Do you ever feel like you are two people in your walk with God? I often do. One of me is full of faith and love for God, desiring God above all else (that’s typically the morning “me.” The other me is living the day to day, hardly thinking of God as I face the tasks at hand, seeing the things in the world and doubting God’s faithfulness, sploshing around like a boat with no rudder or oars. I get disgusted with that “me.” I say, “What’s wrong with you??? What happened to the believing you? What happened to the you that is strong in the power of God’s might??? What happened to the you that is all about walking in God and dwelling in His presence?”
I shake my head. I don’t know.
But as little as I know about why I am the way I am, I am learning more about God and His thoughts toward me. This is what I want to share with you. God has been kind enough to show me a great example of His thoughts toward our topsy turvy, ….up, then down…. minds and hearts.
This week, I was thinking about the time that Jesus took James and John and Peter up a mountain, and as the three disciples looked on, Jesus met and spoke with Moses and Elijah. I know a good bit about Moses. One of my favorite verses in the old testament is referring to a time when Moses and Joshua were in the tabernacle. It says, “And the LORD spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) How cool it that??? So, here’s Jesus, meeting with Moses, His friend, again. But, I didn’t know a lot about Elijah so I did some digging.
Elijah appears in First Kings chapter 17. He’s a prophet. The King of Israel at that time was Ahab and He did not follow God. He was married to a woman named Jezebel and both he and his wife worshipped Baal and trusted in the prophets of Baal.
This is where we meet Elijah. God sent him to Ahab to tell Ahab that it would not rain again until Elijah said so. And that’s exactly what happened. Read First Kings, chapters 17 and 18 for all the details. In those chapters a drought comes over the land, and during the drought, the Lord takes care of Elijah. Then, when God is ready to end the drought and send the rain, He shows His glory and power through one of the greatest miracles in the Old Testament, and Elijah is the one that God uses to show the people that He is the One and only true God. It’s very powerful. So powerful, that the people fall on their faces and turn to God, and at Elijah’s command, they slew all the prophets of Baal.
So, as one might expect, after this glorious miracle and showing of God’s power, Elijah was feeling super strong in God and was totally fearless and faithful. BUT WAIT!!!! Let’s read on. Once the great miracle happens and the people turn their hearts towards God and kill the prophets of Baal, Ahab’s wife Jezebel finds out what happened and she was furious. She declared that within a day’s time she would have Elijah killed just as he had killed the prophets of Baal.
And this is where we would think that after God proving Himself time and time again to Elijah, Elijah would be fearless and not let the words of Jezebel bother him one bit.
But, that is not what happened. What happened is this……. Elijah heard that Jezebel was going to have him killed and he ran! He ran fast and hard. He found a hiding place and then asked God to kill him. Yep. No faithfulness, no trust. Just fear and a desire to die.
Two of me. And two different Elijahs. One doing mighty miracles in the Lord. One running like a school girl.
I am not here to judge Elijah. I’m not even here to judge myself.
I want to tell you about the kindness of God. When Elijah ran and hid and begged to die, I would think God would be angry, frustrated, disappointed. But His ways are not our ways.
I will not go into all the details. You really should read it. So wonderful. Anyway, when Elijah ran and hid and begged to die, God did not reprimand him. God did not scold him or admonish him. God did something completely different. God sent angels to minister to Elijah with food and water. God sent angels to care for him.
His ways are not our ways.
These people that we read about in the Bible, they were real people. Humans. Just like you, just like me. They triumphed and they cowered. Just like us. But God loved them just the same. He cared for them, ministered to them.
When you and I are struggling, fearing, doubting, wanting to give up, God wants us to know that He does not turn His face away from us. He does not stop caring for us. He does not stop loving us. He is faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him.
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.”
But I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Heaps of love to all of you.