Samuel Rodriguez - Holy Troublemakers
Prophets are weird. They just are, prophetic people are like weird. They act differently. So this Elijah was an interesting person. He walked up one day to the most powerful political figure in his nation the president, the king. Looked at him and said enough is enough, you're corrupt, what you're doing is evil. You're wife, oh! She's a witch. By the way should pastors preach like that telling people that woman are witches? That's not my word the Bible says she is. So, I'm just repeating again I don't make the pizza, I deliver it.
So, the Bible says she was wicked, wicked. So he comes along one day and looks at the king and says enough is enough. It's not gonna rain now. The king went what? Not gonna rain. No more rain. And for three years guess what? No more rain. Wow! Three years later this guy's wife, the king's wife, Jezebel is looking for him. She already killed his friends, killed his friends. Hey, you're a friend of that guy? Good, you're dead. Went around killing his friends. He comes up, Ahab and he hears that this guy's finally appearing after three years, and Elijah's here. Shows up after three years. The guy who prayed no more rain. Now there's a drought, there's starvation, animals are dying, people are suffering, there's a revolt brewing in the place, politically it's not good. Inflation is high, so many things are going bad right?
All of a sudden, the king looks at him and says, sees him for the first time in three years and says, "Aha, the troublemaker! Here you are, troublemaker. You finally showed up. Troublemaker". And this guy, the prophet, this is what he says, 1 Kings 18:18: "I have made no trouble for Israel," Elijah replied. "You and your family are the real troublemakers". Lots of trash talking back to the most political, you know, the most powerful person in the nation. "It's you. You have refused to obey the commandments of the Lord and you have worshipped the images of Baal instead". That's just crazy. You're talking back to the mack daddy mack. That's just, who put you in authority? And then the prophet looks at the king, the most powerful guy, and then says, "Now that I've told you who you really are. Now summon all of Israel to join me at mount Carmel along with 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel".
"So, Ahab," verse 20 "So, Ahab summoned all the people and did what Elijah told him". Stop! This makes no sense. This would be equivalent to, now I'm not comparing our current president with any of that or even our former president, I'm just giving you an idea of what the power of the prophetic looks like. It would be equivalent to if I call president Joe Biden or Donald Trump, when he was in office, if I would've called him and said, I, Sam Rodriguez, man of God, say this, bring all the members of congress to Sacramento. All of them. Matter of fact, I'm busy Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday at 12 P.M. I have a mani-pedi on Monday, Tuesday I have to go to Starbucks with my beautiful wife, and so Wednesday, yeah, Wednesday about 12 P.M., I'm open. You, mister president, I want you to bring all of congress. You know what? Not just congress all the members, all the members of the Supreme Court justices, bring 'em in and all the members of congress. You're gonna meet me in Sacramento 'cause we're gonna see who the real God is.
Now if I would do that right now in about 15 minutes, secret service would show up. They would take me away in a padded wagon to a special place. Uh-huh, uh-huh, yeah, this is his special place. But he did that. Now, what's intriguing to me is what Ahab did, this is what Ahab did, "You're a troublemaker! You! You're a troublemaker"! The troublemaker says, "You're the troublemaker, and now you're gonna do what I tell you to do". And this guy says, "Okay". That really happened. Does that make any sense? Dude! That's the biblical term for it is dude! You're the most powerful, political, governmental authority. You're the man. You're the king! And you're obeying that prophet? Why in the world would Ahab obey a trouble making prophet? Somebody say: "Integrity".
Elijah's integrity, Elijah's influence, Elijah's testimony. He prayed three years before, no more rain. And it did not what? In other words, Elijah is a troublemaker according to Ahab. He's problematic, he's a nuisance, which is fancy for he's a pain. But when he prays, when that pain prays, God responds. I'm here to tell you they may not like you, but they will respect you. They may not follow you on Facebook, but they will respect you. They may not share your post, but they will respect you. Stop looking for people to like you and start expecting people to respect you! Are you with me right now? Respect arises when people see God answer our prayers. Let me say that one more time. Respect will arise when people see God answer our prayers. When we show Ahab God's power then he will follow.
