C.F. Leach|Longreads|July 2019|13 minutes (2,536 words)
In I Kings Chapter 18, Elijah called unto God that He would prove He was God and that Elijah, was his servant, who obeyed God’s command. A second time, the prophet cried out, “Hear me, O LORD, hear me that the people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart again”. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, “Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. (Verses 37-40). The Prophet then prayed for rain verse 45 reads… And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.
Immediately, after God wrought these miracles through Elijah the prophet… Chapter nineteen, verse two reads, Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, “ So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time”. Now we find in verse 4; But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers”. Have you received some disturbing news so now the dreams of your destiny have turned into nightmares?
Elijah is now fleeing Jezebel, a Phoenician tyrant, who corrupted her husband and her nation with pagan idolatry. What is the Jezebel in your life? The Spirit of Jezebel is one of control, working through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; being neither male nor female in gender. Have you discerned this spirit enough to know how subtle yet cunning it is? Alternatively, are you still wrestling with this selfsame spirit, which has kept you in constant bondage? You actually fooled yourself into believing you have conquered it. When the truth is you are still bound by this generational curse! Going through the same motions day in and day out only to wind up in the same place because your mind is not where your spirit is. You know, like the movie Groundhog Day?
Likewise, do you find yourself in the place where God has wrought mighty works through you, or in your life? Subsequently, the next thing you know; you are running for your life with the floods of fear and depression overtaking your spirit? For it is written, So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in, like a flood the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)
God lifted up a standard for Elijah by sending an angel to his rescue—not once, but twice. (I Kings 19:5-7). Your angel may not be physical food, but spiritual food—a rhema word that will give you a breakthrough or an answer to a situation that appears hopeless. We cannot always believe what we see. Your angel may be an innovative job or business, because the old one you just lost was God’s way of shifting you into position for that better job or business you desire to see. Your angel may be new relationships because you outgrew the old ones or perhaps they were not true friends to begin with—whatever reason they left your life and left you feeling rejected, guilty, and empty because you had yet to discover God catapulted you into another.
Moreover, by taking you to this next dimension you had to separate from familiar places and familiar faces to get a fresh revelation from the Lord. And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” (Gen. 13:14-15) God wanted Abram to take his physical eyes off where he was and see, through the eyes of faith, what his destiny would be. However, this revelation could not come to Abram until he was alone with God. (Side Bar: Not every revelation is for everybody. Some things you reveal and some things you keep until further instruction.)
We must also learn that not everything in our lives is permanent. As we grow in God, certain things in life, we must learn to delete–some old habits, phone numbers, and yes, even people. In your garden or yard, from time to time, you have to get rid of the rocks, weeds, and pests that try to hinder or destroy your plants’ growth. Likewise, in your Christian walk, you have to allow God to remove the things that hinder your spiritual growth. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
In this race, not everyone you start with will finish with you. Some people you lose because they are not in the flow of God’s purpose for your life. Unlike Ruth, not everyone is allied to your purpose. (Ruth 1:16-17) In order to become strengthened and established more fully in your spiritual destiny certain things need to go. Let go of any sense of defeat or guilt and move forward in strength of spirit. Just as the seasons change; so do many facets of our lives, and the only true remaining constants are the promises and words of Almighty God. (Luke 21:33)
Elijah’s flight led him to a cave at Mt. Horeb where the word of the LORD met him and asked, “What dost thou here Elijah?(I Kings 19:9) It is noteworthy for us to understand that no matter what we are going through God is omnipresent and omniscient—He is everywhere and knows everything. He is Jehovah Adonai, the Lord our Sovereign.
Has your running from fear, distress, guilt, and disappointments led you face to face with a word from the Lord? Have you found yourself in the place where God asks why you are here? Can you recognize His asking is really a scolding? God wanted Elijah to understand this was no time for him to retreat because he had a destiny to fulfill.
Not all battles are won in a day. During the heat of the battle is no time to withdraw. We must stand firm in the midst of it, trusting God for a victorious outcome. The Apostle Paul instructs us,” Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6:13-18)
Can you be honest enough with yourself, amid the anxieties and frustrations in your life, to tell the LORD exactly where you think you are? The truth of the matter is so long as Elijah saw some small glimmer of hope in his ‘doing any good’, the prophet was ‘very jealous’ for the LORD of hosts. Now that it appeared his labors were in vain, he thought it was time to throw in the towel. Some of you have not only thrown in the towel—you have thrown it totally away! How many of us have been around that corner? Assuming the worst before it even happens; we push the panic button based on the mind games we allow the enemy to play with us. There are times, during extreme trials; we have to recover ourselves out of the snare of the devil, when taken captive, by him, at his will. (Second Timothy 2:26)
God’s gift of repentance allows us to win that victory. The same God, who gives us the revelation of truth, brings us to the knowledge of it. Contrarily, our minds would constantly rebel against it. Repentance is the key that opens the prison door. Thereby, allowing us to recover ourselves out of the devil’s trap; positioning us where we are supposed to be.
