This fiery prophet of God, Elijah, was not a perfect man. Righteous – in that he sought to be in right standing with God. But not perfect.
Right after the incredible victory in the face of overwhelming odds – Elijah ran.
That’s right. Jezebel, the wicked queen, heard of Elijah’s sacrifice and God’s response – and she in turn sent a death threat to Elijah.
And he ran.
His faith in God vanished in the face of a wicked queen. It’s not the first time a man’s faith wavered in a crisis – and it certainly wasn’t the last.
After calling fire from heaven – the evil schemes of a woman sent him scurrying away.
Okay – maybe he didn’t scurry. Actually, he went quite a distance. On foot. 250 miles in fact. He ran 100 miles and then walked the rest. Dude was in serious shape.
And God met him there. Exhausted, alone, and without resources, Elijah found God in the darkness of his fear. God asked him what he was doing – and Elijah admitted that he felt alone -and that his enemies pursued his death. (I Kings 19: 10, 14).
Did God argue with Elijah? No.
Did He send down fire from heaven to show his power and remind Elijah of the recent victory over evil? No.
Instead, God asked Elijah for a favor.
Exhausted, tired, alone – begging to quit the calling God placed on Elijah, God refused to accept Elijah’s resignation.
Ever been there?
This particular moment in Elijah’s life resonated with me deeply this weekend as I considered the circumstances in my life of late. While I haven’t battled evil priests or called fire down from heaven (exactly), I have been fighting a spiritual battle for what seems like forever. Heavily oppressed for months at a time, I have had to call on the Spirit of God to bring peace into chaos, freedom to captivity, and life to death. I have battled against the enemy’s devices and attacks – and God has been victorious.
And I was wiped out. Literally physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. And I’ve been begging God to let me quit.
Now – when God is restoring life to marriage and family – where God is bringing freedom from slavery to my husband and myself – I have found myself with my head on the ground, having dropped my sword, BEGGING God to just let me quit.
the enemy fights dirty. he fights nasty. And he uses every device to bring me down. and after a constant barrage of assault, I found myself not wanting to go on. not wanting to be on the frontline anymore. not wanting to face down the evil that threatens to steal, kill, and destroy what God has done and is doing in my life, in my marriage and in our home.
But God is refusing to accept my resignation. And He is asking me to do more.
I have had to simplify a lot of things in my life in order to hear his still, small voice – and He speaks to my heart. Facing opposition – facing criticism and rejection – He is asking me to BE REAL and face the enemies I’ve battled far too long and surrender. Not to the enemy, but to God’s victory in my life over my own addictions.
To food. To relationships & sex. To the need to control. To anger. To perfectionism.
And it’s scary – but it’s also powerful – and as God puts everything into place so I can BE FREE – I’m stepping into freedom and out of bondage. Out of fear.
That’s what Elijah did – and He delivered the message of God in the face of sheer evil. And gave Elijah an apprentice who saw Elijah whisked off into heaven in a chariot of fire.
I don’t imagine myself to be another Elijah. But I am moved by his trust in God. And I am motivated to live the same way.