I don't know if you're getting this, your prayer, when God answers your prayers, that testimony is your legitimacy. Even people that don't like you, people that talk smack about you, even your haters are gonna end up going like, I can't stand that person but boy the last time that person prayed... I can't stand 'em. I don't even like they way he dresses, I don't like the way he talks, but that man. That guy prayed, that guy prayed for my mama and she had stage four cancer, and that cancer all of a sudden she went to the doctor and the oncologist said where is the cancer? The cancer disappear! I'm here to tell you to get ready. You're about to get a reputation. You know what your reputation will be? When you pray, God! God answers. When those in power, when those that persecuted you, when those in authority witness God's answering your prayers, they will not only respect you, they will submit to your authority.
I don't wanna get edgy here, not that we ever get edgy here but, why doesn't uncle Sam, the Supreme Court, or the culture respect truly the church? Maybe because they hear us, but they don't see the fruit of what they hear. Maybe we need a church to really show them that, oh, that God answers prayers. The earnest prayer of a righteous person, has great power, and produces wonderful results. James 5:16, are there any righteous people in the house? The Bible is full of examples where men and women pray and something happens. Hannah prayed, "Give me a son," 1 Samuel 1:11, something happened. Hezekiah prayed, "Remember me," in Isaiah 38:2 when he was about to die, and something happened. Jabez prayed, "Enlarge my territory," 1 Chronicles 4:10, something happened.
Jesus prayed for Lazarus to come forth, something happened. Are you with me right now? It's time to show Ahab, it's time to show Jezebel that when we pray, something happens. You know what the problem is? We keep quiet about our testimony. We don't share our answered prayers. We share other stuff, we share silly stuff on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But we should be sharing the answered prayers. Instead of getting into politics and what happened over there, instead of getting into areas that divide people. Why don't you post the God that answers prayers? No, let me not assume anything, let me not be, let me assume, if God answered at least one prayer in your life, that you know it was God, that it couldn't have been man.
If you know of one prayer at least that God definitively answered, raise one hand. If there's a couple of prayers that you made that you know if it weren't for God then it's impossible for it to have taken place, raise both hands. Let me ask you even more. In the past two years since COVID started, if God has answered at least one prayer request that you know it was God, raise both hands and a foot. And here's a final question, if you know that same God who answered the prayers before will answer the prayer that you current... How many are ready to walk into a season of answered prayers? Now let me ask one more time. How many of you are willing, how many of you are expecting God to answer the prayers you've made? Regarding your family, your health, your finances, your children, your marriage, your relationships, your generation, this nation.
If you serve the God that answers prayers say: amen. If you believe that God will answer all your prayers one way or another, say: amen, amen. And if you truly believe there's not a devil in hell or a demon on earth that can stop that answered prayer from coming your way, now I want you to give God the best shout of praise you've given him this entire service. God answers prayers. Repeat after me: "God answers prayers". I'm here because I'm the result of an answered prayer. My marriage is a result of an answered prayer. My children are a result of an answered prayer. I could tell this church is a result of an answered prayer. I can tell you of breakthroughs I've had in my life because we prayed. Because we came in agreement, on multiple occasions, my wife and I would join hands like this. We would join hands, and whenever we needed a special breakthrough, we would say here it is, God, show up.
And I kid you not just crazy how can this, this can not be, the mathematical probability of that happening by coincidence or happenstance is way beyond us. God answers prayers. I need you to expect your prayers to be answered because I'm telling you even your haters are gonna respect you. Why did Ahab the hater follow the troublemaker? Because he saw God answer his prayer, so I'm here to tell you even the people that came against you are about to respect you, are about to submit to your authority because they're gonna see with their own eyes that God answered your prayer. They're gonna say about you, they're gonna say when they pray, mountains move. This is your reputation coming up. When they praise, heaven shows up, when they shout, walls come down.
