by Jim Kilgore
Elijah was a Spiritual Giant. He lived a truly remarkable life for God. He had what we all want in our Spiritual Lives: He had great Faith, he was Fearless and he was Faithful to God. He was genuinely a Man of God.
YET, it must be remembered that Elijah was a man, just as we are. James 5:17: “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are…”
Just after he was used of God to call Fire Down out of Heaven; and right after God used him to kill 450 false Prophets of Baal, the devil got busy to rob him of the joy he just experienced in serving God. For the VICTORY of God on Mount Carmel was a Great DEFEAT for the devil! Therefore, the devil does not take long to retaliate. The attack came soon after Elijah arrived in Jezreel. A Battle May Have Been Won, But The War Was Not Over.
After the grueling temptation of Jesus, which Jesus dealt with successfully, notice what the Bible says about the devil. Luke 4:13, “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him FOR A SEASON.” We find that the devil Immediately uses the fear of Persecution Against the Man of God.
I Kings 19:1, “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.” Ahab was an INSTIGATOR.
This was a DISTORTED picture of what had Actually Happened the day before. The focus was on the killing of the 450 False Prophets, and he completely left out the Challenge of God vs. Baal with God completely winning the Battle!
I Kings 19:2. “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.” Jezebel INFLICTED the Persecution towards the Man of God! Ahab’s report INFURIATED his wife, the Queen.
Elijah was weary and allowed this threat of persecution to Force him to Flee. WHY would they want to kill the Man of God? They Should desire to HONOR him rather than to HARASS him! What was their INCENTIVE for Persecuting the best person in the land? The answer is that EVIL will Always Persecute Good. Elijah had dealt a Devastating blow to the devil; now he will be the Object of a Special Attack by all that is evil!
Elijah felt all alone and was very frightened now. I Kings: 19:4: “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.”
Elijah was Weary and Wanting to die! He was so discouraged. Satan was after him to stop his ministry for God. He had just been used by God to Defeat the Devil one day earlier, now he wants to DIE, but WHY?
IT SEEMS ELIJAH MAY HAD FORGOTTEN THAT WHILE WE MAY DEFEAT AN ENEMY ON ONE DAY, HE WILL SURELY RETURN TO ATTACK US AGAIN!
I Peter 5:8, “ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
THE DEVIL USES MANY THINGS TO DISCOURAGE AND DEFEAT US
- He uses our DISAPPOINTMENTS: Dismay, Low spirits, and Pessimism
To the knowledgeable Christian, All Disappointments Are God’s Appointments.
› To Be Disappointed Is to Forget God’s Promise in Romans 8:28. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
- He uses our DISCOURAGEMENT: To make us less determined; to try to persuade us not to do something. He does not want us serving Jesus!
ALL DISCOURAGEMENT IS OF THE DEVIL
To Be Discouraged Is to Forget I Samuel 30:6. “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
- He uses DESPAIR: We feel Hopeless; we feel like giving up; we often lose heart and confidence.
To Despair Is to Forget the encouragement from II Cor. 4:8-9, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed
WHO HAS NOT FELT ALONE AND REJECTED AT TIMES?
Who has not wanted to run away from the pressures and problems that we face? Who has not said, “God how much more must I endure?” Elijah certainly felt this way, and God noticed! Elijah was a man of like us. He had his HIGH days as well as his LOW days.
At Mount Carmel, God showed up for EVERYONE. At Mount Horeb, God showed up for ELIJAH. This reminds us that while God cares for the great CROWDS, He never loses sight of the INDIVIDUAL that needs Him.
So Now Let Us Learn a Few Lessons From Elijah’s Worst Day!
What Exactly Can We Learn From His Discouragement?
- Lesson: God will NOURISH us when we have Nothing!
I Kings 19:5-8: “And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. 6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink and laid him down again. 7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. 8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.”
- Elijah would say to us, I SHOULD have known God would feed and care for me. He fed me before using the Ravens and the Poor Widow! How quickly we FORGET the Past Blessings of God in our Lives! What an encouragement God’s Past Help to us are during seasons of discouragement.
- When you feel Desperate and as though you have Nothing, remember to look to your Father. He WILL care for you Because He cares for you.
I Peter 5:7 reminds us to “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
- Lesson: God will NEVER ABANDON us even though we may have Given Up on Ourselves.
If you forget everything else I have taught you today, please remember this truth: God loves you FOREVER; no matter what! He knows we are flawed; he knows our Struggles; he knows the things we WANT to do that we do not always do! Yet, He Still Loves You!
Jesus will never Abandon you! Never! Jesus Knew what it was like to be ABANDONED by His Friends! Peter’s denied Jesus. All of His Disciples Abandoned Him. His own Country rejected him. John 1:11;, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
Hebrews 13:5:, “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
SO, WHEN YOU FEEL ALL ALONE, REMEMBER THAT JESUS REMAINS WITH YOU!
- Like Elijah, you may Fail, but you are NOT a Failure UNLESS you make it the final part of your life.
- Like Elijah, God loves you at your BEST, yet He Continues loving you at your WORST! Do you think Jesus stopped loving Peter when He looked at Peter after he had denied Him three times? No, the love of God is a constant in our lives. There is NOTHING we can do that would cause Jesus top with-drawl His love from us.
- God’s love does NOT Place us on TRIAL Every day! We do NOT need to prove our WORTHINESS of God’s love daily!
We want to see the Elijah’s, the David’s, the Paul’s, the Moses’ and the Peter’s as FLAWLESS-Perfect, but they were not.
- David committed Adultery and Murder; Filled w/ Pride in Counting the Fighting men at the Wrong time.
- Jonah Rebelled
- Peter Denied the Lord
- All the Disciples Fled in Fear
- Moses had his Temper
- John-Mark likewise QUIT on God
Yet, God still loved one and used them once they returned to Jesus. God is not proud of us when we sin, but there IS forgiveness with Him when we ask.
I John 1:9 invites each Believer to take that sin to Jesus. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”
My Prayer for my Life and this Church: Dear Father, please place a strong desire within each of us to serve you today. Please remind us of your faithfulness in loving each one. Please reveal your Glorious Grace and Power to our part of the world as you did for Elijah on Mount Carmel. When we have Difficult Days, and, we will face many such days, let us hear your voice, even when you whisper reminding us of our Great Value and the Love you have for each one in this world. May we Welcome your Whisper and ever learn to Value your Voice as you speak to us in that still-small voice. I know that you will speak words of love, of care, of comfort, and encouragement to your children as we seek to honor YOU! Amen.
by Jim Kilgore