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Just Put Some Water on It! By Cleo Dailey III (Modernday Lazurus)

“…and the water ran about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water…” 1 Kings 18:35

During the holidays, we have more time to watch movies and spend time with family. One of the things I did this holiday season was to watch the movie “Friday.” As God usually does with me, I found revelation at one of the weirdest times. Ice Cube’s character, Craig, wakes up in the morning and decides that he wants cereal for breakfast. He pours a handsomely sized bowl, grabs his spoon, and begins to pour the milk. However, to his surprise, there were only a few drops of milk in the container. Disappointed by this, Craig decides that he will just pour the cereal out. His mother, the witty genius that she is, immediately stops him and scolds him for attempting to waste food. He explains that there is no milk. Mother then says the most incredible thing to Craig: “Just put some water on it!” I leaped out of my comfortable seat! I knew in this moment that God was speaking, and I had to run and grab a pen! This will make sense in just a second…

The prophet Elijah was not like many “modern-day” prophets. He wasn’t looking to gather friends, fame, or platforms. Elijah had a mantle of righteousness on his heart in the most idolatrous and wicked time. He did not flinch; he did not compromise; and he did his assignment even in the midst of being outnumbered and threatened. Jezebel was killing The Lord’s prophets, and there was extreme famine and drought in the land, so it would appear to be the smart thing to lay low and not make waves. But being led by God with a word and a promise, Elijah came directly to the source of the problem. He was to proclaim the word of the Lord that it would indeed rain, and not only that, but it was time for the children of Israel to return to The God of their salvation. Israel had begun to take up strange practices with King Ahab, Jezebel, and the prophets of Baal. With the fiery passion of an obedient prophet, Elijah met Obadiah, an Israeli palace administrator. Knowing what was going on, Obadiah wanted to immediately hide Elijah. He wanted to protect him from King Ahab and Jezebel. But Elijah’s hiding days were over. He told the administrator to let Ahab know that he was here and ready to have “the conversation.” Obadiah pleaded over and over about this being a bad choice and his power to hide Elijah, but the prophet was not having it. Bring me the King and ALL of his prophets. I’m ready for the smoke!

As the story unfolds, Elijah boldly declares to everyone in earshot, including the king and 450 prophets of Baal, that it was the day of reckoning. No more would God’s people halt between two opinions. It’s time for a duel- a prophetic joust! He explained that both sides would set up altars, and whichever God answered first would indeed be God, and no other would be worshipped. His audacity and gall was high that day! The prophets laughed at first, knowing that they outnumbered this weird little man, so Elijah being a gentleman, allowed the prophets of Baal to go first. They set up an altar with a sacrifice with the specified dynamics of both sides. They placed an offering on the altar and built a moat around it. This was to ensure that neither side could do any funny business. The prophets of Baal began to dance, and holler, and jump, and cut themselves, attempting to conjure Baal to come and set the altar on fire. Nothing happened. Elijah loudly chided them, exclaiming, “Maybe he’s in a meeting; maybe he’s busy doing something somewhere else or sleeping? You should probably holler a little louder! Come on and wake him up!” Yet and still, after even more foolish beckoning, nothing. The altar lay flat, splat, and stuck like that…

It was now Elijah’s turn. As with the preliminary directions, Elijah made a moat and an altar with exact sacrifice. But Elijah did some very specific things to his altar that the other prophets did not. Elijah chose to set up his altar at the exact place that the original altar of the Lord was torn down. He rebuilt it. He added 12 stones of honor, representing the original 12 tribes. (This was allowed since the prophets figured who wants some old broken thing, and the rocks wouldn’t help him anyway.) But the ace in the hole for Elijah was when he asked that water be poured over everything – the offering, the stones, the altar, and the moat. He asked in a time of famine and drought for an extra sacrifice of water to be poured over and over on this altar, to the point that the entire altar was covered in water. They surely thought him to be a fanatic by this point and laughed at him. Then, Elijah prayed SPECIFICALLY to The Lord. He said, “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, let it be known today that YOU are God in Israel and I am your servant and that I have done exactly what you commanded me to. Answer me so that the people know who you are and that they turn their hearts back to you.” God answered by fire! The fire of the Lord fell and consumed not only the altar, the sacrifice, the wood, and soil but also the water. 

We live in very precarious times. Times where omicron variants, mask wars, and uncertainty plague the land. Other options seem to rise up on a consistent, daily basis, and the directions of God may seem unclear at best-even weird. Sometimes God may even seem like the mother in Friday, where he’s asking you to do an unfamiliar, unusual, or just flat out weird thing. Your gifts may feel like the bowl of cereal-unnecessary, unfulfilled, without the proper complementary assistance, and ready to be cast into the garbage. You may have seen others turn their faces from the faith for which their mothers and fathers sighed. You may feel like “perhaps the grass is greener over there” and may want to shift your focus. God is calling for the true prophets to come out of hiding. It was great for a season. But my Pastor, Apostle Matthew L. Stevenson, always says that “great men and women are born for the time in which they are needed the most.”

You are not alive in this space of time to be hidden by Obadiah, Facebook wars, and grey clouds of worry. You are the proof that someone is looking for. But God specializes in the impossible. He loves opportunities to prove that He can do what no other power can do. You’ve watched others do everything but throw themselves into fits of rage to prove that their gods are best. And now, in 2022, God is beckoning you back to your rightful place. Will the real Slim Shady please stand up! Return to your places of honor; set up altars for God; give Him what you thought you needed most. Because He has been waiting on a chance to prove to you in front of everyone else that He is YOUR God, and He is GOING to take care of you! Yes, even in this crazy time we live in, Mother was right. God is right. Don’t you DARE throw that gift in the garbage! It is FINE, just as it is, and it’s ready to be used mightily in this time! Fix your face, and put a little water on it…