"How do you know you can trust him?" asked Wu. "We have held his festival procession every January for 286 years. The chosen day is revealed by divination beforehand, and every year without fail, his day is a perfect one without rain or cloud," was the reply. "When is the procession this year?" "It is fixed for January 11th at eight in the morning." "Then," said brother Wu impetuously, "I promise you that it will certainly rain on the 11th." At once there was an outburst of cries from the crowd: "That is enough! We don't want to hear anymore preaching. IF there is rain on the 11th, then your God is God!"
I was elsewhere in the village when this occurred. As soon as I heard of it, I saw that it was most serious. The news had spread like wildfire, and before long, over 20,000 people would know about it. What were we to do? We stopped our preaching at once, and gave ourselves to prayer. We asked the Lord to forgive us if we had overstepped ourselves. I tell you, we were in deadly earnest. What had we done? Had we made a terrible mistake, or dare we ask God for a miracle?
The more you want an answer to prayer from God, the more you desire to be clear with Him. There must be not doubt about fellowship--no shadow between. If your faith were in coincidence you could afford to have a controversy with Him, but not otherwise. We did not mind being thrown out if we had done something wrong. After all, you can't drag God into a thing that is against His will! But, we reflected, this would mean an end to the Gospel testimony in this island, and Ta-wang would reign supreme forever. What should we do? Should we leave now?
Up to this point, we had feared to pray for rain. Then like a flash, there came the word to me: "Where is the God of Elijah?" It came with such clarity and power that I knew that it was from God. Confidently, I announced to the brothers, "I have an answer. The Lord will send rain on the 11th." Together we thanked Him, and then, full of praise, we went out--all seven of us--and told everyone. We could accept the devil's challenge in the name of the Lord, and we would broadcast our acceptance.
As we went to our evening prayer, we all began once more to pray for rain -- now! That it was that there came to us a stern rebuke from the Lord: "Where is the God of Elijah?" Were we going to fight our way thru this battle, or were we going to rest in the finished victory of Christ? What had Elisha done when he spoke those words? He had laid claim in his own personal experience to the very miracle that that his lord Elijah, now in the glory, had himself performed. In New Testament terms, he had taken his stand by faith on the ground of a finished work.
We confessed our sins again. "Lord," we said, "we don't need rain until the 11th morning." We went to bed and the next morning (the 10th) we set off for a neighboring island for a day's preaching. The Lord was very gracious, and that day three families turned to Him, confessing Him publicly and burning their idols. We returned late, tired out but rejoicing. We could afford to sleep late tomorrow.
This is an excerpt from the book, SIT, WALK, STAND by Watchman Nee. Tomorrow, we will see the result of Brother Wu's bold faith in the God of Elijah.
BE A MAN.