We are all familiar with the story of the prophet Elijah and his famous statement “I hear the sound of abundance of rain (1 Kings 18: 41).” This statement was profound because it had not rained for 3 ½ years before and now at Elijah’s prayer, the skies were opened and it rained.
Many of us have quoted this verse, declared it and even prophesied it. But what is this rain? Symbolically, it’s the rain of revival. It’s the rain of God’s presence and His power to what once was barren and stopped up in our lives and in a nation. It’s the release of the Divine life from Heaven and Heaven’s reality on Earth.
However, in this passage, a very significant thing happened before God sent the rain. There was a showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Israel had backslidden and began to worship other gods, and now there was a confrontation between the one true God and every other pretender.
Before there was rain, the Bible says that Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord (1 Kings18:30). That statement is very significant. In the Old Testament, the altar was where the sacrifices of worship to God were offered. Whenever the altar of the Lord needed repair, it meant that it was not being used to offer Him sacrifices in worship. After Jesus died and rose again, we no longer offer external sacrifices on stone altars because now the altars are our hearts. Many of our altars need to be rebuilt so that it may once again be the altar of the Lord. Worship given to God from a heart that is not devoted to Him is not worship at all. Worship is not the songs we sing but the song our LIFE sings. It’s a heart that God takes pleasure in and how we live our lives everyday before the Lord. God desires a heart that is pleasing to Him. It’s that type of heart that He delights in. I learnt this one truth very early in my walk with the Lord: God loves every one, but He doesn’t delight in everyone. It’s like the verse “many are called, but few are chosen.”(Matt. 22: 14). His choosing us has nothing to do with predetermination but all to do with our choices and obedience. It’s the same with His delight. We all can walk in the delight and pleasure of God but we have to choose to. The Bible states that if we say we love God, it is shown in our obedience to Him. (John 14: 15;23). Disobedience is sin and it hurts the One we say we love. The point I am trying to build to is this: It is only when the sacrifices of our hearts are pleasing to the Lord will He answer by fire. The fire of God is His approval. Many cry out for revival and the glory of the Lord, but fire precedes the rain. Many of out prayers have no manifestation because God doesn’t approve of how we live our lives in secret.
In your time with the Lord today, take inventory on your heart and see if your altar needs to be repaired. Have you relaxed in your pursuit of Him? Have you neglected your time in the Word and prayer? Have you lowered your guard and allowed compromises and even sin to creep in? Have things occupied the space and priority of God in your heart? If so, now is a good time to rebuild your altar again.
Rededicate your LIFE to worship and desire to live in the delight of God. Then watch the rain of His Presence, Power and Glory overshadow you and your nation.