What are you doing here?
1 Kings 19:9-18
It has been one of those weeks where you seem to be constantly busy and you never seem to have even a spare minute for yourself, or a time to relax much less talk to God. I had recently been in that place. A place that seems to suck all the time from what I loosely call a schedule, the energy from my body, and the meaning out of everything around me. It is during these times that I sometimes loose the happiness and joy that I should and it is a time where I really become weak, not only physically but also spiritually. It happens from time to time and I am sure that anyone reading this has had it happens to them once if not more often than they would like. I don’t like these times that for sure, but I wonder if they are helpful more than hurtful.
You know how it happens, you extend yourself, you have way too much on your plate and you break out of your normal routine. Something at work takes your time, or something unexpected and you miss some vital time in study or in prayer, and before you know it, you just become so busy that you tell yourself that when you get this one thing done you will find some time to spend with the Lord, but it never comes because something else has come up and we eventually become too tired to make time for God. We soon become fatigued and it is then that the adversary can attack.
I am of the belief that as believers, we need to at least spend a few minutes with the Lord in the morning or some point of the day in order to be able to cope in this world. We need that quiet time to talk to Him, read His word, and listen for His voice. We are like plants or trees and just as they need water, we too need the refreshing water of the word in our lives or we would dry up.
I had hit that low last night as I went to bed. I was fatigued from such a busy week and I had not spent as much time with God as I usually do and I attempted a quick prayer as my head hit the pillow. I remember thinking that my words seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as I said them and even though I said pretty much the same thing that I do every night it still seemed like I was talking to no one but myself. I thought, “Who am I praying too anyway? Where is God? Does He even hear me if He is there? Does He even care? Am I wasting my time here on this earth believing in something and Someone who doesn’t even exist? I attempted to pray some more after that and while I was speaking silently, I couldn’t hear myself or actually put anything together to pray. My mind was filled with what I can only describe as a fog and I felt like one of those people who have had both sides of their brain switched. I could understand what I wanted to say but it would or could not come out.
I was reminded of another person who had a problem somewhat like this. He was in a terrible low in his life, he was depressed and he felt like God didn’t care about him or what was going on in his life. His name was Elijah
God reveals Himself to Elijah
Elijah was on a roll in his ministry. He had known and seen the power of God (1 Kings 17-18)
He must have been ready to storm the gates of hell with bursts of water
So what happened to Elijah?
Past success does not guarantee present peace
The report Ahab told Jezebel did not cause her to repent or turn from Baal
to God. It merely leads to personal embarrassment. Her response was to issue a death warrant for Elijah
Elijah understood Jezebel’s intentions and he ran for his life when he saw her response. He had expected things to change drastically but they had not. He then realized that the Lord’s victory on Mt. Carmel would not necessarily bring an end to the paganism that held the land captive so he ran for his life when he saw her response
Some versions of the Bible read “He was afraid” but Elijah was not a man of fear because he had known the power of the living God. What he could have faced was a profound disappointment
nothing had changed in his eyes
He had seen all those miracles, yet the people, despite seeing these miracles, would soon forget and revert back to their evil ways
if he were afraid it would have been a result in a lapse of faith from such strong disappointment. Elijah had not realized that God’s timing would happen no matter what
(4) He is saying, “It is enough! I’ve had enough! Take my life, l am no good!” He was done, finished, he had given up
“God, You have failed in using me. I am no good. Kill me now.’ He wished for death, not from Jezebel but from God <o:p></o:p>
So he ran for his life from the disappointment he felt
Elijah was depressed
He had seen all the spectacular things God had done
yet now he felt that he was alone in his service to God
(10) Elijah had a passion fro God that made him stand against the idolatry he saw all around him and in his depression he felt that he alone was left the only person faithful to God and than when he was killed, there would be no one left to serve God
We are not alone in weakness and despair
If we are in Christ
you are alone without Christ
Elijah had come to a very bad place
He was depressed and disappointed in God and he wanted to die
He was as far away from God as anyone could be yet God did not tell him “Snap out of it” “Stop crying” “Get over it” <o:p></o:p>
God fed him and provided for his needs first. He didn’t ask him what his problem was. He was providing for Elijah’s journey <o:p></o:p>
Even if Elijah had lost faith, God did not
2 Timothy 2:11-13
What are you doing here?
Elijah went on the strength of the food God gave him for 40 days and nights He had come as far as the mountain of God, Mt Horeb – referring to Mt Sinai and he lodges in a cave on the mountain
Now God has come to visit him
He asks Elijah, ‘what are you doing here?”
“What brought you here?”
“How did you come from where you were to where you are now?”
God tells Elijah to go outside the cave and stand before Him
Then the Lord passed by
1) A tempest The Lord was not in the tempest
2) An earthquake The Lord was not in the earthquake
3) A fire The Lord was not in the fire
4) A still small voice God was in the still, small, voice
It is the Spirit who decides how He will reveal Himself to us and although each of these things mentioned could signify the presence of God, He was not in them. Elijah learned that God is not just the God of the spectacular
At times the work of God is expressed in a still, small, voice
Elijah had called down fire from heaven; he had called for lightening, and national revival
What Elijah did not see was that God was working in the lives of many people (18)
(13-18) There were still many people who were faithful to God.7, 000 had not bowed down to Baal
God may not speak in an audible voice to us but He still speaks in many ways to let us know that He is there. One such way is through nature. Romans chapter 1 says that we have an example of God through everything around us, and that we have no excuse to say that He is not there. The Lord speaks to us in the very fact that we are here on this planet, the only planet able to sustain life and the very fact that we are able to communicate with each other and with our Master. You can’t tell me that we are here by mistake and that we evolved from mud or an alien species without a smile on you face because if you believe that then you have totally outright denied what is right there in front of you and for that supposed logical theory we as a people tell our Creator “I am sorry, You don’t matter enough to be real. You don’t make logical sense to me so I will come up with my own ideas because You won’t fit into what I want.”
Let us put our school textbooks aside and learn the real history of this earth because it truly is “HIS story”
What was Elijah looking for?
Where was he seeking God?
Wherever it was he was not looking for Him in the right place at that time.
Do I do that?
God was not where Elijah thought He was or perhaps thought He should be. God can’t be placed in a box or shaped to fit what I think about Him.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Well my God wouldn’t…”
When we say these things we are putting God second and placing what we think is important over our Lord. We make ourselves gods when we say such things.
God is speaking to us, whether it is the moving of the Spirit in our lives, an audible voice or just through the nature around us. The things that Elijah faced were illustrative of things that we as humans could never control. Things out of our range
He controls what we could never and we should trust that He is after our own good. A friend of mine sent me this and I wanted to share it with you because it so easily explains this point
I heard a guy once say: “I am out of control, He is in control and I like it that way.
(Chad Davis) I am free falling in the physical but someone is in control. That is where we find rest. Knowing God is working the plan and purpose for our life. We have a birthright. Last week (at Church) we talked about what we deserve. Our flesh deserves death, however because of what Jesus did we have a Birthright of Joy. Find the Joy in this moment right now. Ask God to grant it to you. The deception of the world has us looking for the next thing to make us happy. I get caught up in that almost everyday, but today I am going to ask God to sustain us and Lift us up with His Power to overcome every adversity. What can separate us from the love of God? Let’s find peace in that today.