Divine Direction

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Divine Direction

 

 

Hello everyone. My name is Pastor Roderick caesar the third on the lead Pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york. And my prayer is that you would be blessed. You would be encouraged and strengthened by this word. Hope you enjoy God bless praise the Lord mm We serve a God that is worthy of all the honor of all the glory of all the praise that all belongs to him. So grateful for this God, we serve so grateful that we have another opportunity to be in the presence of God. Whether it be physically here and also physically in our homes, uh, we can be in his presence and give him the glory that is due his name. Uh, today I want to speak to you from the Book of First Kings. Chapter 17 If you have your bibles, uh, turn with me to the Book of First Kings scroll with me, tap whatever the situation may be to the Book of First Kings chapter 17 I’ll be reading the 1st 29 verses First Kings chapter 17 versus one through nine. The text reads now, Elijah. The Tisch bite of Tish be in Gilead said to ahab as the Lord God of Israel lives before whom I stand. There shall be neither dew nor rain these years except by my word. And the word of the Lord came to him, depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Sheriff, which is east of the jordans, you shall drink from the brook and I have commanded the Ravens to feed you there. So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Sheriff that is east of the Jordan and the Ravens brought him meet in the morning, brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening and he drank from the brook and after a while the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land. But then the word of the Lord came to him, arise and go to zero faith which belongs to Sidon and dwell there. Behold I have commanded a widow there to feed you God, I thank you so much for your word. I thank you for who you are. I thank you that you love us. I thank you that you deserve all the honor, all the glory and all the praise. I thank you God that as citizens of heaven that we are your Children and that we are so thankful God for the ability to hear you to follow you to be led by you. We thank you. We praise you. We give you glory and all these things we ask in jesus name. Amen Amen. And they meant, we’ve heard about what it’s like to have liberty and freedom as a citizen of heaven. Liberty and freedom as a child of God. We know that we were bought with a price. We know that as Children of God, as people of God, we are looking forward to the second coming of jesus christ in christ, we have freedom as bishop, just just preached or spoke, we have freedom from sin, we have freedom from our own ways of doing things and we can be free from that to follow christ, we have freedom and liberty, but with that liberty we realize we must behave differently right. With that Liberty, we realize we must think differently with that liberty, we realize that we must follow a different set of rules and walk by a different set of principles as a result, when we make major moves or major decisions, we are supposed to usually do so after seeking wise counsel or seeking direction from the Lord. Today, I want to talk about divine direction. Divine direction. I’d like for us to take a moment to look at a moment in the life of Elijah last week we took a brief look at his departure and now I’d like us to take a look at his introduction in the Book of First Kings chapter 17 we see Elijah coming on the scene, this is his introduction, the text says Elijah the Tisch bite of crispy and Gilead says to ahab as the Lord God of Israel lives before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain all these years except by my word. Now we don’t know much about Elijah’s life prior to this instance, but we do know that he was a prophet who heard from God in difficult times in Israel’s history in difficult times in Israel’s history. So we realize now that the nation of Israel is in a difficult period a difficult time. And and after Solomon’s reign, we realized that the kingdom was split into two different uh uh sections, the Northern Kingdom and the southern kingdom. And some of the kings that were over those sections, they sought God. They chased God, they wanted to do what the lord required of them, but others wanted to follow their own thing, do their own uh what what they thought was right in their own eyes. They wanted to chase after idols and king ahab was one of these kings. He chased after idols. He put bales and other gods in place and married someone or made an alliance with someone that was against God and against the things of God. And he brought the nation of Israel shame. He brought the nation of Israel down, he brought the nation of Israel down, gave them such low morals that God had to come in and send a prophet, God had to come in and send a prophet named Elijah. Elijah pops up on the scene and he decrees a devastating