Thursday, May 28, 2015

Elijah {Just Like Us}

The worship of Yahweh was at stake.  God raised up Elijah to turn the Israelite’s hearts back to the One True God.  Ahab, the evil King of Israel would rather have his ears tickled than hear the truth.  He quickly started calling Elijah, “the troubler of Israel.”  Who was this man, so fearless and mighty, that he would dare deliver God’s words of judgment?  Neither dew nor rain for three whole years, the bold prophet declared. The Strong God’s name would carry on amongst His chosen people; His faithfulness demanded it. 

God showed up at Mount Carmel, the day Elijah called upon His great name. The water-logged altar sizzled right up as the Holy Fire consumed everything in its path. God had His way that day as the Israelites fell on their faces in repentant dust. 

Perhaps the spiritual high left him unguarded, but the moment Jezebel intimidated Elijah’s life, he tucked tail and ran.  Satan took one of Elijah’s greatest strengths and twisted it completely around. This was the man that had killed all of the prophets of Baal, but a single threat from this woman left him undone. Elijah bowed low to fear that day. 

Elijah found himself a day’s journey into the wilderness where he prayed to die.  With the wilderness came a harsh and uncultivated land where his identity came into question.  In this place, God desired to come and speak into his ache, revealing Himself and thus, revealing Elijah, as well. 

After God met his physical needs, He asked Elijah a simple question: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  Such a simple question asked, but one that would get straight to the heart of the issue.  I am all alone here, Lord.  I am the only one living my life for you!  {Have I not muttered these same words?  I am the only one who prays for national repentance.  I am the only one who changes so many dirty diapers.  I am the only one who cleans dish after dish.  I am the only one and surely this is all about me!} 

The wind tore off the rocks and the fierce earthquake shook Elijah to his core.  The Holy Fire consumed the shrubs huddled against the cave. But, it was the quiet voice of God that beckoned Elijah out of the cave. 

In that intimate moment, God tenderly knew what His child needed.  Elijah needed qol demamah daqah. Elijah needed a soft murmuring sound. Elijah needed a still small voice.   

God inquired once again, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  Elijah answered the very same way.  I am the only one living my life for you! 

Perhaps I am the same as Elijah.  James 5:17 tells me that Elijah was a man, just like us.  But, it breaks my heart that Yahweh’s presence washed over the Prophet in a soft voice and yet Elijah’s perspective still didn’t change.  I would have hoped that a tender encounter with the Almighty would have changed his thinking. Have glorious encounters with the King left me unchanged as well? 

And yet, God’s tenderness didn’t stop with His still small voice. He sent Elijah out again, with fresh purpose. The Lord even threw in a little sovereignty for good measure:  I have seven thousand in Israel, none of which have bowed down to Baal.

You aren’t alone, Elijah.  There are others living their lives for me, as well. Things are not always what they seem to be.  I promise I am up to something good.  You simply need to walk by faith.  I’ll take care of my own glory. 

It’s when we feel alone that Satan preys upon this lie of being alone.  Feeling quarantined, even the smallest hint of danger spirals us further into isolation. We become depressed, sometimes to the point of begging God to remove the breath He breathed into us. Our sense of purpose seems to have been yanked away, because, well, how could God use us now that we have run?   

Lift up your head, dear one. Be nourished and turn your ear to the soft murmuring of the Holy of Holies.

No comments: