And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “ As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” ~ I Kings 17:1 NKJV
Just a few verses before the verse of Scripture above, we see the character of the new king that started reigning over Israel. He was described as a king that did evil more than all the kings that reigned before him. It looked as if he was coming to the throne to break the record of evil the other Kings had.
He made the matter worse by Marrying Jezebel and began to set up alters to worship Baal. I think all of these things that he did provoked the man of God to make the pronouncement that he made in I Kings 17:1. And true to the word of the man of God, there was no rain. You and I can imagine the consequences of not having rain for a long time. It simply means the heaven was shut over the entire nation. When there is no rain, there will be no food and life will be unbearable for many people.
One of the first lessons we can learn is that some of the things that we do can cause the heavens to be shut over us. If we must tell ourselves the truth, heaven can be shut over someone as a result of his own action. This action can be some form of disobedience or evil deeds in the sight of God. However, our God is a merciful God. You simply need to repent from your deeds that are not pleasing to God and ask him for forgiveness. He will then open the heavens over you.
Another lesson we can learn from this verse of Scripture above is the fact that it was a man who made the pronouncement for the heavens to be shut. Even though it was a man of God in this case, some wicked people can also cause the heaven to be shut over an unsuspecting believer. The heavens may have been open over a person but principalities and powers may not allow the manifestation of the open heavens until a child of God prevails in prayer.
We saw how Daniel prayed in the book of Daniel. The angel who came to deliver the result said that his prayers were answered from the first day that he prayed. So why didn’t he get results immediately? He said that the Prince of Persia withstood him for 21 days. So you must note that people or principalities and powers can cause the heavens to be shut over a man but they can’t stop God from opening it when the man cries out to God.
The Bible says “And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.” ~ I Kings 18:1
In 1 Kings 18:1, it was God himself that intervened and he sent a word through his prophet about the heavens that will open. Now that tells me that God sends words ahead when he is about to open heavens. The word he has sent to us at this time is that the heavens will open and it will open for us in Jesus name.
Finally, it is important to see what we can do for the heavens to open even after God has sent his word. Elijah did two things and we also should do that for the heavens to open. Verse 42 of 1 Kings 18 says that after Ahab went up to eat and drink, Elijah went to pray. He bowed down to the ground and put his face between his knees. For seven times he asked his servant to go and check for the sign of rain. Many of us don’t do this. As he was praying, he was looking out for the sign. Now that’s a real prayer of faith.
The second thing Elijah did that we also need to do is that as soon as the servant came back to say, ‘there is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand rising out of the sea,’ Elijah said, ‘that’s it. That’s all we need.’ He seized that little sign and didn’t look for any other. Many Christians today will also see a sign and will be looking for confirmation. While they are looking for confirmation, they even lose what they have. Just like Elijah did, prayer and watch out for signs and the heavens will indeed open over you in Jesus name.