The cool breeze tugged playfully at the prophet’s unkempt hair and beard. Standing on the summit of Mt Carmel, Elijah carefully scanned the ocean and the distant horizon. The resplendent blue ocean sparkled like cut sapphires in the afternoon sunlight. Not a rain cloud in sight, but a storm was brewing! His eyes directed towards the brilliant blue firmament, Elijah waited for his Divine instructions. His piercing gaze penetrated more than just the picturesque ocean view.
Looking beyond the thin veil into the spiritual realm, Elijah saw what most men only feel as waves in the destinies of their lives - some gentle, others destructive - the hidden powers compelling their circumstances.
“Decreeing a drought was one thing - breaking it will be another!” Elijah said to his servant Abijah, standing reverently beside him to execute the slightest inclination of this prince among men. There would be a spiritual contest to wrestle control of the weather from the ruling powers of darkness. The prophet realized that deep travail of soul and spirit would be required for the firmament to be torn asunder and the floodgates of heaven to be opened so the life-giving water could again replenish the famished land.
Angels and demons had already begun to form battle positions in the heavenly realm far above Elijah. Intoxicated with the misery that the drought had wreaked among men, the ruling principalities - agents of cruelty - were in no hurry to relinquish their crippling stranglehold.
Being privy to spiritual realities tethered the prophet with grave responsibility. “First the natural and then the spiritual,” Elijah whispered, his eyes blazing with the purpose and glory of Yahweh. With the priests of Baal dead and idol worship suspended, the scene was now ordered for national revival. Earthly formalities now finalised with the demise of Baal worship, the spiritual transference of power from the hideous demonic rulers to the angels of light had to be secured to release rain on the nation.
Seething with hostility and enraged by the slaughter of their human emissaries, the demons sized up the angelic hosts arrayed before them. A shift of spiritual dominion was imminent, the atmosphere tense...dangerous. War was about to erupt in the heavens, the man of God’s intercession the catalyst.
Sinking down into the loose dirt, Elijah buried his face in-between his knees. With deep travail of soul the prophet began his agonised petition. Sweat poured profusely from his sun-tanned skin, evidence of the intense nature of his warfare.
Carried by the weight of his spiritual authority and stature, Elijah’s prayer reverberated through the heavens. Like waves of pure energy one after the other, his words aggressively pressed back the enemy unseen to the naked eye, his prayer deeply penetrating the lingering spiritual darkness. While he wrestled in prayer, angels and demons engaged in battle.
“Abijah,” Elijah called with rasped breath, “Go and look towards the sea.” Returning moments later he told the prophet, “There’s nothing there...”
Engaged in fierce intercessory battle, the prophetic watchman continued to travail in earnest prayer, "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 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."
Shuddering and then retreating with each pounding wave of prayer - the demons reeled as having been struck. The angelic forces gained dominion as the final effectual prayer sent the remaining obstinate dark angels headlong into outer heavenly regions. The enemy vanquished and control of the spiritual atmosphere over Israel firmly in their grip, the angels deftly prepared to instigate rain upon the land.
Hearing the hurried scuffle of Abijah’s return from the mountain’s rocky cliff face, Elijah realised that the spiritual triumph had materialized in the natural. Standing to his feet and peering into the sky, Elijah saw storm clouds rapidly approaching. Already the trees were being flayed violently by gale-force winds and the smell of rain hung heavily in the air.
Torrential rain fell as Elijah descended Carmel.
The drought broken and the land cleansed and purged of the putrid stench of idol worship - a catharsis in both realms of reality had been wrought.
Angels, together with men, beasts and the decimated land all sighed in collective relief, as the rain brought times of refreshing from the Lord!
Adapted from 1 Kings 18. NIV
Karen Elengikal is an inspirational, published writer from Sydney, Australia. Karen's first book 'Kidz Battle Zone' was released in 2007. (see FW Book Review).