“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
Elijah just 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 gods 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 let him die. His fear and loneliness were all consuming to 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 even 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 who 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
When you are feeling alone, can you remember the past victories God has given you? Keeping a list of those in your Bible will help you during those times when you might be doubting God’s presence in your life. Read Hebrews 11
The book of Psalms has many wonderful promises we can lean into during times of discouragement: Psalms 55:22 “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you.” and Psalms 56:3 “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee.”
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