The prophet justifies, to God, he is in this cave because he could not fight Jezebel’s army; there was no point to it. “I only am left.” He thought if he were seen it would be his ruin; “They seek my life to take it away.” Elijah had come to the resolve of retreating into false security instead of using his God given gift. Why? fear of losing his life for an ungrateful people who did not want to change.
So many of us have fallen victim to settling for what is comfortable and common, because the battle seems futile, and it looks like the odds are stacked against us. But if God be for us who can be against us? We cannot always believe what we see! Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:1 and 3) All you need is a “Let there be” in your life and that which appeared inconceivable is made manifest. (Gen.1:3) Have faith in God!
God instructed Elijah to come out of the cave. He said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD”. (1 Kings 19:11) Has God called you out of your cave to stand before Him so He can give you a personal experience of His manifest power and majesty? Has the breath of God blown upon your insurmountable circumstances and rent them like rock? Has His mighty earthquakes shaken the odds stacked against you and reduced them to rubble? Have you allowed the consuming fire of God to burn away those distractions that so easily beset you? As with Elijah, have these manifestations caused you to cover your face in shame; realizing you did not need a ‘pity party’, but a ‘peace be still’ in the midst of your fear flight? (Mark 4:36-39)
Sometimes the enemy will cause us to act in a cowardly manner. Yet the Holy Spirit will allow conviction to come upon us as a reminder of the Christian duties we proposed to abandon because we failed to remember the awesome power of the God we serve! Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established .(Proverbs 16:3)
Again, God poses the same questions to Elijah, emphasizing the prophet did not belong in this cave. All He was looking for was a ‘nevertheless’ reply. (Luke 22:42) As children of God, we must realize the spirit of fear has the uncanny ability to cause us loss of focus, and lures us into precarious situations that God did not design for our lives. Misplaced faith will cause you to have short-term amnesia concerning the promises of God, and fear will cause you to be in temporary paralysis; both physical and spiritual.
In either case, it puts you in an opposing position to Jehovah Adonai when we forget our ‘nevertheless’ answer will obliterate all physical limitations and make room for divine destiny. “He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.” (I Samuel 2:9)
When we face new obstacles and challenges, we must press on even though we cannot see our way. We must stay the course and refuse to get discouraged. Just keep it moving; follow His voice and His lead. God is already holding us up, by His Word, so His righteousness triumphs!
How many times has God asked you a question and you kept giving Him the same stale answer because you were more focused on the problem instead of the Problem Solver? Isaiah is explicit to remind us; Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3) Therefore, our minds must stay upon the Lord Jesus as we should learn to trust Him, in so doing we keep our spiritual equilibrium when everything around us is out of balance. Thus, giving us the grace to hear His instructions clearly and receive a true prophetic word that will encourage and strengthen us despite not knowing where our ‘there’ is.
Finally, God informs Elijah that he was not the only one. Seven thousand yet remained in Israel who had not bowed their knee to Baal. (I Kings 19:18) God’s faithful are not always up close and personal. Like David, they are on the backside of the mountain doing the will of God; going through similar circumstances. You are not alone in your suffering. Right now, because of your tears, your vision is blurry and you cannot see the remnant with clarity, but know they are there.
The next time you start pulling out those decorations for your hopeless hoedown, file this in the cabinets of your spirit: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Before you press the panic button, remember to walk in faith not in fear. Fear and doubt deny the promises of God because this combination produces unbelief. Unbelief is your enemy; it closes the door to the supernatural. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. (Romans 4:20).
No matter where you think you are, God is right there with you. He promised never to leave you or forsake you even unto the end of the earth. (Matthew 28:20) The Apostle Paul reminds us with a strong resound, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Don’t forget, whenever you find yourself in that deep dark cave of fear, depression, and hopelessness—A simple, nevertheless… will place you in Destiny’s Realm. Step out into the light and see!
There are also others treading water in that same river of uncertainty. Pray for them. God has endless life preservers!
A chapter from my upcoming book What Season Are You In? Understanding the Seasons of Your Destiny.
 A 1993 American comedy film where an egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself repeating the same day over and over again. After indulging in hedonism and numerous suicide attempts, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities.
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