Sunday, November 6, 2016

SEEKING SOLACE IN THE CAVE


Often we set goals for ourselves or have high expectations for our job, ministry, or our family.  There isn’t anything wrong with setting goals; it’s good to have direction or focus to keep us in the right direction.  Nevertheless, sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan, it has some unexpected turns or adventures.  As we stand in the midst of what we feel is “chaos” in our lives or utter failure, God is using it to bring about His will.  I admit, as I have been re-evaluating my life over the last few years, I felt as an utter failure in the eyes of God.  As a result, I didn’t want to pray or read the Word of God.  Although the only approval I desired was God’s, I felt as if I was un-worthy to step into His presence.  It wasn’t the desire of God, He pursued me with loving-kindness.   Sometimes, I am truly amazed at God’s patience and His loving-kindnesses, it never runs out.  Can I just be really honest?  I was simply mad at God.  So, as a result, I refused to come to Him, so I ran.  Yet, where can I really run from God’s presence? 

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7)

Oh, I am sure I am not the only person to seek solace in a cave, we all have done it.  We refuse to engage with others or we isolate ourselves to think things out.  No matter how hard we try “thinking it out” causes our hearts to be more frustrated or fall into despair.  As the voice of discouragement speaks into our heart, we begin to accept the circumstances.  We don’t see a solution or a way out of the problem, so it takes to a path of despair to lead us right into the cave.  Alone.  Empty.  Secluded.  Surrounded by utter darkness; no evidence of life around.  We don’t want anyone to see the depths of our wounds or the lies we are wrapped into believing.  Yet, this is where we find a great man of God, at a cave. (I Kings 19:9-11)  What led Elijah to the cave?  It wasn’t just the threat of his life from Jezebel; it was the final straw of a broken heart.  Elijah just had a major victory with the prophets of Baal, he even silenced their voice.  A stronghold on the children of Israel was destroyed through his ministry.  Yet, he was disappointed at the results of Israel’s heart; he wanted revival for his nation.  No repentance, no change.  Now the Queen has placed a summons for his head, so he runs. 

Elijah allowed the discouragement to blind his eyes, so the voice of fear had power to move him.


Discouragement comes from our own broken expectations; it’s not what “we expected” as the result.  It’s not that Elijah doubted God’s Word or His power; he was used mightily to show the truth. What was the truth?  “The Lord-he is God!” (I Kings 18:39)  We are the instrument to be used; God is the one to produce the results.  Elijah wanted a national revival!  He wanted to see the entire nation turn back to God.  Elijah forgot his past victories; so he had nothing to build his faith at the heat of the moment.  When we have major victories in prayer or in spiritual warfare, we can’t let our guard down.  Elijah defeated the PROPHETS but he allowed                                                                            the SINGLE VOICE of the enemy to defeat him.  
   
In our circumstances we have power to defeat them or allowing our circumstances to overcome us-it’s simply a battle of words.  What do you REALLY BELIEVE?  If we are standing in the cave; we are standing defeated.  God didn’t call Elijah to the cave, he went there himself.  (1 Kings 19:10)  God said, “What are you doing here Elijah?”  So, I will ask you the same question, “what are you doing here?”  Why are you standing in this cold, dark, isolated place?  What do you really believe about yourself? God? And the Word?  God doesn’t call His children to darkness; HE CALLS THEM OUT OF IT! What I love about the Lord is His passion for us; He will come to our aid.  He doesn’t allow His children to walk in misery; He comes to restore our soul.  Elijah was physically, mentally, and spiritually worn out to fight another battle.  Elijah didn’t have the strength to face the circumstances alone, so God ministered to Him.  When was the last time God truly ministered to you?

Oh, we may believe there is solace in the cave!  Yet, the only way out of the cave is to hear the voice of the Lord!  The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”  Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord wasn’t in the fire.  And after the fire came a GENTLE WHISPER.  When ELIJAH HEARD IT, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  Right now your circumstances may be speaking loudly but it’s not the voice of God speaking-it’s a gentle whisper.  God wants to speak into your life but you have to allow Him the opportunity.  Your circumstances will speak into your life but only the voice of God has the final say.  Don't allow discouragement to blind your steps, so the enemy has power to move you.  God will call you to Himself; that's where you belong.  You don't belong in darkness; you are a child of light.