Sunday, 14th February, 2021
By Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves" (Philippians 2:3 KJV)
The Amplified Classic translation puts our theme verse in a clearer perspective. It says, “Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance….”
It brings to mind the confrontation between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18.
Some have studied that portion and ran off with the idea that what Elijah did was to project himself for others to applaud, but that’s not true. The prophet challenged King Ahab to gather the Israelites and the prophets of the false gods—four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of Asherah—at Mount Carmel. They were to prepare a sacrifice, and call down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice. The one who succeeded would be revealed as the true prophet.
Each group prepared a bull on an altar and called on their god to send fire from heaven. The prophets of Baal called on their god and cried and cut themselves, but there was no response from their god. When it was Elijah’s turn, he drenched the sacrifice with water; then he called to God and God sent fire from heaven. The fire completely engulfed the sacrifice.
Read Elijah’s words in 1 Kings 18:36: “…LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.” He was following the guidance of God’s Spirit. That confrontation wasn’t a show of his sense of self, or self-importance; it was solely based on the Lord’s guidance.
Observe the result: the Israelites lost faith in Ahab and followed Elijah’s guidance in trusting and recognizing God’s sovereignty. What Elijah did glorified the Lord God of Israel before the people. Whatever you do for the Lord shouldn’t be out of selfish ambition or conceit. It should be for His glory. You must learn to follow the Spirit in the Word, by the Word, and through the Word just like Elijah did. And your works, and your ways, will glorify the Lord.
"Dear Father, your Word is the light that guides my thoughts, plans, decisions, and helps me navigate through life in glory. I follow your guidance solely, and my heart is devoid of conceit. Through your Word, I receive direction, illumination and insight into the mysteries and realities of the Kingdom, in Jesus’ Name. Amen."
1 Kings 18:30-39
1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Mark 1:1-20 & Leviticus 6-7
2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Matthew 14:11-21 & Genesis 45