by Claude Thomas

I Kings 18:17-24

Introduction: I believe most Christians intend to serve God significantly and live vitally. Yet, every day there is evidence that just isn't happening. Schedules get out of control. We strive to keep up only to find out how far we are really behind. We may lack energy and run out of time. It becomes obvious our lives are out of focus, and circumstances gain the upper hand.

What are we to do? Blame others or circumstances, demands of jobs, lack of R&R ... even the ministries of church get blamed. But ... let's come to grips with the real problem. We lack the power as we are to deal with things as they are. We need help.

Nearly 3000 years ago, Israel came to the realization that things were beyond their control. They had drifted from God. An unannounced prophet barged upon the scene to set before them the reality of their departure and raise guideposts back to God. From the experience of Israel, we learn the Christian's power shortage for living is caused by ...

I. Disconnecting from God ... a process, vv. 18,21

Explanation: Jehovah brought Israel into being. They had known the provisions and protections of God. Their allegiance, love and devotion was to be to Him. They were to rely on Him.

Ahab, king of Israel, married Jezebel, princess of Tyre. It was a marriage of political, economical, and military convenience. Ahab permitted Jezebel and her entourage to bring their god, Baal. Baal was the storm god who sent rain on seed and crops to produce a harvest. So, it was associated with fertility.

Jezebel planned and promoted this god. She wanted to rid Israel of the prophets of Yahweh, and raise those of Baal. How did the people respond? Like Obadiah, the prophet, they began by resisting. Then, they began to tolerate, "falter", v. 21. But too many, like Ahab, embraced Baal. They became disconnected through the process of drifting -- resistance, tolerance, acceptance.

Transition ...

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