It was the largest cooperative effort ever among the churches of this county where we were about to do a community-wide outreach. It’s something that we did call the full-scale mobilization of God’s people, a Make a Difference Week in an area to reach lost people with what we call “non-religious” evangelism. One of the outreaches, the youth event, was especially targeted to reach lost young people. One main attraction was going to be a concert by one of America’s best-known contemporary bands. And the committee for that youth event was a little overwhelmed when they saw the size of the stage this group was going to need. But they went to work like beavers, and they busily rose to the challenge of constructing a very big stage for a very big event. When you walked into the gym the afternoon of the outreach, you might well ask, “What’s all this for?” Answer: a big platform for a big event, which turned out to be the biggest youth event anyone could ever remember in that county! An event where, praise God, hundreds of young people began a relationship with Jesus Christ!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about “A Big Platform For a Big Performance.”
God might be building a big platform in your life right now. Oh, it doesn’t look like a platform. It looks like a big problem, a big threat, a big pain! But actually it’s a big platform on which God is about to give a great big performance!
There’s a great example of how that works in our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Kings 18:36-37. Elijah is up against something huge; he is confronting 450 prophets of the god Baal who much of his culture worships. It’s a showdown with the odds being 450 to 1. A sacrifice has been laid on the altar on Mt. Carmel and Elijah lays down a challenge to see whose God, Jehovah or Baal, will consume that sacrifice with fire from heaven. Then Elijah builds a bigger platform for God by drenching the sacrifice, the altar, and the whole area with water.
Then the Bible says, “At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: ‘O Lord, let it be known today that you are God in Israel. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You are turning their hearts back again.’ Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and it also licked up the water in the trench.”
Whew! I love that! There was something here so big only God could do it. And this huge challenge provided a huge platform for God to show up with a huge performance of His power. That huge challenge may be facing you right now – God didn’t bring it or allow it to hurt you. It’s there to provide a stage on which He can show up for you in a way that you and those you know will never forget.
Elijah here shows us a powerful way to pray: that God will answer in whatever way will let everyone know that He is God. If you’re facing a need so great that only God could meet it – a problem so impossible only God could solve it; something so big only God could do it – well, get ready for God to show up big-time! And pray as Elijah did – not just for the situation, but for God to do this in the way that will give Him the greatest glory and you and the people around you the biggest view of His greatness and His love. I love the prayer of Moses when he said, “Show us Your glory.”
The bigger the challenge becomes, the bigger the platform for your God to do His amazing thing – maybe something bigger than you’ve ever seen Him do before!