Summary: It is the design of God that after a great move of God, we should expect a move of Satan. Through the valley and into the wilderness.
After The Fire:
KJV: 1 Ki 19:1
1And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
After experiencing a great move of God it is to our benefit to be on guard against the powers of Satan. It is not a new notion that when God does a great work in the heart of a congregation, or even the individual, that Satan will throw up obstacles and roadblocks to tear apart all momentum gained. Over and over again in the Bible when the Lord builds up and uses an individual, or even a nation, it is directly followed by Satan’s attempt to break it up. We could look at Adam, Abraham, Joseph, Saul, David, Solomon, and on and on. This day and in this message let us observe a man named Elijah and how circumstances dictated the roller coaster ride that this man experienced. It is not enough to just note how Elijah goes from the mountain top to the valley if we are not willing to learn and to apply his suffering to our lives. It is great to experience the highs of the mountaintop, the Revivals, or the joy of salvation, but it is foolish to believe that we will stay here forever. We must be ready for the valley, and once in the valley to grow. With this thought in mind let us look at what to expect
"After The Fire"
Elijah The Conqueror:
KJV: 1 Ki 18:40
40And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
After a long dry spell of three years Elijah was about to be used of God to call the people of Israel back into the presence of God. The people had gathered on Mount Carmel and there Elijah asked them how long would they halt between two opinions. Today would be the showdown between the 850 prophets of Baal and the lone man of God: Elijah. Today the people would see the power of God be made manifest through this man Elijah.
1. Power over False gods.
2. Power over False Prophets.
3. Power over worldly Kings.
4. Power over Famines.
Elijah The Conquered:
KJV: 1 Ki 19:2
2Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
No sooner had the victory been won and Elijah been lifted up and filled with the Holy Ghost, when bad news came to Elijah. For the very victory that had filled his heart with joy and jubilation had now brought persecution and threats on his life. This is the very heart of the message, when we are the highest we are prime targets for Satan and his minions. When we are filled to the brim with the Holy Ghost and on fire for God we are on the top of Satan’s hit list and trouble is soon to follow. This should be expected and we should prepare for Satan’s advance and through the same Spirit that first lifted us up we can overcome and remain a useful vessel of God. Let us look at the response of Elijah and learn how not to fall to circumstance and persecution.
1. He Ran (Running was not the problem)
And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba,
It should be the first instinct of our flesh to run from trouble, there are those who run towards and enjoy being in trouble. There will be times when we can’t avoid troubles and we must face them. The problem with Elijah’s flight is that he only thought to get away and in running he found himself in the wilderness. In time of trouble we should run not to the wilderness, the world, but to Jesus Christ.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
The fact of the matter is that the trouble that we dread so badly often turns out to be nothing to have feared at all.
One of the all time greatest TV shows, for having good moral lessons as plot lines, was the "Andy Griffith Show." There was an episode where young Opie was having his "Milk nickel" bullied away from him and could not afford any milk for lunch. "You wouldn’t want me to get weak bones?" Well, Andy found out about the trouble and looked to find a way to help Opie without making Opie ashamed or dependent of his fathers help all of the time. In itself this is a good lesson to parents, children must learn, and earn, some things on their own in order for them to fully appreciate it later in life, but that is not our point in this illustration. Andy began to tell Opie about the time that Odie Snitch stole Andy’s fishing hole away from him when he was Opie’s age. Young Andy had to eventually face Odie Snitch to rid himself of his awful feeling of being "Lilly livered" and found that a punch in the nose didn’t really hurt when taken for a good cause and that bullies often can’t back up their words with deeds. Opie took the words to heart and faced down his extorsionest the next day. Opie came away with a "Bute" of a shiner, but he didn’t even feel the black eye because the sweet feeling of the loosing his trouble and regaining what was rightfully his.