God Is Still In Charge

Title: God Is Still In Charge

Bible Book: 1 Kings 17

Author: Mike Rasberry

Subject: Sovereignty of God; Care, God's



People all over America are trying to find a reason to keep on keeping on. The school system is in shambles. The economic situation is deteriorating. Rape, murder, and mayhem are rampant. The threat of terrorism hangs over every public activity. For some the pressure is simply too much and they crack under the strain, or commit suicide. Is there any reason to believe that one can find hope in such a seemingly hopeless situation. These ravages of turmoil cross social and economic boundaries with impunity. Into such an environment marched Elijah, the man of God to remind the people that God was still in charge.

Elijah confronted the unbelieving King Ahab and declared that The Holy God of Israel still lived. He seemed to be saying, "Ahab, God is still in charge! And to prove it He's going to close the heavens, and it'll not rain until I speak the word." Elijah then left the presence of Ahab and at the command of God hid himself for three years.

Now folks, God is God and He can do what He well pleases. He didn't need for Elijah to hide in order to protect him. So why did God send him away for those three years?

You see, I think God looked down the corridors of time and saw you and me today. I think He knew that men and women of every age would need to learn the lessons He would teach Elijah. I think that what God taught Elijah and what He wants to teach you and me today is that God has a plan, and when we're doing His will, His way, we can know His purpose, His provision, and His power.

I'd like for you to stand and read along silently as I read aloud the seventeenth chapter of First Kings.

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." Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there."

So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.

Then the word of the LORD came to him: "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?"

As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread." "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread--only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it--and die." Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'"

She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, "What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?" "Give me your son," Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the LORD, "O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?" Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, "O LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!" The LORD heard Elijah's cry, and the boy's life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, "Look, your son is alive!"

Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth."

First Elijah confronted the King in a day of great disbelief. Then he hid away when folks were probably calling him terrible names, since they viewed him as responsible for the lack of water. He was supernaturally fed by the wild creatures. He later lived in a home where God's divine provision continued. And finally he was used by God to restore life to a dead child. But all of that teaches us three very important truths.

I. God Had A Purpose For Elijah

God told him to confront Ahab. That command is not recorded, but we can tell from the results that God was in it. I believe that God has a purpose for every mother's child born on this earth. Your purpose and mine might not be to confront kings, but God has a purpose for you. His first purpose is that you and I believe on Him for eternal life. He said in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." He has a purpose for your life. Since the foundation of the world was laid, He has wanted you for His child. Before you were even a gleam in your mother's eye, He knew you. Glory!! Glory!! That's shouting ground!!

How do we discover that purpose? We begin to discover that purpose as soon as we resign the right to control our own lives and as an act of our will surrender our will totally to Him. Don't become uneasy if you don't experience instantaneous guidance and direction. What God wants is your yielded will, and in the moment you give Him that, you begin to experience His guidance; although it may be some time before He shows you just where it is geographically.

As a sixteen-year-old boy, God called me to His ministry. I led the singing for our county youth gatherings and occasionally for the church. But soon I became involved in sin and I learned to like the sin. It tasted good, it looked good, and it felt good. I didn't graduate from High School with my class, and began to run with a very rough crowd, eventually winding up in Vietnam with the Marine Corps. I still remember the fear and uncertainty of those days. I never lived a day, where I had confidence, full assurance of my welfare being taken care of.

On the night of October 7th 1995 my wife and I received word that our youngest son had been critically injured in an automobile accident and that he might not live, or that he might have severe brain damage. But within a very short time, we had absolute confidence in God's care. He provided the funds for our return to the States and gave us assurance of His Divine Provision. WE were where He wanted us, doing what He wanted for His glory. What a difference it is to know you're doing His will for your life, to be able to completely trust God. It is a result of a conscious choice to do the "Will of God".

But God also wants you to live a productive life. A life that is worthwhile and meaningful. He tells us in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Now that word full is the Greek word, perissos. It carries with it the meaning of overwhelming abundance. Do you really feel like your life is filled with purpose today? It can be.

II. God Provided For Elijah

I do not believe the birds would have fed Elijah anywhere else, but where God told him to go. I do not believe the oil and meal would have lasted anywhere else, but where God told him to go. You see, God didn't say to Elijah, "Now Elijah, you go out there and wander around, and when you get hungry, I'll have the birds come find you." NO!! God told him where to go and Elijah obeyed.