decree, he says to ahab as the Lord God lives, there shall be no rain, no do for years except by my word until I say otherwise it’s not going to rain until I say otherwise there’s gonna be no do now, this is a devastating sentence, a devastating blow that was dealt to Ahab and to Israel at this time, because back then, just as sometimes now, if you ask a farmer, I’m sure they’ll tell you everything depended on rain for the crops to grow, it depended on rain for the livestock to continue to live, it dependent on rain for things to, to continue to turn as usual for the world to revolve and turn as usual, rain had to be a part of the equation, but Elijah says it’s not only not going to rain, but because it doesn’t rain, there’s gonna be no do, no rain, no do, no water. So life is going to be like, you’re just consuming a bunch of Popeyes biscuits and just nothing, you have nothing, you have nothing to wash it down with, it’s just dry, you’re just miserable. Like where’s the water? Where’s the rain? I’m parched. The world is bone dry right now and their world is immediately turned on its head because of this lack of rain or not even lack of rain. This departure of rain from the scene, what we see happening is uh the economy was beginning to crumble and things were beginning to go bad and it’s similar to what we’ve been experiencing these these past few months, everything you know, gets turned on its head, everything you know gets turned on its head and so the Lord, the first command that the Lord gives to Elijah, the first direction that the Lord gives to Elijah. We’re talking about divine direction and the first direction that the Lord gives to Elijah is to speak, to speak, to speak a word. Even though the word is difficult, the Lord says to speak, even though the word is going to alter elijah’s circumstances. God tells him to speak and he speaks, he goes before a king and says a word of devastation. He comes before a king and brings a word of judgment. And sometimes God does the same thing with us. He tells us to speak up. He tells us not to remain silent when things are going wrong, not to remain silent in the face of injustice, not to remain silent when wrong. It’s really is rearing its ugly head not to remain silent. Sometimes God does the same thing with us. Sometimes he may give us a word for someone else, a word of rebuke a word of encouragement, a word to uplift a word to repair a word to bind up or word to halt someone in their tracks. God may give us a word for someone else or perhaps God may give us a word for ourself and say you sit with that. You let that marinate you, Let that direct you. You let that guide you. God can give us a difficult word for ourself or instruct us to speak up and share. But whenever God does tell us to speak. Whenever God tells us to open up our mouth and and use our words, remember the power of our words, the bible says that life and death is in the power of the tongue. And when God tells you to say something, realized that you’re partnering with him in creation, right in creation, he spoke things into being God said, Let there be. And there was jesus stopped the storm by saying peace, be still with his words. Nature said, I know this voice. It bow down to the voice of jesus and stopped and God will sometimes tell us to speak. And the words that he gives us will bring life will bring light, will bring hope to a situation, but also can can stop the terrible direction that some people are moving in. So we must be able to realize that we can speak those things that are not as though they were. We must be able to realize that we have a voice and with our voice comes authority. We must be able to realize that the enemy sometimes does not want us to speak up. The enemy does not want us to speak out. The enemy does not want us to speak, hope to speak truth to speak freedom. Because when we do these things, it keeps us, it keeps it loosens the change that are over us. When we speak up, it loosens the change that are over someone. We have the ability to bring freedom. We have the ability to bring deliverance. We have the ability to to to bring healing through the words that God tells us to say. But the enemy will deceive us and say, no one needs to hear that right now. Just be silent. No one’s even gonna pay you any mind, you know? Forget it. You know? And sometimes we we we we acquiesce to what the enemy says and we stop short but that’s stopping someone from receiving their deliverance. That’s stopping someone from uh from going down the wrong path. And so what we need to do is be obedient to the will of the Lord and use our voice for his glory. Use our voice for his glory. Many of us say oh I want my voice to be heard if they just heard me. If they just heard me if they just heard me. But is that just because we want to be seen? Is that because we want to be known? Is that just because we want our voice to be heard? Or do we want our voice to be heard so that he can be glorified? Do we want our voice to be heard