Have you heard of the ‘Battle of Mount Carmel’? Elijah summoned 450 prophets to Mount Carmel, Who was worshipping Baal. Elijah went against prophets of Baal all by himself. He challenged them about who is the real God between the LORD and Baal. And who won? Elijah won. The fire of the LORD fell from the sky, And burned up Elijah’s altar. That scene was awesome. It was a great moment. To get to the climax of this battle, Elijah went to meet with queen Jezebel, Who was responsible for making Israel heaven of idols. And the next scene had to be what we imagined. What scene is that? It’s a scene where Jezebel surrenders. Or Jezebel’s palace Had to be destroyed by the fire of God. So Elijah went to stand in front of Jezebel, But Jezebel didn’t even greet him. Instead, she sent a messenger and told him this. In 1 Kings 19:2, it says, “So let the gods do to me and more also, If I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” What does this mean? ‘Make your life as the life of one of them.’ Just like 450 prophets who were executed, She’s saying she’ll kill him just like them. Jezebel had no intention to surrender. Jezebel was still in high spirits. But was Elijah scared? Afraid? Nope, not at all. Why? Because God had his back. You guys feel the same right? The problem was, the problem was that God stayed still. There was no sea of fire, No earthquakes, With His power, He didn’t wipe out the place. What should Elijah do? If nothing happens, What happens at this time tomorrow? Elijah would be executed. What should Elijah do? What would you do in this kind of situation? If it was me, I would go and stand in front of the palace. Come out, Jezebel! Do you know who I am? At the Mount Carmel, I killed all of your 450 prophets. I proved that the LORD is true God. Standing still, but God doesn’t respond. Waiting, but God stays still. ‘God! Now is the time!’ ‘Please put an end to this climax!’ But God does not respond. What should I do? Runaway. Seoul to Busan, Busan to Jeju, And Jeju to the Philippines. Runaway like there’s no tomorrow. During that process, Elijah blames God like this, I’ll read verse 10 for you guys. “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” ‘God, I have been very zealous for the LORD.’ How can we describe this? There’s a lot of superlative expressions, With current day slangs. Right? ‘God! I worked super hard for You!’ ‘I beat 450 prophets! No, not only that,’ ‘I am the only one left,’ ‘I alone am left to serve You,’ ‘I alone fought for you until the end,’ ‘Why don’t you make an exceptional ending scene?’ This was Elijah’s struggle. I love watching TV dramas. Do you guys like TV dramas? Among dramas, I particularly like melodrama and romantic comedy. Don’t laugh, is it weird? I like them. I can’t resist my taste. But you guys know that all the dramas are similar right? There are male and female protagonists. Do they like each other in the beginning? Nope, not at all. Usually, they hate each other or even despise each other. ‘Who do you think you are? I really don’t like you.’ ‘Why do you like him?’ ‘Isn’t he cool?’ From, ‘He is not for me’ stance, At some strange point, there’s a weird happening, right? It’s really weird, right? There’s usually a happening where the female trips, And falls in the arms of the male. Next, her heart starts to throb. Then she can’t stop thinking about him. Right? But then this would be too easy and not so interesting, So there are antagonists to twist the plot a bit. The antagonists go against the protagonists. During that process, The protagonists come together and realize, She is the one! He is the one! And then they are like is today the 1st day of our relationship? With these strange comments, the drama gets to the climax. What happens in episode 16? They get married. They usually get married in episode 16. They go through hardships and struggle until episode 15, Then they get married in episode 16. Then what happens? There’s a special behind stories 17th episode. The actors talk about how the filming process was. That’s the TV drama as we know it. We can end the TV drama whenever we want to. The TV drama ends when the protagonists get married. But how’re our lives? Marriage is the beginning. Marriage is a reality. You guys know this even though you are not married right? You can find out from our parents. Why on earth do I want to do that marriage thing? It’s a strange thing. Even though we all know what it is, We all want to get married. The TV drama ends when the protagonists get married. The drama ends when they live happily ever after. But that’s where our lives begin. Our reality always challenges and flips our hope, Our vision and our dream. Our vision and dreams with the power of faith, When we go out to this world, And when we live out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, All of us the believers get discouraged. By what? Reality. Through the word of God, we receive countless comforts. Yes, God. I’ll live for You. But that gets broken on Monday. No, let’s be honest. Once we walk out of the church, we forget what we should live for. That’s our reality. I am sorry. But that’s our reality. Elijah was like that. At the peak of the climax, Why are you not responding, God? Why? But God takes him to the mountain. And then suddenly the wind blows. How strong was this wind? It was the mountain splitting, The rock breaking level of strength. Yeah, let’s ride this wind to meet Jezebel. Let’s defeat the queen! Let’s go, God! But was there God in that wind? There wasn’t. There was an earthquake. But it was the same. The mountains went crazy. But there was no God in the earthquake. Fire came down from the sky. This is it! This is the fire I experienced in the Mount Carmel. God, let’s go. But God wasn’t there in the fire as well. And Elijah started to hear a calm and subtle voice. Very calm and subtle voice. Through the voice, God appeared. And talked to him. ‘Elijah,’ ‘I left 7,000 people of Baal who have not kneeled for you,’ If Elijah had been shown, God’s power in front of Jezebel, Elijah, until the day he dies, probably perceived God as, Have you guys seen Aladdin? Just like the magic lamp from Aladdin, He probably perceived God as Genie. God is almighty, God is great, He is a powerful God, But God is beyond all that, He is above all else. How does He do it? He does not give us the ending, that all of us want at the climax. Instead, He endlessly leads us into the pit of hardship. Life is, the reality is hard. Most of you here are teenagers, Probably living the hardest time of your lives. Why? Because you have only lived 10+ years. We still don’t have the skills to deal with hardships. We still lack experience. But remember this. God will lead you, Through your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, It’s good to live long right? 100 years old, Even 110 years old, He’s leading you to a life where you’ll win. In this place called ‘reality’. Grace and hardships, that’s how God trains us through our lives. Time to time we’ll have moments of grief. ‘God! Why don’t you take my side?’ ‘Why do you make me live in such distress, among the people who don’t even follow you?’ Even then, you’ll go through failures, You’ll go through pain, But the Bible promises us this, “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” Repeatedly going through hell and heaven. Seems a bit too much? But after some time, after a while, When we are old, we’ll say this, Thank you, God. You did everything. I did nothing. My life was depended on your sovereignty. I tried to do it myself, I strived and struggled, But You have led my life to this point. I still don’t know if this sermon is suitable for you guys yet. But God will lead you to somewhere far away, He is drawing a life for you that’s more idea than you think. I want you guys to depend on The sovereignty of God, And the work of God. Amen Let’s give a round of applause for our LORD.