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Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men and fall from your firm grasp on the truth. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on that eternal day.
Steadfastness (NKJV, KJV) is defined as being firm in purpose, unwavering, or firmly established. To be steadfast in Christ is to be grounded in a belief in Jesus that refuses to be shaken by circumstance or temptation. This secure footing is attacked daily. We grow in grace because we must continually receive God’s forgiveness of sins and repent to move forward. Experiencing grace we gain knowledge and have the courage to stand firm in the face of temptation, relying completely upon the sufficiency of Christ for everything we need.
Then Jesus went out and made his way, as he customarily did, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He went away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Yet not my will but yours be done.” [ Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And in his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.]
This is probably the most vulnerable moment in Jesus’ life. We see here that it was the will of God the Father to redeem all people through the sacrifice of His one and only Son. It is terrifying to consider the magnitude of this moment in the life of Jesus. This moment had a different kind of intensity to it: physical, emotional, and spiritual. All of creation hung in the balance and rested on Jesus. The man who has all authority on earth chose to exercise that authority by willingly walking the road to the cross so that we could be with God, once and for all.
After this the son of the woman who owned the house got sick. His illness was so severe he could no longer breathe. She asked Elijah, “Why, prophet, have you come to me to confront me with my sin and kill my son?” He said to her, “Hand me your son.” He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him down on his bed. Then he called out to the Lord, “O Lord, my God, are you also bringing disaster on this widow I am staying with by killing her son?” He stretched out over the boy three times and called out to the Lord, “O Lord, my God, please let this boy’s breath return to him.” The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer; the boy’s breath returned to him and he lived. Elijah took the boy, brought him down from the upper room to the house, and handed him to his mother. Elijah then said, “See, your son is alive!” The woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a prophet and that the Lord really does speak through you.”
The child stopped breathing, and life was returned to the child from the Lord. This happened because it was the Lord’s will to do so. Elijah responds to the woman’s request because this is the right course of action. Impossible situation – call on God to do “the impossible.” Elijah’s actions about the boy are odd at best, even to “stretching himself out on the boy.” Miraculously (by the power of God alone), the boy is brought back to life. We all were dead in our transgressions, but we are given new life in Christ Jesus. The miraculous strengthens faith, and God is the author of both.
Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go and do as you planned. But first make a small cake for me and bring it to me; then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘The jar of flour will not be empty and the jug of oil will not run out until the day the Lord makes it rain on the surface of the ground.’” She went and did as Elijah told her; there was always enough food for Elijah and for her and her family. The jar of flour was never empty and the jug of oil never ran out, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
The impossible situation arises, and God is ready with instructions to test obedience and create faith. Instructions come to Elijah from the Lord, the woman does as he said and there is food for “many days”. This reminds me of Jesus feeding over 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish (Matthew 14:18-21) It’s the same God here providing for Elijah, the widow, and her son. Elijah asks the widow to make him bread first. This reflects the first-fruits (that belong to God), and sets up a situation where God responds and provides for all of them as long as needed.
After a while, the stream dried up because there had been no rain in the land. The Lord told him, “Get up, go to Zarephath in Sidonian territory, and live there. I have already told a widow who lives there to provide for you.” So he got up and went to Zarephath. When he went through the city gate, there was a widow gathering wood. He called out to her, “Please give me a cup of water, so I can take a drink.” As she went to get it, he called out to her, “Please bring me a piece of bread.” She said, “As certainly as the Lord your God lives, I have no food, except for a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. Right now I am gathering a couple of sticks for a fire. Then I’m going home to make one final meal for my son and myself. After we have eaten that, we will die of starvation.”
The brook dries up because it doesn’t rain. According to the Lord’s direction, Elijah goes looking for a widow to give him something to drink and eat. This woman agrees to get Elijah something to drink. Then, as if he hesitated to even ask her, he asks for some bread too. Get this; God told Elijah to go to a widow and ask her for her last meal. She’s got just enough left for her and her son, and is resigned that they will die. Here we have a divine setup where God plans to do the amazing. Recognize divine setups in your life, and have the courage to call on God to do “the impossible.”