Priceless

So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant. 1 Kings 19:19-21

A lot is implied in this story. Presumably when a cloak is thrown around you by Elijah the prophet, it means “you’re next!” Elisha the farmer knew what to do. He gave it all up for a prophet he met just that day.

I love it when God chooses someone who is unassuming. What do I mean by that? Unassuming means that don’t assume that the person is anybody. A farmer. A fisherman. A tax collector. A boy with a slingshot. Your expectations are low. After all, how could a mere farmer or a boy with a slingshot change the world? And yet, that is so much like God! Certainly he could use the wealthy and famous and important politician, and he does. But who gets the glory when that happens?

God uses ordinary, unassuming people every day to change the world. Think of your own life. Look how he’s changed your life and used you. In the world’s eyes, you’re probably nothing special. Yet, in God’s eyes, you’re one of a kind and priceless. Your worth is infinite.

You’re an heir of the King of Kings.

Nothing can take that away from you.

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Not Alone

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:13-18

What Elijah told God is a very common thing: I’m alone and fighting this battle alone. But, as God’s reply suggests: Elijah, you’re not alone. In fact there are 7,000 prophets waiting in the wings. You are definitely not alone.

The implications of this are straightforward and we need to be reminded often: in this world, we are not alone. It couldn’t be clearer. We may think it, sense, feel it, and even believe it, but it’s not true. Not for a minute. People are going through the same kinds of struggles you’re going through. They’re crying out to God louder because of their sorrow. People are trying, as the Scriptures say, “to grasp the hem of his garment,” to get a glimpse at His glory. But we are not alone.

When you feel your loneliest, is the precise time to reach out to some of those others that you know have been through those dark times. Yes, we should pursue God with all we have, but we have our Brothers and Sisters in Christ to reach out to. Think of this: if you approached another Believer you know well and asked that person to pray for you, would they turn you away?

Again, we are not alone. We can’t say it enough.

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The Whisper of God

And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. 1 Kings 19:9-13

There are so many rich passages relating to Elijah. Again, this is one we’ve learned as kids. He wasn’t in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. But He was in the still whisper. This could have been written today. To hear a whisper you have to be quiet. You have to be still and listen.

A few weeks ago I asked this question in an online poll: “are you at peace?” From previous polls I found that most of my respondents were Believers. More than 60% said no. How is that possible? Forget anything else but that question, “are you at peace?” Can you quiet your heart for a few minutes each day? Do you get rejuvenated just by sitting in God’s presence each day?

You might be able to see and hear God in the winds, earthquake, and fire, but probably you’ll hear the whisper of God first.

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Should We Expect Less?

When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 1 Kings 19:3-6

The Lord knew what Elijah needed and provided for him.

Should we expect any less in our lives?

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Be On Your Guard

Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. 1 Kings 19:1-3

What a sad sad passage of Scripture. Elijah had just scored a major victory in his dealings with Ahab and the prophets of Baal. He called fire from heaven and it consumed the water-soaked altar. But when Ahab went to see his wife Jezebel, Elijah went to pieces. He folded. He caved.

Great spiritual victories are often followed by very deep darkness in many Believers’ lives. You can even see this pattern in the lives of some of the Disciples. Take Peter for example. Great ministry with Jesus going from town to town, but when the time came, he denied his Lord.

The takeaway from this is that we need to be very careful when we have those major spiritual victories. Satan is right there to snatch it from us, especially if we have gloated in it and forgotten to give God the glory. Even so, we must be on our guard.

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