Thursday, June 4, 2015

A New Assignment

I Kings 19:15-21

God used Elijah in incredible ways. God listened to his prayers. God initiated times of talking with him. They were tight. His story is referenced not only in history of the Old Testament, but in the illustrations of the New Testament. It is easy to sit Elijah on a pedestal. Except that, God also shares his humanity with us. There are times when he toppled. Sometimes toppling times are the easiest to understand.

You know, I'm glad. No, I have not taken on and defeated 450 prophets of Baal (I Kings 18:20-40), but I do have stories of God using my life. I have answers to prayer. I have times of God initiating toward me, of hearing his voice in the sound of gentle quietness. And I am human. I too have times of, it is enough!

The progression of the story recorded in I Kings 19 is a great picture of humanity and God's ways. Just a few verses before the great victory at Mount Carmel is told for us. Elijah is the man! But then the man ... because of the threat of one woman ... is afraid, running for his life, and hiding. Great victory leading to great depression.

But he can't hide from God. (I've learned that too.)

While hiding the word of the Lord came to him. The word of the Lord came to him. God initiated. Elijah was too down to even consider coming to God.

God didn't need to shout, or use hurricane winds, or earthquakes, or fires, or anything miraculous. God whispered. The whispers of God shout in the souls of his people. Elijah heard.

And he responded, albeit in a 'poor me' way, but the conversation was underway. God had Elijah's attention.

God doesn't rebuke Elijah for his fear, or for running and hiding.                                                           God doesn't mention his eeyore-ish attitude.                                                                                            God seems to overlook all that humanity. He needs Elijah and has a job for him to do.

Elijah is commissioned to anoint two kings and Elisha the prophet. His role is to set up the next generation.

I've had victories.                                                                                                                                      I've had down times.                                                                                                                                 I've heard the voice of God in quietness.                                                                                                 I've been commissioned.

But the story continues. Actually we are not told if Elijah ever fulfilled that assignment. Hmmm. I think I want to veer from the story at this point.

Except for this ...

In great victory or in the reality of humanity, Elijah's story testifies to "The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God." (I Kings 18:39) 

How has God shown up in your life in the midst of your down times?
Who has ministered to you with the sharing of their humanity?
How can your story be an encouragement to your friends?

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