Go Back 10.11.2021
When we hear the words “go back”, it can give us the sense that we are not moving forward, that we are backing up, that we are missing out on something, but biblically the words “go back” have a totally different meaning. To go back biblically means to persevere, they are faith words, they speak of the willingness to not quit, for one knows what they heard. It can be seen as a relentless pursuit.
In a culture that wants instant answers, the idea of going back sounds uneventful, unfulfilling and lacking adventure or even mundane. But God never asks us to do something, unless there is a greater fulfilment available. The call to go back can be for the developing of much needed character qualities that will benefit us when we see fulfilled that which we went back for.
In 1 Kings 18, we find a story in which Elijah has seen the fire of God fall on the evening sacrifice; the people called Israel declaring, Yahweh is God, Yahweh is God; the prophets of Baal being seized and slayed; now Elijah and his servant are on top of Mount Carmel. The reason they are on top of this mountain is because in the first verse of 1 Kings 18, before the fire of God fell, before the people declared Yahweh is God, before it all, the Lord spoke to Elijah and said, “Go show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.” This is significant, because there has been a drought in the land for three years. Not three days, not three weeks, not three months, three years.
Elijah is still carrying this word from God, that when he shows himself to Ahab, God will send rain on the face of the earth. Elijah goes up to the top of Mount Carmel, for 1 Kings 18:41 says, “Elijah said to Ahab, go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.” Amazing, Ahab, the king of Israel is told to go do a prophetic act, which is to eat and drink, for Elijah heard in the spirit the sound of the roar of a heavy shower. There has not been rain for three years, there is no evidence of rain in the forecast or in the sky, the nation is experiencing a famine, yet Elijah knows what God told him and he knows what he heard.
While on Mount Carmel, Elijah gets into a posture of prayer, for he has a prophetic word, but he knows it will not be birthed without prayer. Then he says to his servant “Go up now, look toward the sea. He went up and looked and said, there is nothing” (1 Kings 18:43). Elijah commanded his servant to go back, the servant came back and said, there is nothing. Elijah said it again, go back, the servant came back, there is nothing. Go back, came back, go back, came back, six times they did this with the same command and the same report, nothing.
Do you have a prophetic word, you know was God speaking, so you have been praying, waiting, praying, looking, but the report keeps coming back to you over and over again, nothing? You know what God said, you know what you saw in the spirit, you know what you heard, but nothing. No sign of this word coming to pass, no evidence of what God said at all. Nothing, absolutely, nothing. Elijah knows what that feels like. He’s in the same situation, but he says to his servant for the seventh time, go back. This time the servant returns with a different report, “It came about at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea” (1 Kings 18:44). A different report, a small manifestation, one visible evidence of the prophetic word was all Elijah needed to see and everything was about to change.
Perseverance is difficult, it takes time, it takes patience, it takes trusting that what God said, is going to come to pass, no matter how many times the report comes back, nothing. Elijah refused to doubt what God said, so he kept sending his servant to go back and look again. God did not change what He was saying, so Elijah did not change what he was doing. He kept praying, until the report came back of a manifestation of what God said, size did not matter, manifestation is what Elijah was looking for. Once the report changed, the command changed. Elijah now said, “Go up, say to Ahab, prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you” (1 Kings 18:44). Once the manifestation happened, it was now time for everything to change. Sounds like Amos 9:13 “Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree. Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills.”
It is tempting to quit going back to look again when the report does not change. It is frustrating, when you know you heard God, but you are not seeing what you heard. Disappointment fatigue sets in; impatience knocks at the door and says, why don’t you quit; the enemy wants you to give up on what God said, but something inside of you won’t relent, for you know it was God who said it and God does not lie (Numbers 23:19). Back again you go to look for the answer. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Six times, nothing.
God is so amazing, six is the number of men, six times means we come to the end of our strength, our faith, our ability, our whatever, six times we go back and come back with the same report, nothing. Many quit at some point during the six, the number of men, but seven, oh the number seven, that is the number of God. On the seventh time, when God steps in, when God says, now, it is on the seventh time, that the manifestation is there. It may be small, but it is visible, for it is God.
God doesn’t speak to entertain us, He speaks to create, to establish, to decree something that is going to last forever. Psalm 148 says, “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever— he issued a decree that will never pass away.” God did not dangle a carrot in front of you to get you to follow Him, if He said it, He is going to have it come to pass, but many times we have to come to the end of ourselves, then we step into the manifestation. We wonder why does it have to be this way? There is no simple answer to this question, but one reason is because if it was God’s idea, which is why God spoke it, then God is the one who gets the glory for it, not us. God is not punishing us by making us wait, making us go back, He is preparing us to carry the glory that is coming with the manifestation of what He spoke.
On the seventh time there was a manifestation, a change of the command, and then “In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower” (1 Kings 18:45). God told Elijah, 44 verses earlier and many situations before, that He was going to send rain on the earth, and if God said it, He was going to do it. It did not just rain, this was not some light sprinkle, this was a heavy shower. It was such a torrential downpour, that Ahab was told to high tail it and run so the rain did not stop him. When God manifests what He said He was going to do, the whole earth is going to see it, hear it, feel it.
I do not know how many times you have had to go back only to have the report be, nothing. If you are wanting a child and you find out your womb still has nothing; if you are wanting a healing and the report still comes back, nothing; if you are needing finances, but the bank balance is still nothing; if your child has walked away from God and the report you are getting is, nothing; if your marriage is screaming at you, nothing; go back again, keep going back, don’t stop going back. If God gave you a promise, if God spoke a word to you, go back, for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower!