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  • Writer's pictureChristy Schuette

Confident

June 17


I Kings 19-20

Psalm 72:17-20

Proverbs 16:4-5

Acts 13

Confident

 

“Then Elijah became afraid and immediately ran for his life…he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness.  He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough!  Lord take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers.’ At that moment the Lord passed by.  A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs 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.  After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper.” 

I Kings 19:3-4, 11-12 HCSB

 

Yesterday, we talked about Elijah’s faith and confidence in the Lord.  He stood up to the prophets of Baal.  He taunted them and boldly called down fire from Heaven.  Today we get a glimpse of Elijah that reveals he is just like us.  There are moments in our lives when we are confident and bold, full of faith and ready to take on the enemy.  Then something happens and we shrink back in fear and wonder if God will come through for us this time.  A few years ago, Brian and I went to Israel, and we visited Mt. Carmel and the church that is built on the site where Elijah is believed to have had the encounter with the prophets of Baal.  On top of the mountain, you can see for miles.  Those mountaintop experiences are amazing, but they don’t last.  There are times in all our lives when we have huge spiritual victories, or when we feel the Lord’s presence in a mighty way, when He answers a specific prayer we have been praying for a long time, or when we have a major spiritual breakthrough.  Those are significant times, and their importance can’t be minimized, but they are not the norm.  Most of our days are spent further down the mountain.  Some days we find ourselves in the valley, but most days we are just grazing on the plains.  I think the secret to maintaining our confidence and remaining faithful when we are not on top of the mountain is found in this passage. 

 

If we look at this passage, we find two things that are helpful.  Elijah was at a low point.  He was so scared that he asked God to take his life.  He was not afraid of the prophets of Baal, but he was really scared of Jezebel, the queen.  In verses 10 and 14, Elijah tells God, “I alone am left!”  He feels all alone.  His perception was not accurate:  He was not really the only one left!  In verse 18, God tells him that there are 7,000 in Israel who have not bowed to Baal and have remained faithful.  Elijah just needed to be reminded that he was not alone.  In difficult times, I think we tend to pull away and isolate ourselves.  We say that we need “time alone to process.”  I’m not sure this is a good thing.  The difficult times are when we need our fellow Christians the most.  We need our people.  We need them to pray with us and for us, to hold us accountable and to hold us up when we think we are going to fall.  We are not intended to do this life alone.  We are meant to be in community.  Make sure you are a part of a community of believers.  I don’t just mean being in a church, although you do need to be in a church.  I mean that you need to be in a group of people that you can be real with.  That can come in lots of forms: a small group, a Bible study, a prayer group, an accountability group.  You need people.  If you don’t have that, find it.  Now!  I’m serious.  Do whatever you have to do to find a group of people to do life with.  You need to know you aren’t alone. You need them and they need you. 

 

The other helpful thing in this passage is found in verses 12 and 13.   It is important to recognize that God doesn’t usually shout at us in an earthquake or fire.  He usually speaks to us in a soft whisper.  That means that we must listen carefully and pay attention, or we will miss it.  Elijah was listening for God’s voice.  As soon as he heard the soft whisper, he got up and stood at the entrance to the cave to hear what God had to say to him.  We are so busy and so easily distracted that we often don’t slow down long enough to hear the soft whisper.  We need to be in communication with God on a regular basis so that we recognize the sound of His voice.  If we only call on Him when we are in trouble, it will be hard to distinguish His voice from all the other voices yelling in our ear.  But if we are in the practice of meeting with Him every day, when trouble comes, our first instinct will be to go to Him, and we will know Him so well that we will not have difficulty discerning what He is telling us.  And often, during our time with Him leading up to that crisis, He will be preparing us and giving us wisdom so that when it comes, we already know how we should react.  Daily communication with God and staying connected with other believers are the secrets to remaining faithful and maintaining our confidence in God in all circumstances. 

 

 

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