Going Public

“And Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.’ And the people did not answer him a word”
(1 Kings 18:21).

The prophet Elijah did not seek publicity and, in fact, sought a rather quiet life. But God called him to confront Baal worship in Israel. In order to do this, he had to publicly confront it. He would later complain to God how alone he felt (1 Kings 19:10). But when God called him to action, he stepped up and stood tall for God. He did this boldly, and became a mighty spokesman for God. What accounted for his public success?

1. He made a total commitment.
He put everything on the line and settled it in his heart that he would speak for God no matter the consequences.

2. His private life prepared him for public battles.
Elijah could not have stood up to Ahab and his cohorts if he did not first draw strength from God in private. His private spiritual life prepared him for larger encounters with opposition. He triumphed because God prepared him in private.

3. He did not count his opposition; he weighed it.
On paper, he would lose. The odds makers would have solidly lined up against him. He had no chance; surely he would lose. But you and God constitute a majority. He had truth on his side, and with it God. All he had to do was compare God’s mighty qualities with the phony qualities of the false prophets. He triumphed because He knew God would surely prevail. He didn’t count his opponents.

His faith in God in private emboldened him to proclaim it in public. If he proved faithful in the small things, God would bless him in bigger matters. Because he enjoyed a close relationship with God in prayer, God would hear him when it really counted.

Closing Questions

1. Have we been faithful to God in private?
If you can answer “yes” to this, then expect God to strengthen you in public.

2. Have we made a genuine commitment to God to live for Him?
If God wants to use us in public, then we cannot vacillate between two opinions. The bride and groom do not decide to commit while walking the wedding aisle. They committed beforehand. The wedding is the public demonstration of that commitment.

Stay faithful to God in private, and He will use you in public.

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