It’s a little funny to think that the atmosphere and our surroundings can change a person’s attitude, either making the attitude better or making it worse. It’s funny how the coldness outside changes a person’s mood. Today, it’s cold outside and it actually feels like winter. I guess you can say, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”
I’m not the kind of person who loves the cold weather. I don’t like winter, but I enjoy the spring and summer seasons; I prefer the weather to be warm or hot! Nevertheless, it’s cold outside. All I want to do is stay locked up inside my home, snuggling under my heavy blankets, and sleep. But unfortunately, I can’t do that, not today.
It’s Monday, already! Time for another work week. My weekend is over and I didn’t have a chance to really rest; in fact, this past week was exhausting and somewhat stressful. On the other hand, this past week was fulfilling, delightful, enlightening, and invigorating! It was wonderful! I was blessed with an opportunity to do some wonderful things for the Lord. During the past week, the Lord has taught me some new things about myself, and in the process, allowed me to fellowship with other women of like faith.
After the Lord had allowed me to experience such a rewarding week, it seems like I would be on fire and excited about where He is taking me. It seems like I would be encouraged about the next level God is pushing me to, but instead, I’m more hesitant and more confused. Now, I find myself asking more questions, needing more directions, and wanting God to give me answers. And this weather doesn’t make it any better! I’m sleepy and just feel yucky!
No, I’m not sick, just sick and tired of me. I’m tired of me hesitating. I’m tired of me needing answers before I decide to take a leap of faith. I’m tired of wanting the Lord to give me all the details before I decide to really trust Him. And I’m tired of being too afraid and too busy focusing on “the what ifs”. After this week, I should be on fire for Christ, but I’m feeling drained and uncertain.
I am aware of what takes place after God allows His children to have a mountain top experience. The enemy is down in the valley waiting and ready to pounce!
“Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done. He told her how Elijah had killed with the sword all the men who spoke for Baal. 2 Then Jezebel sent news to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Elijah was afraid. He got up and ran for his life….” (1 Kings 19:1-3a, NKJV)
In today’s passage, Elijah had just won the battle on Mount Carmel and had slaughtered all the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:38-40). God allows Elijah to have a mountaintop experience. But after seeing the manifestation of the Lord (1 Kings 18:20-46), Elijah receives a message from Jezebel that she’s going to kill him. Now, afraid and drained, Elijah flees to Sinai.
Have you been there? Has God allowed you to have a mountaintop experience? Have you experienced God’s awesomeness, but afterwards, allowed fear and weary to throw you off course? Instead of allowing our mountaintop experience to get us excited and on fire about where God is taking us, we are allowing discouragement and the feeling of inadequacy to cloud our minds.
Sisters, you and I can learn several things from the prophet Elijah. First, instead of allowing our mountaintop experience to make us afraid and weary, we can receive strength by digesting the Word of God. The Angel of Lord gave Elijah food so that he could regain his strength (1 Kg 19:4-8). Not only do we need food for our bodies, but as Christians, we need spiritual food to continue doing the work of God. When we’re drained from pouring ourselves out for the Lord, we need His powerful Word to revive our souls. His Word will keep us in the right mindset and give us direction for His next assignment.
“…man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3b, NKJV)
Second, instead of having a pity party, we need to get up and get into the presence of the Lord. Elijah whined about how he was doing this and how everyone else was doing that (1 Kg. 19:9-10); but the Lord told Elijah to get in His presence. And we must do the same. In the presence of the Lord is the fullness of joy! In the presence of the Lord there is strength!
“In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
(Ps. 16:11, NKJV)
Third and lastly, we must get help from our sisters in Christ. Everyone needs help, so we shouldn’t try to walk this Christian life alone. God has placed other like-minded Believers in our paths for encouragement, to be prayer warriors who will boldly pray without needing to know the reason. These like-minded Believers inspire us to keep doing what God has called us to do. The Lord sent Elijah to three Believers, Elisha, Jehu, and Hazael who would fight with him and for the Lord (1 Kg 19:15-17). God also reassured Elijah that there were 7,000 people who had not turned away from Him. (1 Kg 19:18).
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so are a man’s words sweet to his friend.”
(Prov. 27:9, NLT)
Sisters, we can’t allow the enemy to deflate all the joy that comes with experiencing the manifestation of God’s glory. Let us dive deep into God’s Word. Let us press into His presence, then yoke up with other Believers to receive the encouragement and strength we need to keep serving the Creator. And let us not allow that familiar spirit of FEAR cloud our focus, but get excited about the next level God is taking us to.