Time to Get Back to Work

March 29, 2016

Time to Get Back to Work

1 Kings 19:9-18

And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 

10 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.” 11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” 

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 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?” 

14 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.” 15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.”

The scripture today is an account of where Elijah’s state of being is at after his showdown with the prophets of Baal and the great victory that was won when the Lord showed up and manifested Himself to be God.  The wicked queen Jezebel has threatened to take Elijah’s life and suddenly he has turned from being this mighty representative of the power of God to a scared and fleeing man.  Even though fear has gripped him the Lord has not forsaken him and continues to sustain him as he flees the retribution of Jezebel.  This is where we find Elijah.  Elijah has so despaired and become discouraged that He has even ask the Lord to take his life.  The Lord gives him food and water by the hand of His angel, which sustains him for forty days and forty nights while he travels and comes to the mountain of God on Mount Horeb.  This is where we find him now as the Lord begins to speak and deal with him.  Here we find Elijah having a bit of a pity party as he tells God how he is the only one left that is serving God and now they are trying to kill him also.   At this point God is about to teach Elijah a lesson as He tells Elijah to go and stand on the mountain for the Lord is about to pass by.  We then read the account of how three powerful manifestations of wind, earthquake and fire come, but the Lord is not in any of these powerful demonstrations and after these came a gentle whisper, a still small voice.  What did the voice say to Elijah?  “What are you doing here Elijah?”  Of course Elijah proceeds to tell the Lord how he is the only good guy left and how now they are trying to kill him too.

The Lord doesn’t even address Elijah’s concerns at first, instead He gives him his next three job assignments and then He lets Elijah know that there are still seven thousand that have not bowed to Baal.  

There are a number of lessons to be gleaned from this. The one that I think is closest to all of us is that no matter how close we are walking with God and experiencing His power and presence sometimes we fall back into the trap of identifying with our natural man rather than who we are in Christ.  In Galatians 2:20 the apostle Paul reminds us of who we now are, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  This is who Elijah was, but fear entered in and faith left him because he lost sight of who he was and his identity in God.  We can easily look at Elijah’s life in hindsight and see that no one was going to take Elijah’s life unless God allowed them too.  We can see that for Elijah, but we struggle with believing that for ourselves.  We get so caught up with all of our woes that we get off track with our purpose and destiny.  

I believe what God was showing Elijah through those powerful manifestations was that these are not the essence of who He is.  We may see great and mighty miracles, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that God is in them.  Where was God?  He was in the still small voice in Elijah’s spirit.  That is where He is in us.  It wasn’t Elijah’s concern, nor is it ours to question the power that God demonstrates through us, or His provision or His protection.  Our primary concern is, are we walking in who we are in Christ?  Are we identified with Him rather than this old man?  Are we carrying out the tasks that He has given each one of us to do?  We don’t need to worry about us being the only one, because God will always preserve a remnant for Himself, no matter how outwardly bad things get.  

Fear had driven Elijah to the mountain, but by God giving Elijah his assignments He was saying to Elijah, “don’t fear what man can do to you, you are not through until I say that you are through.”  God has a purpose for each one of us in Christ and I don’t believe we are through until God says we are through.  

Now it is time to get back to work with the Father’s business and don’t forget who you are.  “You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”.  ‘You can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you,’ “because as he isso are we in this world.”   “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Blessings,

#kent

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