The word Journey is defined:
1.an act of traveling from one place to another.
2. a long and often difficult process of personal change and development.
I absolutely love it when, along the journey, the Lord provides a lamppost, and I can see a little more of Him. It illuminates me as well, revealing areas not previously seen.
I know I don’t deserve His mercy…it’s a special moment when He grants it to me anyway.
Last year, I felt a lot like Elijah did when he was running away from Jezebel and Ahab.
Here’s how the story begins:
In 1 Kings 16, we learn Ahab began to reign over Israel. The Bible says Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than ALL the kings of Israel who were before him.
Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, were evil. They did not worship God, but rather they believed in Baal and Asherah.
Not only did they not worship God – they hated anyone who represented Him. Jezebel had prophets of God killed to the point that Obediah had to hide a hundred men in caves, feeding them only with bread and water.
They searched and searched for Elijah until one day the Lord told Elijah to confront Ahab.
– So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?
If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.
Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.
Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it.
And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”
The people accepted Elijah’s challenge. From morning to noon the Bible says they cried out to Baal to answer them, and when nothing happened they began to cut themselves with swords and lances, until blood poured out from them.
This is what false gods, false teachings and lies from the enemy will do to you.
Now, it’s God’s turn as Elijah does the following:
– Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down.
Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs of seed.
And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time.
And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.
(Please don’t miss how many times he soaked the offering and the altar and the wood.)
And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word.
Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”
Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”
Now, let’s take this moment in for just a minute. God sent Elijah to face the evil ruler of Israel (who wanted Elijah dead), and when Elijah called upon God, He sent fire down from heaven, completely evaporating that soaked altar, to completely shut down any doubt of the great I Am.
No disrespect, but that was a mic drop moment. Can you imagine being Elijah and taking part in the glorious display of God’s power?
Jezebel readies for revenge at the beginning of chapter 19. The Bible says Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done.
(Ahab runs home and knows he’s going to get Jezebel fired up.)
Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.”
(Who would care what she said? God just sent fire from heaven and showed them all who was King.)
But, Elijah was afraid.
He arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree.
And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
Elijah wanted to die? He ran for his life?
-And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again.
And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
I’ve been in a situation during the last couple of years with people who were like Ahab and Jezebel to me (several people, actually).
They truly sought after my life, mocked my faith, threatened me and used their power to torture and scare me, almost to death.
Although I’m not even close to being like the prophet Elijah, I did (and still do) try to serve God and show how His glory has changed and saved my life.
That paragraph of Elijah running for his life, wanting to die…I’ve been there. I deeply felt the anguish, despair and hopelessness as he sat down and just wanted to give up. Some enemies suck the life right out of you, and they are so relentless and evil that you think you’ll never win.
I forget so often that the battle is the Lord’s.
But, this was ELIJAH. Extremely famous prophet who performed and saw many miracles, (also did not die and was taken up to heaven), and had an angel wake him up for breakfast. How and why could He lose hope? Especially the same day God let the fire consume the offering, and all of that water…
I mentioned to the Lord when I read this – that I wished we could see miracles like that now. Yes, we see miracles, but not like I was waking up to an angel preparing food for me…
Haven’t I also seen God’s power? So, why should I despair or lose hope?
Elijah had seen great works by God’s hand and still became afraid and discouraged. I find comfort in this that our flesh is weak, and God came to his side and gave him the strength for the next part of the journey. 40 days to be exact.
Not a five-year plan or even a one year calendar. Just 40 days.
The next morning, I headed to Chick Fil A for breakfast.
After ordering my usual chicken minis, I reached the window – only to be told that someone had already paid for my order.
Food for the journey had been prepared for me…
Yes, I cried.
At that moment, I felt like I was the only person on the planet…as if the heavens were watching to see if I would figure out what God just did.
You see stories of people doing this for others, and I have done it, but the timing of it for me was like the Lord… sitting there, maybe hands folded, with a smile, showing me He can provide my breakfast ANY WAY HE WANTS.
With an angel in the woods or…at a Chick Fil A drive thru.
He’s got this. He will sustain me for the journey ahead. No matter who the enemy is.
February 6, 2017
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RESCUE – lauren daigle