fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Getting Back on Course


1Kings 18:20-34

42-15850153Picture the scene: Wicked King Ahab sends for the false prophets of Baal (a false god) and God’s prophet Elijah to Mount Carmel for a competition. The contenders were 450 prophets of Baal and the one prophet (Elijah) of the true God. The challenge was to see which god was greater. Elijah knows this contest is a joke and cries out to the people of Israel to stop hesitating between Baal and Yahweh (the God of Israel). By this time, Jezebel, the queen, had already killed off the other prophets of the true God; Elijah was the last one remaining. The people can’t make up their minds; they hadn’t totally rejected Yahweh, but they were trying to combine Him with the worship of Baal. Ugh!

So Elijah said to the 450 prophets to cut up an ox and place it on an alter to sacrifice and then ask Baal to put fire under it. Verses 26-29 are quite amusing. The 450 prophets call out to Baal from morning until noon. No fire. Elijah then tells them to call LOUDLY because Baal might be sleeping, is on a journey or preoccupied…hilarious! Finally, the prophets cut themselves up to the point of bleeding profusely and by the evening time, they give up. No fire. No Baal.

It’s Elijah’s turn. He puts the ox (cut up) on 12 stones, representing the twelve tribes of Israel and made a gutter around the alter. He filled the gutter with water – in fact, he overflowed it with water; then Elijah prays “O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel, today let it be known that I am your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again” (Vs 36-38). No sooner that Elijah was finished praying fire consumed the burnt offering, the wood and stones and even dried up the water! What sweet victory Elijah tasted as a prophet; it was his best victory ever!

Surprisingly, Elijah decides to run away to Beersheba. Why?? Apparently, Queen Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah that she was going to have him killed because of what he did at Mount Carmel and he got scared. Not only did Elijah get scared, but he also got discouraged. What made Elijah so discouraged? Brokenness is what Elijah felt; he felt broken by her threats – after all, she did kill off all the other prophets of the true God. He also felt broken by her unrepentant attitude – he expected her to surrender and acknowledge the greatness of Yahweh, but she didn’t. All of these were enough to send him running for his life.

I know what you’re thinking; I thought the same thing, too. How can Elijah allow Jezebel to discourage and shatter his faith in God after all that he accomplished through Him? How could Elijah forget the sweet victory (and so quickly)? The sad part is that we do the same. No sooner that God delivers us from challenges…no sooner that God leads us to victory, do we forget when we’re faced with another test of faith. I’m guilty of that charge, too. The enemy throws us off (the victorious) course by throwing stumbling stones in our path – discouragement, fear, confusion, etc… It’s so easy to be thrown off course, even after we just experienced God’s saving grace. However, God never tires out from bringing us out of trials, even if it’s self-inflicted discouragement. In fact, he willingly does so with love.

How did Elijah regain his confidence in the Lord? 1Kings 19:9-14 tells us that God went to the cave where Elijah was hiding and sought him. How loving and merciful on God’s part. “What are you doing here?” asked the Lord (as if). Then after Elijah told God why he was afraid, Elijah waited for His reply and instruction. A strong wind came and Elijah thought God was in the wind, but He wasn’t. Then there was an earthquake and Elijah thought he would hear from God during the earthquake, but he didn’t. Then Elijah witnessed fire and surely thought God would reveal Himself to him there, but He didn’t. Finally, the Lord’s revelation came to Elijah in a faint, whispering voice. The lesson here was that God was quietly doing His work all along.

When we’re waiting for an answer from God, are we still and quiet so that we can hear Him? Sometimes we feel God is not acting on our behalf because we’re not seeing the “winds, earthquakes and fire” – the obvious. But Almighty God is still working – He never stops working for our good. In time He will reveal Himself and it may be in a whispering voice. So when we find ourselves off the victorious course, be still and listen for His voice to help bring us back on course.  God Bless. (Linda A.)

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August 25, 2009 - Posted by | According to Scripture, Expressions | , , , , , ,

4 Comments

  1. I absolutely loved this…keep them coming.

    Comment by marcene underwood | August 26, 2009

  2. Linda,
    this was such a blessing to read. Thank you! Yes, I can relate to Elijah’s fear even after gaining such a victory. How often I forget that God is with me and has already assured me of victory–why fear? And yet, there it is: FEAR.

    God often whispers softly while we are busy looking for the earthquakes. It is often the little things along the way that have the power to rebuild our faith and trust in Him and they would surely go unnoticed if we did not remain in prayer asking for the eyes of faith to see Him in our trials. And when we DO see Him, we are strengthened and fearless!

    Comment by Julie | August 26, 2009

  3. What a blessing. Thanks for sharing this. I really needed to be reminded who is in control and who to rely on always.

    Comment by Charlene | August 26, 2009

  4. Thank you, Linda, it was good to be reminded again who is in charge, and even though things don’t seem to be going the way we think they should, God is in control. He will bring me through the dark days to the place He wants me. I really appreciated the words today.

    Comment by Willie | August 26, 2009


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