Prepare – Psalm 3:1-4
LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, God will not deliver him. But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
I’ve grown to really enjoy Emily P Freeman. She has a podcast that encourages me and honestly, I love her calming voice. While at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, Emily was captivated by something her professor said, “I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights. I live in the strong and unshakeable Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is not in trouble and neither am I.” When I first heard those words I immediately backed up the podcast. I knew I had to write that down. I kept going back to make sure I got every word correct. “I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights. I live in the strong and unshakeable Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is not in trouble and neither am I.”
We talked about Elijah yesterday. He tried desperately to follow God and do the right thing. I want us to go back and look at a passage I absolutely love. We are in I Kings 19 again. Let’s read verses 1-9. Remember the miraculous display of God’s power that just took place? After that we see a dramatic turn of events. As Elijah runs for fear of his life, he asks God to let him die. The once strong and confident Elijah is done. What do you think happened? Fear does some pretty incredible things to us, doesn’t it? Was it fear or something else? His prayer seems pretty lame. Was he unable to think clearly?
I don’t know what you think about God. Do you see God as loving and kind? Harsh? Judgmental? Does God really have all power and authority? Can God really meet our every need? And, if he can, do we live that way? There is a part of me that thinks Elijah just needs God to get in his face and tell him in a pretty harsh tone, “Are you serious? After all the ways I have been faithful to you, throwing down fire and showing my power you are going to whine like this?” But that is not what God does. He lets him fall asleep.
After a good sleep an angel wakes him up and tells him to eat. Then he slept some more and is awakened again to eat. Would you take time to sit with that? Sometimes we don’t need a lecture or a theology lesson but what we might need is to rest – to give our physical body needed time to repair. We might just need a good meal. Elijah wasn’t sent to the counselor to process through his fear or reprimanded for his lack of faith. He needed to be sustained by food and rest – that is where He experienced God.
It must have been quite the meal because he was able to travel 40 days and 40 nights to Mt Horeb, aka Mt. Sinai. I remember someone else that stood in that place, do you? Both Elijah and Moses had a special experience with God at Mt. Sinai. If you read a few more verses you can see for yourself how God met Elijah once again.
God has something He wants to speak to each one of us today. Be still. Listen deeply. His Spirit in you (as a true believer) testifies with His Word / Truth. It sustains us. “I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights. I live in the strong and unshakeable Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is not in trouble and neither am I.”
~ Loree Veith