty and hollow.

There is only one God with power. His name is El Shaddai and he tells us that we can share His very nature. “Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies. You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!” (Psalm 68:34-35)

Take time this morning to put your hand into the pierced hand of Jesus. He will never let go.

Make the commitment this morning to keep your hands open to the love of God today. Remember, open hands always mean open hearts!