so that God can get the glory. So the first thing that the Lord tells Elijah to do is to speak up Now we don’t see that in scripture but we do know that he has a word that is from the Lord. The word comes to pass and this word wasn’t something that just uh he just said on a whim this is something that the Lord told him to say and so he says it and he’s obedient and it comes to pass. The first thing the Lord tells him to do is speak up and often in our lives, God tells us to speak up, will we do that? Will we be be obedient, will we lift up our voice and speak up so God can get the glory? Second thing the Lord says is the word of the Lord came to him after he says this word, the word of the Lord came to him and says depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherif which is east of jordans. So first direction is speak second direction is go and hide, go and hide In the book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter three The writer says to everything under the Sun. There is a season, there’s a season to everything to everything to everything. It’s time to be born and a time to die right? There’s all these different parallels that they’re saying because there’s a season for each one. Yeah, God is good and God is God and because God is good and God is God. There are times in scripture, just like we just like we read about where God says be still and know that I am God be still and know that I am God for Elijah, this was not one of those seasons what God said to Elijah was go go go. So sometimes we say okay, I want to be still and know but God is saying go and no move and no move on from here and know that I am God. So after Elijah says this word God says now go and hide. Wait a minute after Elijah says this word he says now go and hide. Not go and make roots at the brook, not going and and and build a home and start a family by the brook. No, no go and hide there. If you speak a word like Elijah spoke to a person like Elijah spoke that word to you better believe you want to remain hidden. Ahab was not a kind king. He was one that once again turned away from the things of God turned towards idolatry and wanted to do harm to Elijah. So Elijah said excuse me. So the Lord said to Elijah go and hide. Elijah go and hide for your protection for your protection and for us many of us we want to fight, we want to stand up. We don’t want to seem like a punk. We don’t want to seem like a coward because sometimes there’s cowardice that’s associated with hiding but God knows best. God knows best. God knows when we need to take a break, when we need to rest, when we need to recharge and we need to hide. No one looks at a turtle and calls it a turtle a coward for hiding because that’s what it’s wired to do. That’s what it’s supposed to do when a turtle goes in its shell. No one says, oh look at that turtle running scared all. Look at that turtle hiding. No, no, that’s what the turtle is supposed to do. That’s the defense mechanism for the turtle. No one calls a navy seal or marine or an army event. No one calls them a coward for using camouflage and blending into their surroundings. Why? Because in in your hiding, that’s what they’re supposed to do. That’s actually a form of attack. That’s a form of of of safety for them. And what’s interesting here is we have to understand that there’s a right and a wrong time to hide. Ecclesiastes says what to everything. There’s a season, there’s a season, there’s a season the turtle is supposed to be in hiding the person in the military hiding and camouflaging. This is their time to be in hiding. It’s okay. That’s what they’re supposed to do. And timing is important specifically when you’re hiding specifically in Elijah’s case. Why? Because if we read on, we’ll see that there was another time in Elijah’s life that he hid when he was not supposed to. There was another time in Elijah’s life where he ran and hid and he was not being told to do so he ran and hid. Not out of divine direction, but out of fleshly fear. He found a cave and got in his feelings, he found a cave and wallowed in his sorrow. He found a cave and said the Lord war was me. He found a cave and said my purpose is done. He was afraid and was going to throw everything away but God had to shake him out and put him back on course, got to shake him up and put him back on course and let him know Elijah, I’m with you, I haven’t left you, Elijah, I’m with you and what’s what’s ahead of you is greater than what’s behind you. If you are in a season of hiding today, examine why, examine who puts you there, was it your emotions or was it divine direction? Because hiding oftentimes it’s not something that is immediately comfortable, but it’s something that can grow comfortable if we stay too long. And if you if you’re ever playing hide and go seek or hiding from someone right? Sometimes you pick a position or a spot or something that is probably uncomfortable. But the more you stay the more comfortable it can get you kind of have to squeeze