This is what they're gonna say about you. All the Ahabs and Jezebels are gonna say this about you. When they love, fear is cast out. When these people, these Jesus freaks hallelujah, weird Christians, when they declare truth, people are set free. When they sow, they reap a harvest. Some of them are so crazy when they speak spiritually into dead bones, the dead bones come back to life. And when they come together in the name of Jesus, heaven descends and everything happens. Raise your right hand, repeat after me: when I pray... Well, say it like you believe it, say when I pray... I need you to activate your Elijah swag. Say when I pray, something happens. When I praise, something happens. When I do God's word, something happens. When I lay hands on the sick, something happens. When I take care of the poor, something happens. When I do justice, something happens. And when I call out the name of Jesus, everything happens! Somebody give God one more clap offering. Show up, speak up, stand up.
Verse 21 chronological order, "Then Elijah stood in front of them," I'm sorry, Elijah stood in the back of the line? He was in a fetal position in back of the line? No, he stood, in front. It's time to be the head and not the tail. Deuteronomy 28:13: "It's time to be the head and not the tail". He stood in front, stand up, speak up, take charge. "And then he said, y'all have two opinions". This is the point, "He said, 'how much longer, will you waiver, vacillating, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him. But if Baal is God, then follow him.' but the people were completely," and these are the people that never wanna take sides, because it is easier to be silent than to choose sides. Oh, we gon' get in trouble now.
Jeremiah 32:39 says, "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me always for their own good and for the good of their children". The Bible says, "That is you refuse to take the side of righteousness, your children will pay the price". There is a generation that's waiting for you and I to rise up, and decide whether or not the Lord is God, or is it Baal? We live in an interesting time, not just in California and America but around the world we live in a time where it's moral relativism is the term for it. It's just this idea there's no truth, there is no math, there's no science, it's all experiential. It's what you perceive it to be, what you deem it to be, and that's the reality we're living in. I'm gonna say something that's a little bit edgy, and there's a good possibility that 50% of you may disagree with this and it's okay, it's alright, 'cause God still answers my prayers.
So, I just wanna say this when I was growing up, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12 years old, 13, 14. I'll even tell you this, 15, 16 all the way 'til I got married I lived in my house with my mom and my dad. You know, my first memories are when I was three, four, five, six years old, I remember my mom waking me up every Sunday morning. She would put on back in the day we would dress up, I had a tie. She would put a tie on, a little tie when I was just adorable, I was just so adorable. God still answers my prayers, haters. She would put a lot of super gel on my hair. It looked like a cow had licked me. There's pictures of this, true pictures, I'm not making it up, and every, she would take me to church and I would go.
I could never imagine me one day when I was 11 or 12 looking at my mom going like, "I ain't going". I'm gonna tell you what would have happened. My mom is about five feet tall and she claims she's 5'1, she's five. And little feisty little, if I would've told my mama when I was 12 years old, "Mama, I ain't going to church today. Ain't going to church"! My mama would've looked at me, she would've measured me, like first of all, she would've looked at me and said like, "I know something's out of alignment, 'cause I know you ain't talking to me like that". And then the second thing she would've said would've been like, "I'm sorry, did I give you a choice?" I could've said, "I'm 12 years old. I'm modern, I'm open-minded. You have to be an open-minded mom, you have to let me develop into my own particularity, my own belief system. You have to embrace my own ideologies, it's a different world out there. Not everybody believes the way you believe. I need to develop what I believe, I'm gonna do my own."
My mom wouldn't give a holy hoot. She would look at me and say, "Boy, until you become a legal adult while you live in my house, it's not a matter of freewill. Let me tell you freewill. You do what I will and you will be free. So, I want you to get up and you go to church". I thank God that my mama took me to church when I didn't wanna go to church. I thank God that I was in services just like this when the power of God showed up, and I saw a preacher declare the word of the Lord. I thank God! This maybe politically incorrect, but we need some people to rise up and have the audacity to look into their family and say enough is enough. "As for me"! "As for me"! "As for me and my house we will serve the living God". Somebody praise like you serve that God. Where the land is two opinions. Everybody say: "Two opinions".
If you think that you've never been in this place where you're struggling between two opinions, we all do, individually, and collectively. There's a constant fight between the flesh and the spirit. There's a constant fight between the past and future. There's a constant fight between memories and imagination. There's a constant fight between fear and faith. The old man and the new creation, the victim you and the conquering you, the emotional you and the logical you, the wounded you and the healed you. The most egregious and unacceptable trigger that prompted Elijah to pray down fire was not just the strife and the discord it was the silence.
