Faster Than Chariots

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‘Then Elijah said, “ Go say to Ahab, “Harness your chariot and go down before the  rain stops you”. In a little  while  the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, there was a heavy rain.  Ahab rode off and went to Jezreel. But the hand of  the Lord was on Elijah; he girded up his  loins and ran in front of Ahab to the  entrance of Jezreel’ (1 Kings 18: 44-46). 

It was the  climax of an eventful day that  the Lord selected to  show  His  power to a nation immersed deep in idolatry. Elijah challenged the   prophets of  Baal and Asherah in the   name of the true God. After annihilating them, Elijah announced the end of  the severe drought that  has been affecting the  country  for three and a half years. When Elijah made this announcement, there was  not even a trace of cloud in the sky. But the  clouds from afar heard the  voice of the prophet of  God and obeyed him. They came from the Mediterranean and  covered Mount Carmel and  beyond in no time. 

It was then that  Elijah advised   King Ahab to harness the chariot and   ride  fast to   escape the  rain. For the  first time, Ahab obeyed Elijah. He rode off in his chariot to  his palace. When he was  speeding up in the royal chariot something unexpected caught his attention. Elijah was running in front of  his chariot. Elijah had neither  chariot nor horse. ‘But  the  hand of the Lord was on  Elijah’. 

Hand of the Lord! It is the power that  keeps us fast  and we call it  the Holy Spirit. He  helps us to run faster than chariots! He helps us to overtake everything worldly! Because ‘ the one who is  in you is greater than the one who is in the world’ (1 Jn 4:4)

At creation it was ‘a wind from God  sweeping over the face of the waters’ (Gen 1:2).  It is not surprising that the Scripture begins with a reference to the Holy Spirit. The Bible mentions  about the Holy Spirit in its last   page too. ‘The Spirit and the bride say. “Come.”( Rev 22:17).

When this  Spirit is with us, those who meet us  will  quickly notice it. This was the experience of Joseph. Remember what Pharaoh said of him? “Can we find anyone else like this- one in who is the spirit of God?” (Gen 41:37).

It is the spirit of  prophecy as  Saul realized on the way to Gibeah. ‘And the  spirit of God possessed him (Saul), and he fell into a prophetic frenzy along with them (other prophets of  Gibeah)’ (1 Sam 10:10).

It is the spirit of  wisdom and it   helps us learn the  counsel of God. ‘Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high?’ ( Wis 9:17).

It is the  same spirit that  dwells in  all things. ‘For your immortal spirit is in all things’ ( Wis 12:1). Isaiah experienced it as a live coal touching his  mouth. ‘Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “ Now that this  has touched  your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out”( Isa 6:6). It is indeed the spirit of  sanctification.

 Ezekiel’s experience was  more vivid. He saw it as ‘flowing from  below the threshold of the  temple’ (Ezek 47:1). Beyond a  certain point he couldn’t measure it. As time passed he was  moved from ankle-deep to knee-deep to waist- deep  and  finally landing in  a  ‘river that  he could not cross, for the  water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in,  a river that could not be crossed’ ( Ezek 47:3-6).

These are   from the pages of  the Holy Bible. Now what about us? How do we experience the Holy Spirit, the  power of God? Do we run faster than others and overtake  the world? Do we get added strength like  Samson? Does our life  change  overnight like Saul when the Spirit visits us? Does the  live coal ever touch our  lips  and  sanctify us? Have we, like Ezekiel, ever experienced the  anointing of the Holy Spirit that  increases every moment? Do others identify you as one with the spirit of God, like Joseph?

The Spirit  says; “Come”. He waits at our door  and keeps knocking. What he  needs is just our permission to come inside.  All our  spiritual exercises  are aimed  at  making us  open the doors of  our  heart  to the Holy Spirit. Let us  pray with the  deep  conviction that  the   Holy Spirit who instructed and guided the  prophets, apostles, and saints will be with us too.

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