in or rolling or tuck in or do do something to get comfortable in that in that position. So it may not be comfortable. But it’s a necessary. The one that can keep you hidden. And what’s not good about hiding is that sometimes we can stay or out outstay our welcome. We can put down roots where we’re not supposed to put down roots and some of us we do the opposite. Instead of staying too long. We leave too early. We leave too soon. And if God is hiding you, he’s hiding you for a reason. He’s hiding you for a purpose. He’s hiding you perhaps to grow you. But some of us, we come out prematurely. Some some of us we come out and we say, okay, I’m ready. God, I’m ready. God use me. And God is like, no, no, I’m still hiding you, I’m still working on you. I’m still doing things behind the scenes, but we want to be in front and some of us, God is saying, okay, the door’s open, You’re ready now go forward. And you were saying no, no God, I’m too comfortable. So take a look at your timing. Take a look at why you’re there. Take a look at if you should still be there. This is all scriptural. It’s all biblical. We see in the psalms. Chapter 17 David writes, keep me as the apple of your eye and hide me in the shadow of your wings. So I’m 91 says he who dwells in the secret place of the most high will abide in the shadow of the Almighty, God knows how to hide us when we need hiding. We serve a God that knows how to hide us when we need hiding. That’s a beautiful thing. Saints of God that we’re not exposed. That God shields us. That God protects us. That God hides us in the hidden place. In the secret place we serve a God that knows how to hide us. But the great thing about that is Elijah knew how to follow instructions. Elijah didn’t say okay God, no, no, no I got this, I got this. I don’t know. He he ran when it was time to run and hit when it was time to hide. He did it in timing and that’s why it’s so important. Then the next verses, if we read on it says you shall drink from the brook that I have commanded the Ravens to feed you there. So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherif that is east of the Jordan. And the Ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening. And he drank from the brook. The next command that the Lord gives Elijah is to drink. Which shows that he will be provided for. And there’s a command that’s connected to this direction. And it’s about the Ravens feeding him. So he says look you follow through and go where I’ve told you to go. You follow through and hide where I told you to hide. But there’s another condition to this that is going that is dependent that you are dependent on for making this thing come to fruition, the Ravens have to feed you in order to you for you to be sustained in hiding. So you follow through on your end, I’ll follow through on my end. Imagine Elijah first getting there hiding, scoping out saying, okay, this is the good spot. This is exactly where God told me to get. There is water here, but where’s the food? He sees one Ravens show up. No food. True Ravens shows up, no food. Finally, a bunch more Ravens coming. There’s food, there’s bread and meat. The amazing thing about this is, he’s relying on the word of God. God said the same animals that I commanded two by two to go into the ark. I’m gonna command to feed you the Ravens. The Ravens, which by the way is an unclean animal, One that they were supposed to stay away from it. As we see in Leviticus 11, Ravens are scavengers. They eat dead things right there. An unclean animal. God uses what’s unclean to feed. God uses something that he perhaps should have or seemingly should have stayed away from to feed and to give sustenance. So what this shows us is God can give you exactly what you need from a source. You’re not expecting God can give you exactly what you need from a source. You’re not expecting it would be wonderful if we said, oh he’s going to command the bird. The doves to feed us. But no, no, he says, I’m going to command a raven. And Elijah says, wait, this is an unclean bird. But okay, this is what you said God. And Elijah gets meat and bread in the morning and in the evening. And it’s amazing because God is taking care of Elijah in the midst of his hiding. He says, look, I’ve got this food from the Ravens. I’ve got this water right here from the brook and life is is pretty good. I’m in hiding. I’m in hiding and I’m growing comfortable in hiding. I’ve got this food in the morning. I’ve got this bread in the, in the evening and I’ve got my water. I’m good. I got my supply. God is a provider. And even in the midst of uncomfortable situations, even when life is not ideal, God is going to provide, God is going to come through. God is going to be the lifter of our head, God is going to be the lifter of our hands. God is going to keep us and provide. Even in the midst of difficulty, so much so that even when things are turned on their side or turned on their head or different from the way they were before we can grow so