Elijah confronted the people with truth and yet they stayed, what? They stayed, what? They stayed what? Brothers and sisters may the following word penetrate the inner most part of your being, silence is not an option. There is no such thing as silent Christianity. There is no such thing as a Christian on mute. There is no such thing as politically correct believers, there is no such animal as complacent convictions or comfortable courage. A silent church is a dead church. A silent church is a dead church. A silent church is a dead church. A silent church is a dead church. A silent church is a dead church. A silent church is a dead church. A silent church is a dead church.
The virus, the virus affecting the 21st century church is called conformity, complacency and comfort. We can't be silent, the world's going to hell. Where's the church? How long are we gonna hobble, vacillate between two opinions? Some people may feel uncomfortable with this message. Pastor said the last two weeks you've been harsh. I'm not, God as my witness, I don't wanna be harsh, I wanna be truth telling. The world's going to hell. We can't defeat Jezebel, Ahab and Baal by taking them to Starbucks dates, and offering them lattes. You have to confront the devil, hell, darkness, lies. We're gonna have to stand up and say enough is enough! A silent church is a dead church.
There's a virus affecting the church and it is I can't deny it. But I have great news about this virus, there's a vaccine for that. Oh no, there really is, I don't wanna get de-platformed, I'm gonna mention some names. There's a vaccine for the virus impacting the church, and if you're telling me are you sure there is a virus at church? Sure, look at the George Barnett study produced two weeks ago. Look at the numbers. It'll rock you if you're a believer. It'll rock you regarding the number of people that no longer believe. It'll rock you so don't tell me it's not, oh it is. There's a virus. By the way I wanna flip that. Generation Z and the alpha generation emerging and they're saying it is the least, we're talking there's 35% to 40% of that generation that supposedly don't know. They don't know if God is real. They don't really know if, he's occupying space in any reality, and they don't really care.
So, it's don't know, don't care. But I am declaring the opposite. I'm declaring that that generation, the reason the devil is targeting an entire generation is because that generation is about to do greater things for the kingdom of heaven, than any other generation in human history. No, no, I kid you not, the reason the devil is after your children and your children's children is because your children and your children's children they're about to advance the kingdom of heaven here on earth like no other generation. No, I really mean that. There's a generation rising up that's about to shift the atmosphere towards righteousness and justice.
We are about to see a crazy generation of Elijah's and Elijah's rise up. Are you with me? This is not a hype generation. It's not generation full of hype or religion, they love authenticity, they love transparency, they love biblical vulnerability, they wanna be real. But when they cast out devils in the name of Jesus! When they lay hands on the sick, the sick recover! And when they say, there is power in the name of Jesus, Jesus shows up. There's a vaccine for that. The vaccine is not from Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J. The vaccine I'm talking about was developed in the laboratory.
Notice how I say laboratory, not laboratory, of Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost. It was patented. I have the patent date here. It was patented in Ephesians 5:18: "Be filled with the Holy Spirit". I'm here to tell you a church that is filled of God's spirit will never be silent. Act 2:14: "Filled with the spirit Peter stood up, raised his voice," we're about to see that reality. It's time to speak up. I need you to look at me, silence is no longer an option. You will not be silent when the enemy tries to take away your joy, your peace, your life. You will speak up. You're not gonna be the victim, you're not gonna be sucking your thumb, you're not gonna go on social media post a picture and say whoa is me.
No, Elijah, you're gonna stand up even when they accuse you, you're gonna stand up and say, enough is enough. You're gonna say no I'm not gonna bow to Baal, my children will not bow to Baal, my family will not bow to Baal, my generation will not bow to Baal. Matter fact you're gonna go crazy and say the only one that we will bow before is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the host of hosts and the Prince of Peace. Because the Bible says every knee! Every knee! And every tongue that... Are you ready to see world bow in the presence of Jesus? Acknowledge the presence of Jesus. We are done. Repeat after me: "It's time to speak up..."