October 24, 2015 by pastorjdo3
Tuesday, the Northpointe Discipleship Group met to discuss I Kings the 19th. The full breath of the story surrounds the prophet Elijah, who has just finished a show down with the prophets of Baal, the God of Jezebel and now King Ahab, that is being promoted to the children of Israel. Elijah calls down fire! Then calls forth rain! Kills all the prophets of Baal! Runs faster than a chariot! He does all these things, only to find himself exhausted and weary. Even after these great victories, Elijah is weak and ready to die.
Our first point of discussion was found in verse 1 of Chapter 19. It was interesting that after such a long battle and amazing display of power, that Ahab could only bring himself to talk about Elijah and not the Lord! When standing for the Lord, we must make sure to give God all the glory. Even when giving God all the glory, we must know that some will see it all and hear it all, and reply with a hardened heart. What ashamed it is that the people praised God (Chapter 18:39) but Jezebel and Ahab could only focus on Elijah. They were looking at the battle that occurred between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, when the true display was God showing forth His power to the people of God! Sometimes we find ourselves like Ahab and Jezebel. God goes through extra-ordinary feats to show himself, and we are captured by the chaos and not the creator. Worse, often the one who is given the credit is the one who assumes credit for the feat. Could it be that Elijah was allowing or assuming credit for the feats of the Lord; and now feels miserable that He proved himself to be who he was but not the Lord? We must be careful in the future to make sure God gets the glory, even when our names are major roles to the story.
We also found it interesting that serving the Lord is not for the weak. Serving God often makes you a target. People are challenged and intimidated by your faith and confidence in the Lord. We must understand the boldness that it takes not only to take the stand for Christ and to preach the gospel but it takes boldness after the stance is taken. He now becomes a target for the adversary. It takes boldness to teach and preach the Word of God to a dying world! And though people may fear the Lord, they often see you as just you!
I shared with the group the emotional and physical struggle that is often experienced after great battles. Elijah, fresh from the mountain, had fought the prophets of Baal, run faster than a chariot, called down fire from heaven, called down rain from the heavens (which featured him praying intensely and sending his servant back 7 times from the mountain) found himself mentally, spiritually and physically exhausted to the point of death. Though he was not in the garden, he found himself overwhelmed with the task and responsibility of his position. We all get here! We all have moments where the weight is too much, and the threat of what could be seems insurmountable and all too real! Elijah, though he knew God’s power, couldn’t stop the voice of the “nay sayer”. Sometimes we find ourselves hearing the enemies voice louder than the voice of the Lord! We must comfort and strengthen ourselves with His word and walk in faith towards our destiny.
The next topic of discussion is the choice of isolation. Elijah has companionship. He has a loyal servant who has served him faithfully. He has not only served him, but believes in him and the call on his life enough to follow him. He has watched Elijah through all these feats, and knows that the Lord is with Elijah, and has developed confidence in the Lord and a faith of his own; yet, Elijah drops him off on the way to lay under the tree. This is so typical of human beings (especially Christians). We create the circumstances that validate our emotional and spiritual dryness. Elijah felt alone, even though he had a servant and the Lord with him. He also knew that Obadiah had 100 prophets waiting to come forth. Despite this information, he let his servant, went into the wilderness and claimed to be alone! We must stop creating these circumstances. Surely if he had kept his servant with him, the servant could have encouraged and strengthened him. He would have reminded him of the victories and what Obadiah had informed him, yet He left him to wallow in his own pity. We do likewise, and it needs to stop. The group was challenged not to cut off the people that care for them and believe in them.
The great news was The Lord sent an Angel! Even thought Elijah cut off his support system to wallow in pity, The Lord sent him an Angel to restore him. It was great to see that the Angle woke him from his party, and gave him something to eat! “Get up and eat” he told Elijah. He was obedient, but again returned to his sleep. Again, the Angel woke him and fed him again! We talked about situations where God sent us an Angel, and times where God sent us as Angels. It is good news that The Lord would not allow him to remain in his current state. God is a restorer not just for Kingdoms sake, but for the individuals sake. He wanted Elijah not just to return to service, but to return to health. We praised God for the persistence of the Angels in our lives, and committed to be persistent with those God has given us to minister too. God doesn’t give up on us, and we shouldn’t give up on others.
He fed him so well, that the meal carried him for 40 days. God gave him enough strength with one meal that Elijah was able to travel to the next destination without struggle. The question was asked of the group, “Have you ever been full? Full is that feeling where you are fed and satisfied. It’s that moment where you were down and struggling, and God gives you a word, song, prayer, person, hug, etc that gave you the strength to continue on though your circumstances have not changed. Jezebel still wanted to kill him! There was still pressure from “being alone” (his false reality), but God’s word via the Angel and the food he ate was enough.