The people’s faces were expressionless but Elijah’s’ eyes flashed with indignation, as he challenged the people of Israel on Mount Carmel. “How long will you stumble between two opinions?” They believed in God but they enjoyed the loose philosophy of the day and there was no power in their life as a nation.
Opinions don’t change you and they don’t change nations. Missionaries’ don’t go to live in the back blocks of China riddled with dengue fever because they have an opinion; they have convictions!
C.T. Stud the missionary to China, got his convictions from seeing a vision of Christ on the cross. He thought “If my God did this for me, then no price I can pay for Him, is too much.”
That sort of sacrifice can only mean one thing. God loves us as He loves himself. It means God would pay any price and do anything He had to do, to save us and to bring us home. It means that God took the best of heaven, to purchase the worst of the world. That degree of suffering sacrifice brings conviction that we have been brought body soul and spirit.
Only convictions change people and nations. Disciples have a conviction that they are to make disciples and so they do. They have a conviction about reaching their neighbors and so they have a strategy and have begun. If we don’t join with the saints as they labour in prayer, we only have an opinion about prayer. If we don’t assemble with the saints to worship corporately, we have an opinion about needing the body of Christ but there is no conviction.
The nation of Israel were not about to destroy their pet prophets or their pet opinions, till they developed some convictions about the Lord. Elijah poured the last container of water out upon the altar and prayed a prayer that touched the heart of God. Suddenly the fire of God fell from heaven and the sacrifice was consumed. The people cried out, “..the Lord he is God!” Now finally moved by conviction they quickly rounded up the prophets of Baal.
The fire that fell on Elijah’s altar finally brought conviction to Israel and truly seeing the fire of judgment that fell on the altar of Calvary for me and you, can bring conviction to us.
Elijah’s word from God sought out a corresponding conviction in the people’s hearts. Today everyone’s opinion becomes their own truth but God’s word is not sent to create opinions but change convictions, for only our convictions change the way we live and enable us to kill the lies that are prophesying to our life. A conviction about something doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to do if we have time, or if we get a chance. A conviction is unavoidable. You cannot, not do it. It will be a part of our life.
Friend, in spite of everybody else’s opinion surrounding you yesterday, you actually lived out your true convictions and you will again today. Good for you! Today let them be strong and clear for only convictions will change us and then the nations.