1 Kings 19: 3 ‘Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.’
Elijah is one the great men of God in history and one of the greatest prophets that ever walked the planet. He operated in such a high level anointing and saw many mighty miracles unfold in his generation. He was a man who had angels appear to him. He called down fire from heaven. He prayed and the rain stopped for 3 years. He prayed again and the rain started. His anointing enabled him to outrun a chariot. His cloak parted the waters and a heavenly chariot of horses swept him up and transported him to heaven. The dude had some serious game and he walked a higher path, and yet…
Elijah still struggled with fear and fatigue. In fact his fatigue post Mt Carmel caused him to behave in the most uncanny and uncharacteristic way. He made a mockery of the false gods of Baal. He slaughtered Baal’s false prophets. He challenged the people of Israel to stop vacillating between 2 opinions and take ownership of their faith in God. And yet…
When Queen Jezebel heard the report from her intimidated husband, Ahab, she sent Elijah a death threat and he ran for his life. Why? Cause even the great ones struggle.
Elijah ran off into the wilderness, left his servant behind, slept under a broom tree and pleaded with God to kill him. Fatigue in life and ministry will make you do weird and wacky things. When you are tired, you respond out of character to whom God has called and anointed you to be.
Elijah perceived that he was the only one standing for God and yet his own gross over-estimation of himself blinded him to those whom God had established as a remnant amongst his people. His moment of weakness caused him to see his own pride and comparison to his forefathers. The real issue was he was tired and his weariness caused him to run away in fear.
Someone reading this wants to run away from the frontline of what God has called you to. You are weary and fatigued and you are considering a course of action that will prove catastrophic to God’s purposes in your life. Don’t run away from the battle. Seek rest and refreshment in the presence of God but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. God’s bigger than the threats coming against you and can help you see through the obstacles that stand in your way. Recognize your state for what it is and don’t fall prey to the lies and deception of the enemy. God is with you and just like Elijah experienced, He will sustain you miraculously.
Does anyone out there still struggle with sin?
We don’t like to see our human brokenness through the lens of sin but it is apart of our fallen humanity and it’s helpful to clarify what sin is, if we’re going to overcome it. Sin (hamartia) is defined as missing the mark or more specifically, to fail to live according to God’s intention and design. Because we have failed to live according to God’s original intention and design we are easily misled by the environment around us as well as our own hearts. We are also weakened by our flesh that delights in compromise and we actively resist the wisdom and truth that alone can set us free. In short, we can’t save ourselves, we need Jesus!
Our rebellion against God has caused a spiritual canyon between us and God that only God’s Son is able to remedy. As a result, apart from Christ, our lives epitomize the reflection of a broken mirror, that needs God’s Spirit, truth and community to heal.
There are 2 basic marks of sinfulness that every human has to grapple with:
- Immaturity – Demonstrated by a failure to take responsibility for your actions or situation in life and characterized by impulsive behaviour based upon how one feels.
- Insecurity – Underlying insecurity is FEAR. Fear of not being valuable or significant in your own eyes or the eyes of the world around you. Insecurity causes oneself to compare themselves to others and it results in coveting and jealousy of what someone else has.
None of us are born into this world fully mature or completely secure, be it physically, emotionally or spiritually. We have to experience a process of growth in all aspects of our humanity. Unfortunately, you can be fully mature physically and yet be immature spiritually and emotionally, if you haven’t responded to God’s work in your life. Maturity and security are byproducts of a healthy relationship with God, one’s self and others.
When we find that we miss the mark (and all of us do in some way and often), it’s not going to help to simply give up on yourself or on life but God gives us the grace and power to get up again and grow closer to the mark of maturity and security in Christ. All of us have missed the mark and fallen short of God’s intention and design for us but nothing in our past, present or future is a good enough excuse to give up on God’s love, grace and power to help us grow into the people he’s called us to be.