"Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, 'So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.' And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life ... "(1 Kings 19:1-3a NASB)
Walk with me for a moment through Elijah's journey with God. Picture it, you are a prophet of God. He speaks through you directly to cause certain events to take place. You have seen God work miracles around you and through you. He's used you to cause it not to rain for three entire years ... continuously provide food for a household when food was hard to come by ... raise a dead young boy back to life ...
Just yesterday you had a battle with 450 non-believers and God caused fire to come down from heaven to prove that their god doesn't have power and doesn't exist. Your God won. You were against the king, queen, all of Israel, and then you had to fight it out with the 450 false prophets. They were defeated and with God you were victorious!
Talk about a natural high! You have to be full of faith. God did all of that through you! Faith has to be coursing through your veins. You have taken God at His word and you have seen the impossible become possible and the improbable, probable!
Queen Jezebel threatens to kill you and you have more faith in her threat than faith in God's protection. Your faith crumbles and you run for the hills. Not only do you run for the hills, when you get there you tell God you are tired of it all, you are ready to die.
What happened? How can a threat from an idol worshiping queen cause the prophet to loose his faith? The elements of the earth were at Elijah's command, he even saw death overcome through his words ... but when his death seemed imminent, all faith was lost.
It seems as though the prophet believed more for other's circumstances than he did for his own.
I understand that thought process. It's what I've been dealing with. I can agree with and for someone else's miracle, but I have a hard time doing it for myself. I can pray and believe for the outrageous to happen in other people's lives - and see the fruit of the prayers and requests - but I still shrink back when it comes to my own needs, wants and desires. Something in Elijah, something in me, leaned toward believing God can do for others, but believing for myself - an impossibility. My great fear, in allowing unbelief to take over, has been that I am not pleasing God. My greatest desire is to please Him in everything I do.
But God ...
Through His faithfulness He has shown me something else in this passage. You have to read the entirety of 1 Kings 19 to appreciate it. Yes, the man of God, the chosen mouth piece of God had a faith crisis. Even though he saw God do some pretty unimaginable things, he wanted to pack it all up and do away with it all. And you know what? In spite of Elijah's fear and lack of faith in that situation ...
GOD DID NOT CHASTISE HIM!
God did not tell Elijah how bad he should feel about himself for having a sudden lapse in his faith. He didn't tell Elijah how disappointed He was and how He was not pleased with him. No, instead God allowed Elijah to feel and express his feelings, and while he was having his faith crisis, God still provided for him.
How many of you are you sighing a big relief; because I certainly am!
Because I have asked God to help me through my unbelieving times I have been consumed with beating myself up about it (that whole perfection thing trying to rise up). It never occurred to me that He isn't as bothered about it as I am!
He isn't planning my demise.
He isn't withdrawing His hand from me.
He isn't leaving me to my own devices.
On the contrary, I still see His hand in my life and I know I am still being provided for.
So, tell the Jezebels in your life, "Your threats and taunts may have shaken my faith today BUT GOD is still working on my behalf." God's most heralded prophet, someone who dealt God's word with authority, had a faith crisis and God still chose to use him. For that reason I am assured God will continue use me.
No longer will I beg God not to strike me down because I doubted for a second, minute or hours out of the day.
No longer will I agonize over my lapse in faith.
No longer will I feel guilty about my faith crisis.
Thank you Jesus, for showing me that even in my faith crises You are still faithful!
" ... Great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:23 NASB)
Just Around the Corner,