Is it possible that you and I miss some of God's divine provision for our lives because we're either insensitive to His leadership or unwilling to go by faith? I remember that time when God first called me to preach. My wife and I moved out into the desert of Southern Arizona where I was the only pastor of any faith who lived in over a thousand square miles, between Gila Bend and Wellton. We were living on $50.00 per week and paying $50.00 of that for rent. In one week her car caught on fire and my little Datsun pickup burned a piston. We were in trouble. We were living off the kindness of some deacons from First Southern, Yuma who would come out our way to duck hunt and leave the ducks at our house. One day we received a check from a lady in our home church back in Mississippi for $10.00. Now $10.00 wasn't very much, even in 1970. But she said in her note that God had told her to send it. My wife and I knew then that God had not forgotten us. We never went hungry, and we managed. I really don't know how, because that's all the money we received, but somehow God didn't let the meal run out or the oil run dry.

The late Vance Havner was fond of saying that the problem with most of us today is that we want the meal barrel full and the oil running over. But God said that He'd meet our needs. In Phil 4:19 He says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

When you and I are where He wants us, doing what He wants, we will have health enough, time enough, and money enough to do what He wants done. God's never going to ask you or me to do more than His grace provides. Nothing is impossible with God.


Let me ask you a question. Are you living a life that demonstrates responsible confidence in God's divine provision, or are you wearing yourself out, trying to provide for you and yours?

III. God Equipped Elijah With The Power Necessary For The Task

Elijah had the courage to confront the king. He had the patience to wait in the desert. And he had the power to restore life. God is a God of power. I do not believe Elijah had any power within himself. I do not believe he could have restored life to that young lad on his own. He was simply connected to the source of power. He represented power because He was where God wanted him, doing what God wanted him to be doing.

When we served as missionaries in South Korea, we were struck by the way the traffic police would direct traffic. They always wore white gloves and carried a white baton. When a vehicle would drive particularly dangerously, the police officer would move into the swiftly moving traffic and it would immediately slow down and allow him to make his seeming casual stroll into the traffic where he would motion the offender to come to the side.

Now folks, traffic in Korea is horrendous. People often buy a car, get a driver's license, and then learn to drive, in that order. That policeman could easily have been run over by those cars. He had no power in himself to stop them, however, he represented power.

In Acts 1:8 the Bible says, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Dear friends, when you and I are where God wants us, doing what He wants us to do, we have the necessary power to accomplish the task. Do you ever wonder why you never feel God's power, or see any evidences of His supernatural working in your life?

Elijah lived during tumultuous times. He was hated and despised by the leaders of the country. But God demonstrated His care for Elijah by providing for him in unusual ways, because Elijah chose to do what God wanted, where God wanted it done. He simply lived a life of trusting obedience. God wants you to live with that same sense of purpose, provision, and power. And you can choose to do so.


In a few moments we're going to have a time of commitment. That's a time when people consciously open themselves to the searchlight of the Holy Spirit, who shows us those things in our lives which hinder our service to Him. When we recognize those hindrances, we are given to the power to commit ourselves to Him by confessing those hindrances as sin. For some such a commitment is a time of seeking to know Christ personally and intimately. For others it's a time renewal as we realize we've failed to live a life of obedience and trust in God. With still others, it is a desire to unite with this church fellowship in the way we receive members.

Now I want every head to bow and every eye to close. The musicians are beginning to play and as they do, you make your choices.

You can decide to obey and trust Christ right there in your pew. Elijah chose to obey God. His purpose, His provision, and His power are available to those who choose to be used by Him. So how does one choose? First, you must admit that you are not in the center of God's will for your life. If you're not sure, you're not there. Because the center of God's will is a place of faith. It is the result of a conscious choice to do God's will.

Then you must ask God to forgive you for choosing to go your own way throughout life. Next, you must ask God to change your heart in the matter, and to give you the desire and strength to submit to His will for your life.

Then finally, you must believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. That means that you look forward with anxious anticipation to hearing Him speak to your heart and direct your life.

Would you just ask God to examine your heart and show you your need right now. Just respond to His urging upon your heart.



Posted in


Scroll to Top