Baal and the god of self-reliance

Last night during Worship-ology, which might I add was an awesome time of discovering how worship is like breathing, without it we cannot hope to survive on this spiritual journey of ours.  (Meets the last Saturday of every month from 6-7 starting again in January!)  OK enough of my shameless plug, last night we broke into the Word at 1 Kings 18, check it out real quick!  An amazing tale of God vs Baal!!! Baal you ask?  Yes Baal, a pagan God of the day actually the name was used to represent a variety of gods, idols and even leaders of the day positioning themselves in deific form.  As we read through the story my mind went to my normal reaction the account.  Like an epic MMA throw down.  Thats right, douse that alter with water let it pour, oh swing and a miss by the prophets of Baal and their god, not even a flicker.  Then the knockout blow, just as expected the God of Elijah, our most High showed up in amazing form and booyaaaa!!! the fire is out!  But upon deeper reflection God began to do His thing and I began see those sad prophets of Baal in a new light.  Scary part is I began to see myself in their reflection.  That altar became so many things in my life, things I face, challenges that rise up before me.  I stand before the altar of my life, beat my chest, pound my fist in my effort to succeed, overcome, prevail.  Even in my most desperate moments my god of self reliance brings me often times to places of self inflicted pain.  The ultimate grudge match wasn’t so much about God vs some other god of biblical times, it was a picture of our lives.  We have two options before us as we journey through life.  No matter what we face, what we’ve been through, where be believe God is calling us to go and be, it all comes down to two choices doesn’t it.  I’m learning that the more life I live through that it really is that simple.  I can either face life and all that it holds for me on my own strength, power and perceived wisdom or I can call upon the God of Elijah to face it with me.  The choice seems so easy doesn’t it.  But the question is there I know for me, why then do I so often find myself standing on the other side of the altar.  Even as a Pastor it amazes me how often I find myself churning through my ministry, that God has called me to no less, on my own power!  I wonder what my life would look like if I would stop more often and check my bearings, to stop more often, get honest and look at which side of that altar I’m standing on.  Self-reliance? or God almighty.  God that’s my prayer tonight, I want to stop and realign myself with you.  To know that no matter how much water (sin, pain, struggle, challenge) is soaking the altar of my life, You will come and consume it all with Your fire.  A fire that will burn away the remnants of the Baals of my life and make more room for You!
So can we get real for a moment tonight?  Which side of the altar are you on?

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