In the midst of a busy schedule I can get focused on not seeing the results I want to see and begin to doubt God’s blessing in my life. It is discouraging when you pour your life into ministry and don’t get to see the numbers for which you are hoping. I was reading 1 Kings 19 this week and God smote my heart.
Elijah saw God send fire from heaven and consume the altar, he slew over four hundred false prophets in one day, his prayer to the Lord supernaturally ended a drought, and yet he was upset because Jezebel was unconverted and wanted to kill him. Now, it is not a bad thing to be burdened over a sinner, or to be worried that a crazy lady wants your head, but Elijah threw a Jonah style pity party, marched into the wilderness, and asked God to kill him in spite of the fact that he just saw a miracle. He allowed one setback to set him on a path out of the ministry.
While in the wilderness, the Angel of the Lord supernaturally sustains Elijah with food and water. Eventually, he saunters into a cave to continue his pity party when the Lord asks why Elijah is there. Instead of answering the question, Elijah complains about how his faithfulness to God has not seen results and how hard life is because they want kill him and how lonely he is (even though he just left his servant behind him). He completely overlooks the miracles. He ignores the tender care of his God in providing for his physical needs. He was focused on results and not this incredibly special relationship he had with Jehovah.
Then we come to the famous part of the story: the great and strong wind, the earthquake, and the fire, but God was not in those mighty events. He was in the still small voice. God’s tender voice was the evidence of His love for Elijah. God gently asks once again, “What doest thou here Elijah?” Again, instead of admitting he’s giving up, he complains about his lack of results. God had just done three miracles, fed him lovingly and supernaturally, and spoke to him directly. Elijah was not focused on God. He was focused on himself. God lovingly instructs him to anoint a king and train a new prophet. God, in His love, was allowing Elijah to make his way out of ministry.
Elijah missed out on an incredible opportunity to experience the love of God because he overlooked the tender loving care of his Creator. I wonder, how many blessings am I overlooking because I didn’t see the numbers I wanted? How often have I been unthankful for my fellowship with Jesus during my devotions because I didn’t get my specific prayer answered? How many “little” blessings do I brush off because I’m only thinking of MY ministry and not my opportunity to fellowship with Christ? Wow, I am missing the boat. God doesn’t just want me to serve Him, He wants me to savor Him. This was Paul’s desire, “That I may KNOW him and the fellowship of his sufferings.” This is our purpose as Christians, “to be conformed to the image of his son.” God wants to know me; He wants me to know Him. He wants me to be like Him. I am not just a servant of God, but a son and a friend.
Perhaps, if Elijah had stayed in the ministry, he would have had the revival he wanted? Instead of being taken in a whirlwind, maybe he and Elisha would have united the two kingdoms? We will never know. The heartbreak of this story is not that Elijah never saw what he wanted, or that he leaves the ministry after training Elisha, but that he missed a chance to feel the love of God.
God is love. He loves you . Don’t miss it!