September 16 – Elijah Runs for His Life – 1 Kings 19
Elijah finds himself running for his life. He has just experienced two great miracles in his life. In the previous chapter, Elijah calls down fire from heaven then chases down satan’s false prophets to exterminate these evil men. This event is followed by praying for a drought to end and rain to come. Both of these are emotional and spiritual mountain tops for Elijah. Right after these mountain tops, Elijah finds himself in an emotional and spiritual valley. In this valley, we see Elijah struggling with depression. He has difficulty thinking clearly. When he is not thinking clearly, Elijah performs actions and petitions God for things that are not in God’s will. It is important to note here that God allowed Elijah to take a “vacation” or time of physical rejuvenation before pushing forward to the next task. If Elijah stays in his pity party and depressive state, Elisha does not become the next prophet of God. Immediately following Elijah’s recovery, he finds Elisha plowing in the field, and calls him to become his trainee. Elijah had to overcome his inward battle, but to do so required total submission to God and His still small voice. Sometimes we can think ourselves into a depressive state and render our efforts for God ineffective. As a teenager, I remember my pastor saying, “Don’t make a decision when your decision-maker is broken.” I have heard another pastor say, “Don’t undo in doubt the decision you made in faith.” Let me encourage you today to just keep going! You will experience mountain tops and valleys. Most of the time your deepest valleys follow your highest mountain tops. When you understand a valley is coming when you are on the mountain top, the valleys are much easier to go through. Remember God is with you on the mountain tops AND the valleys. Allow Him to just be with you!