accustomed to his provision in the difficulty, so accustomed to his provision in the difficulty and and being grateful for the fact that we’re getting water from the brook. Being grateful from the fact that we’re getting fed by the Ravens being grateful for the fact that we’re getting protection and living in hiding. That when things shift, we get angry. When things shift, we don’t know what to do, not realizing that this wasn’t the norm in the first place because we’re following divine direction. So yes, the water is flowing and things are wonderful and the Ravens are feeding and things are good and we’re in hiding and we can grow comfortable in those seasons of hiding. But then we introverts seven and we get confused because we’re seven says after a while the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land. Wait a minute, wait a minute. You’re telling me the very word you gave me to speak to the villain, The very word you gave me to speak to. Ahab is now the word that’s coming to bite me. There’s no rain in the land. That’s what you told me to say. And now it’s directly affecting my provisions. Now it’s directly affecting me. So in this case the text says, you know, the rain falls on the just and the unjust in this case the rain wouldn’t fall on the just or the unjust at all. Elijah is like, where’s my rain? Where’s my water? Where’s the water that was flowing from the brook? Just as we get comfortable just as we get accustomed to the system God shifts just as we get nuzzled in. Okay. I got my Ravens in the morning and giving me some bread, I got the evening food, the meat coming up, it’s gonna be great. Then I got this brook water, everything is perfect. And then God shifts. So what do you do when God switches up? What do you do when the provision stops coming? The way you’re accustomed to receiving it? These are moments when sometimes we we enter panic mode, we press the panic button, we say, okay, now is the time to freak out God, what’s gonna happen? God, what’s going on now is the time to run around screaming saying the sky is falling, what what is going on? These are moments when we look at God and we say God, you told me you’d keep me in the midst of this situation. But God you told me to hide right here. But God, you told me you would sustain me. But God, you told me you’d give me food to eat and water to drink. But now the brook is dried up. The Ravens aren’t coming here anymore. What’s going to happen to me, Lord? This is where you told me to go. God says, this is where I told you to hide. I don’t want you to hide forever. This is where I told you to stay for this season. I don’t want you to stay forever. So my provisions shifted because sometimes sometimes God switches up and when he does, we have to be ready. We have to be okay to move with it because in these seasons, what we do in the in between seasons are so important. What do you do in between the season where the brook dries up? And God gives you another word because I know the word is on its way. But there’s a season in between when Elijah is going up for the, for the morning and realizing, okay, there’s no water coming out. There’s no water, there’s no water in this book. It’s dry. The very thing that the Lord told me to say to ahab over Israel is affecting me. God has has done this. The provision is dried up. So what do you do? Sometimes we take matters into our own hands. Sometimes we get up and we go, well, time to find another Brooke, Time to find another place. Time to get some more water. Time to move on. How do we handle disappointment? How do we handle difficulty? How do we handle when we are triggered? Do we run to our flesh or run to our faith and say, okay God, you’re the same. God that told me to go to this Brooke. What are my next steps? What are my marching orders? Where is it? You’ll have me to go And verse eight says. Then the word of the Lord came to him, said and said arise and go to zero faith which belongs to Sidon and dwell there And behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you. So this fourth direction is what arise and go, arise and go. And the connected command there is I have commanded a widow to feed you. That’s why it’s so important sense of God that we wait on the Lord wait on the Lord. And the spaces in between when things aren’t going well, we need to wait on the Lord because so often we move without a word, we move without a word. And what is it that we’re stepping on? If not the word, what what is it we’re relying on. If not the word, we move without a word. How many of you are so grateful that the Lord still speaks to you to hear the voice of the Lord to hear the voice of the Lord, grateful that you’re not so far that you can’t hear. That God isn’t so far that you can’t hear his voice, that you can’t hear his cry. God still speaks. We have a responsibility to listen. God still speaks. We have a responsibility to listen. And the reality of it is sometimes God drives up the brook so we’ll leave. Sometimes God will dry