“When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.””
1 Kings 19:13-14

The Scripture you just read came from Elijah just after he had a tremendous victory with God on Mount Carmel. It was there that the prophet used the power of God to help put down the worship of Baal. Elijah took a stand against 450 prophets of Baal and King Ahab and organized a “prophet duel” of sorts. While the odds were stacked against Elijah, he stood his ground and relied on the power of God Almighty. God responded by lighting the fire that consumed Elijah’s slain bull on the altar that had been soaked with buckets of water. A definite miracle had occurred before thousands of onlookers.

Elijah’s faith and actions on Mt. Carmel outraged Queen Jezebel. She ordered her army to hunt down Elijah and kill him. Elijah fled to the desert and began begging God to die. His fear and loneliness were consuming this worried warrior. Despair filled the cave where he waited for his captors. In his depression, Elijah “came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’” 1 Kings 19:4

Elijah became more despondent and disheartened to the point he was not drinking, eating or exercising. Then God spoke to him and encouraged Elijah to go back the way he came and enlist the help of others. God had prepared 7,000 people who had not bowed down to Baal and would join Elijah in following the call of God upon their lives.

God knew his prophet was feeling alone and overwhelmed. God’s desire was for him not to give up because there was work for Elijah to do. When we need direction, answer God’s first question to Elijah, “What are you doing here?” God has you right where you are for a reason, and He may have a job for you to do, a job you’re missing because you’re too worried about “what’s next” instead of “what now.”

As we pray for God’s direction, let’s remember to listen to His promises and review the past miracles and blessings in our lives. We never stand alone with God. He is our rock, our fortress, our redeemer, and our strength. Give God a chance! “For He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.” John 3:34

Personal Application:

In speaking to the struggling believers in Rome, the apostle Paul wrote: Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom.15:5. How does this verse speak to you?

Jesus reminds us: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matt. 11:28-30

In what ways can you encourage others? Did you know that by helping others you are also receiving a healing? The mere act of assisting others stirs up numerous beneficial
chemicals in our bodies and spirit.

[Image Credit: FreeBibleimages.org]

Jim Grassi, D. Min.