Three Reminders from Elijah’s Road Trip

Elijah was a mighty Prophet of God. He witnessed spectacular, dramatic and powerful displays of God’s power. However, Elijah was “a man with a nature just like ours” (James 5:17). Even though we’re not calling fire from heaven, there are a few things we need to remember from Elijah’s life. In particular, a few things from his sudden road trip after that little incident with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.

  1. God gives us what we need. – When Elijah ran off to the wilderness (under threat from Ahab & Jezebel), he journeyed for a day and fell asleep under a tree. As he slept, an angel woke him up and gave him fresh baked bread and water. He ate, was refreshed and fell back asleep. It was a simple meal, but totally satisfying.

Reminder: Don’t expect a banquet; rejoice in God’s provision for the moment.

  1. God gives us what we need for the next step. – While Elijah slept, the angel woke him again, gave him instructions to eat one more time, “and he went in the strength of that food for 40 days”. The 40 day journey was of the Lord’s leading, and the angel said “it was too great” for Elijah so an extra boost was needed (1 Kings 19:7).

Reminder: God provides for the next step according to His lead, not ours.

  1. God gives us what we need to correct our course. – When Elijah got to Horeb, he took shelter in a cave; but God called him out of the cave to ask why he was there. Elijah described how he was the only faithful person left in Israel. And God responded with an incredible rock-splitting wind, a powerful ground-shaking earthquake, and an earth-scorching fire. However, God wasn’t in any of them. He then revealed Himself in a “still small voice” announcing 7,000 more Hebrews remained faithful and what Elijah needed to do next. (1 Kings 19:11-18).

Reminder: The voice of God is often a quiet contrast to our natural assumptions.

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On Fearing Failure

Have you ever been afraid to speak about the Bible for fear of getting it wrong?

For example, you know someone who could use Bible-based encouragement or loving admonishment, but you’re worried you’ll not have the “right words” or worse, no answer at all? Perhaps you feel led to take a step forward in faith, but fear has your feet frozen. If so, take heart; you’re not the only one who occasionally struggles on the spiritual battlefield. Most believers have felt that way at times, but consider this; Romans 8:37 says;

“…we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”.

Pause for a moment and ponder that reality. You’re a super-victor by way of the strong, battle-proven arm of someone who loves you. He’s not looking for an excuse to abandon you on the field of conflict. As a matter of fact, He’s the One cheering you on among the smoke and chaos. Look in His direction today, realize His faithfulness and draw strength from His power. And if you don’t have the answers; just be honest, say you don’t, then point to the One who does.

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Wisdom 1.20

A person of wisdom may seem like someone who’s discovered the “secrets” of life, but in truth, they’re the ones who’ve noticed obvious things around themselves. Here’s how Solomon describes the visibility of wisdom:

“Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares.” – Proverbs 1:20 NKJV

In ancient times, the city square represented the heartbeat of a local culture. It was the gathering place for all things social and economic. Solomon used that word-picture and basically said, “Look around! Observe the lives of those who have chosen a path contrary to God’s truth and learn from it.”

Years later, a famous quote would echo that word-picture:

There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.” – John Heywood (16th century British writer)

Are you looking around today? Really looking? What are you seeing? And what are you learning?

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What if you found an old letter describing a location in your yard where money was buried? Would you attempt to find it? Of course, most people would, but finding cash among your roses isn’t likely. However, the Bible’s promise of treasure is more certain. Consider Solomon’s instructions:

“My son, if you… receive my words…treasure my commands…apply your heart to understanding…cry out for discernment, and seek [wisdom]…then you’ll understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5 NKJV

Gaining understanding and knowledge from the Lord isn’t a one-time, high-speed download, it’s an active process of listening, pondering, applying, asking, and seeking (7-12). He then goes on to say that incorporating the knowledge of the Lord will protect, preserve, keep, deliver, and lead the learner to walk in the way of goodness (2:20).

The journey of a disciple should be filled with conversation. We’re made for dialogue and when it comes to our spiritual development, the scripture prompts us to think, pray, ask, listen and dig deeper…searching for precious treasure.

What are you pondering today? What are you seeking? Have you mentioned it to the Lord…and are you listening for His reply?

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Don’t confuse knowledge with wisdom.

Saul the Pharisee was a guy who knew the scriptures. As a matter of fact; with his many years of zealous study and verbatim memorization, he probably mumbled the entire book of Deuteronomy in his sleep. However, after encountering Christ on the road to Damascus; the text that previously made perfect sense in his mind, no longer fit together as before. His “knowledge files” needed some additional sorting and Jesus did just that for him.

God took him away to Arabia for three years to complete his training and reorder his thinking (Galatians 1:15-18). But if he already knew the scriptures so well, why did God set him aside for three years? What else was there to learn? The answer is perspective…God’s perspective, and that usually takes time. James reminds us this way:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives liberally and without reproach and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5

Knowledge is good, wisdom is better…and God’s wisdom is best.

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The Lord’s Day 8-12-18

“Oh Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!” – Psalm 8:1 NKJV

True excellence is defined by the character of God; pure, bright, holy, righteous, and loving. His glory shines all around us and His name is above every name.

Celebrate The Lord’s Day…He is worthy of worship and praise!

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John the Baptist was rugged, bold and popular. He was a “man’s man” who wore camel hair clothes and lived outside. He fearlessly addressed self-centered leaders with words like “brood of vipers!”, so he wasn’t exactly the timid type. He even declared Jesus the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. But later, his story took a drastic turn and we read these shocking words:

“And John…sent them to Jesus saying, Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?” – Luke 7:19 NKJV

Suddenly, the mood changed. Why? It’s because John proved to be human. Not in a sinful, fall-from-grace kind of way, but in a real life, faith-in-motion kind of way. At the point of v.19, John was in prison, having faithfully executed what God commissioned him to do; but doubt crept in. That’s the way it is, you’re walking along with a sense of confidence and the path begins to feel strange and unfamiliar. For John, he had faithfully preached judgment, repentance and the Kingdom, but so far, it appeared nothing was happening. The Romans were still in charge, the Jewish leaders were still corrupt, and he wondered “Could I have been wrong?”

Jesus graciously replied and endorsed John’s ministry by saying, “…among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist…” but He also instructed them to return and tell what they had witnessed; “The blind seeing, the lame walking…etc.” (fulfilling prophecy- Is. 35:5-6).

So, what do you know to be true today? For a moment, set aside the circumstances and ask yourself, “What do I KNOW to be true?” How have you experienced God’s provision in the past and known Him to be faithful? Pause to thank Him for those moments, hold on tight to them, and look forward with confidence because:

“He who calls you is faithful…” (I Thess. 5:24) NKJV

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