up the brook because we wouldn’t leave if he didn’t, we wouldn’t leave if he didn’t. And so he drives up the brook. So it forces us to once again lean on him because sometimes we get too comfortable in the old ways doing the old things, doing things the way that he wanted to. But when the brook dries up, we say, okay God you’re you’re not moving anymore, what’s going on? God says, yeah, I want to move a new way, I want to feed you a new way. And so Elijah gets up from this, moves forward and realizes that he’s getting provisions from another source. The raven was an unclean animal and it seemed as though, okay, well God’s gonna feed me through this means but what happens when God says again, I’m going to command a widow to feed you there. Now in this day and age. In this time, widows were ones just as jesus has later on in the scripture looked after what the orphans and the widows right? And so here in the text, what we realize is that God is saying, I’m going to command a widow to feed. You know, it should have been the other way around as a man, someone as a man and a man of God, this should have been someone that Elijah was was ministering to that Elijah was feeding but instead God flips it and says, I’m going to command someone who you would assume would be in need to feed you. How does that work? God is a God that turns things on its head and and the amazing thing is he shows up, we’re gonna get into this as we read on. But he shows up and this widow that should have been in need actually was in need. Mhm And Elijah had to once again rely on God once again follow divine direction to get food for himself and for this widow, it’s a source that no one was expecting. But Elijah trusts God and moves forward as instruction as instructed. Saints of God, that is what we need to do. Saints of God, that is how we need to be. As I close. It’s so important for us to trust God. When the brook dries up, it’s so important for us to trust God when the Ravens stop coming, it’s so important for us to trust God. When he says he’s going to provide from another source for one that we didn’t see coming for one that we didn’t expect it so important for us to trust God. When he switches up the pattern on us, it’s so important for us to trust God, even though he says something that we perhaps do not understand Saints of God, we are in an interesting season to say the least. We are in a challenging season to say the least. We are in a brand new season and in this season as individuals and as a church, we must rely on God and trust him for divine direction. Let’s pray Dear God, I thank you so much for your people that have heard this message. I pray you would bless them, encourage them and help them to follow your divine direction. We thank you. We praise you. We give you glory. We ask these things in jesus name. Amen and Amen. If you’re here and you have heard this message, you’re listening. You’ve heard this message and you don’t know jesus as your Lord and Savior, you don’t have a relationship with him and you want to have one, you realize that okay, something is amiss, something is missing. I I want a connection to be able to follow this divine direction. I want a connection to be able to hear the voice of God. I want to have relationship with jesus. Something is missing. If that’s you, you don’t have relationship and you want to be in relationship in fellowship with jesus christ. I’m going to ask you to repeat after me as I pray Dear God, I thank you that you sent your son, jesus to die and rise again. He died so that I could have life and life more abundantly. And he rose again so that I can have hope in the midst of this life. Hope in the midst of this darkness, I pray father and thank you so much that you’ve forgiven me for my sins and cleanse me in mind righteousness. I walk in that forgiveness. I walk in that freedom today, I walk in that boldness today, I thank you, I praise you. We give you glory in jesus name. Amen and Amen. Let’s give give yourselves a hand. Things have changed today. Things are changed today. So thank you so much for partnering with us and watching today’s service. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our Youtube channel or download our app for continued updates and we continue to pray for you. We hope that you are blessed today and that your worship with us again next week. God bless you. Thank you so much. Hello again. Pastor Roderick caesar third here, thank you so much for watching. My prayer is that you were blessed. You are encouraged and strengthened by that message. If you would like to be a blessing to the ministry, you can text B G T F I 277977. Again, you can text B G T F I 277977 to sow a seed into the ministry and we thank you, thank you so much for your generosity. Or you can visit our website at B G T F I dot us for more information. Thank you so much. Once again, I hope you are blessed. I’m praying for you. We love you here at Bethel. God bless

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