“Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.’” (I Kings 17:1)
We see something about Elijah in this verse that is very important: Elijah was decisive … and that decisiveness was key to all that he accomplished.
Too often as Christians we mistake waffling and indecision for submission. We preface or finish everything we say with “if the Lord wills.” Originally, such a phrase was meant to indicate our recognition of God’s sovereignty over our plans – and that is good and appropriate. But the phrase has now degenerated so that the real effect is a general uncertainty about how to proceed. How can you walk confidently if at every step you are wondering if the Lord is going to change your direction?
Elijah demonstrates true submission: submission that results in decisive action. He served the Lord every day (“As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve”), indicating that he was in constant prayer, worship, and communion with God. This regular service put him in the place where he could hear God, and God told him to declare judgment on sin through a drought on the land.
Elijah’s submission to the Lord gave him the courage to be decisive when it came time to act. He marched up to King Ahab and delivered the message of judgment. No hesitation. No minced words. No “if the Lord wills” … the Lord had already willed it. Elijah was confidently carrying out his orders.