Sunday, July 13, 2014

Elijah, Why are you here?

Dear Ones - I have been to Arkansas, Tyler, Dallas, and Houston, Texas as well as Oklahoma since the last time we shared thoughts from God's Word.  Frank was with me most of the time.  I have been blest to be with family and friends that I love very much and who love me back.  (They do whether or not some of them will admit it.)  God has been faithful to protect, sustain, teach, guide, show grace and mercy, meet physical, spiritual and emotional needs. It has been tiring and exhilarating at the same time.

As a matter of fact,  in my whole life, God's faithfulness has never waivered.  He has proven Himself over and over.

Yet, this past week I have struggled with melancholy, uncertainty, and yes, a little bit of fear.  I believe God is unsettling me, maybe about to replant my feet.  This girl doesn't like change and will only do it with much internal kicking and screaming, even though I say I trust my Heavenly Daddy explicitly and believe He will not do me harm, but only good.  (Jeremiah 29:11).

I had the privilege of being with my sweet friend, LaRue Skaggs, during my travels, and she shared with me a story of adoption where the little girl was crying and kicking, and actually scared to go with her new adoptive mother because she didn't know her and didn't know what to expect. She was afraid. LaRue made the comment, "if that little girl only knew the love and joy that was waiting for her......" I actually said right then, LaRue, "that is a blog story."

How often do we resist the plans God has for us? And, the "kicker" - (no pun intended) is, we do know Him, say we trust Him, say we worship Him for who He is and have practical understanding of the joy and love we have inherited right here on earth.  I cannot fathom with my finite mind what is in store for me in eternity.  (I Cor. 2:9)

Yet, we (I know I'm not alone in this), are fearful, uncertain and fail to enjoy all of God's greatness in our lives.  I Peter 2:7 refers to the preciousness of believing.  I love that word, "precious."  To me it is something dear, valuable, irreplaceable, a thing to be reverenced for itself.   It reminds me of a line in a chorus we sing, "to you who believe He is precious, Whom having not seen we love...."

I have a 45 minute - 1 hour drive every morning and every afternoon.  I have been listening to the Daily Audio Bible.  What a blessing - talk about putting the workplace in perspective.

The Lord spoke to me very specifically in our study of I Kings 18 and 19.  The story of all that God did through the prophet, Elijah, is thrilling.  God showed Himself powerful and faithful through the drought, protection of over 150 of God's prophets, destruction of Baal's prophets, victory at Mt. Carmel and warp speed energy He gave Elijah to outrun Ahab's chariots to Jezreel.

Elijah expected Jezebel to surrender.  When she did not, but instead sent word that everything God had done to her prophets, she would do to Elijah within 24 hours, he ran out of mortal fear.  He stops in Beersheba - exhausted and broken.  God comes to Him there, and says,"Elijah, why are you here?"

Little miss judgmental said the same thing.  "Yeah, Elijah - unbelievable.  God just did miraculous things, I mean physical things you could see and witness and at first sign of something not going how you expected, you ran."  To which, my Heavenly Daddy whispered, "don't judge Elijah and tell Me what you are doing here?"   Here - in my state of melancholy, uncertainty and yes, a little bit of fear."  That immediately got my attention.  I heard Elijah's answer, (paraphrased) - "Lord, I have been loyal to you, done everything you asked me to do, and now Jezebel wants to kill me, and I'm just going to lie down here and die."  Sounds like a pity party to me.  Hmm,  wonder why I recognize that?

As I listened to the rest of the story, I realized how God in His wisdom knew Elijah could not take correction and rebuke in his present state, so he fed him and sustained him through a 40 day/night journey to Horeb.  The Lord asked him again, "Elijah, why are you here?"  Believe it or not, Elijah gave Him the same answer.

In a precursor to another communication between God and Elijah, rocks crumbled, a mighty wind came, the earth shook,  and then there was fire.  All of these were powerful signs, but God's voice was not in them.

Then a gentle breeze came, and Elijah rose and wrapped his face in a garment and stood in the entrance to the cave where he was resting.  God said a third time, "Elijah, why are you here?" What did Elijah say?  He gave the very same answer.  Isn't it a good thing God is patient with us?

God in His mercy, told Elijah to get up.  I take that as "enough of this."  He gave him the authority to anoint a few kings and promised to save the lives of the 7,000 in Israel that had not bowed the knee to Baal.  Then, He gave Elisha to Elijah to minister to him for the remainder of his journey.

What I learned from this story is that:
  • God is faithful
  • He understands our frailty
  • He is patient with our unbelief no matter how many times we fail
  • He does allow us to go through suffering of consequences (Elijah's cave dwelling and 40 day/night journeys were no picnic)
  • He is a jealous God and does not tolerate our worship of anything or anyone other than Himself.
  • He never leaves us - no matter where we are - we are the ones that run.  
  • He allows "wallowing" for just so long
  • He expects us to put our expectations and hope in Him (not assuming Jezebel will surrender) 
  • As long as we recognize and reverence His voice, He still has work for us to do.  
So, I said to myself, "Mecca, why are you here?"  No more kicking and screaming like you don't believe in the goodness and greatness of God and your personal relationship with His dear Son.  Don't judge others and work on continual communication with your Heavenly Daddy so that you never miss His voice.  For right now, may I challenge you to substitute your name for "Elijah?"  "_______, why are you here?" Do you recognize the voice of your Heavenly Daddy?

Reminds me of another song:  (sung with a bit of a beat so stand up and dance with joy.  Make up your own tune if you don't know it.)  I love you all.  Mecca

O, I love to hear His voice,Saying, "You belong to Me,You are not your own, with a price you're bought,And you're Mine, eternally;"And I love to hear Him say,"I have saved you by My grace."And when I get to glory, it will then be grander still,For I shall see His face.