Summary: This message shows the dangers in becoming burned out as a Christian. Even though you are greatly used of God is can happen.
Scripture: 1 Kings 19:1:21
Title: "Cave Men"
Introduction: LET'S GET THE PICTURE: The Great prophet of God who had dazzled the people of the land with a ministry filled with signs & wonders has become a "Man on the Run."
* Here he is in a CAVE. He has run away from the very wickedness that he had just victoriously defeated.
* He has changed his POWERFUL PRAYER LIFE to that of a whimpering request that he MIGHT DIE!
* Even after an angel had visited Elijah two times with food and water he still wanted to find a CAVE and crawl into it.
* Why did Elijah do this?
* How could a powerful man of God get this way?
* How could this happen?
* If we backed up a few chapters we find a fearless prophet of God standing up against sin to the point he confronts the king himself. (1 Kings. 18:17)
After looking at all this the obvious question is probably, "WHY?"
Is there an answer in the Scripture? - Let's see.
I. DIVINE EXHAUSTION! (Can there be such a thing?)
a. Is there such a thing as "Divine Burnout?"
b. The PACE Elijah had set for himself had to be physically draining.
c. From his introduction to the present Scripture Elijah's ministry is full of dealing with DEMANDING situations.
d. It takes a LOT out of you when you've worked hard for the people and they want to KILL you! (His prayer had ended the drought & They want to kill him!)
e. Elijah had ridded the country of the terrible sin of Baal worship. (Killing 850 prophets with the sword) (1 Kings 18:19)
f. Elijah was so excited when God answered his prayer for rain that he outran Ahab¡¦s chariot back to town to share the good news. (1 Kings 18:46)
g. If a person follows the leading of God can they BURNOUT?
II. THE CAVE (Why a Cave?)
a. CONVENIENCE ¡V This was a handy place to hide out.
b. It was a place of SECLUSION - Elijah just wanted to be alone.
c. The Cave was a DARK place. (Depression?)
d. The Cave was a place where he could concentrate on HIS own PROBLEMS. (Thinking about things without interruption)
e. His JOY is GONE!
III. GOD REACHED OUT TO ELIJAH.
(How many times did God reach out to him?)
a. God REACHED out to Elijah by AWAKENING him & FEEDING him with fresh baked bread & water.
b. Then God allowed him to REST by sleeping.
c. Then God REACHED out to him a SECOND TIME by AWAKENING him and FEEDING him again with FRESH BREAD & WATER.
d. Then God gave Elijah INSTRUCTIONS that he was to take a GREAT JOURNEY.
e. How many times will God reach out to you?
IV. GOD WHY ARE YOU HERE IN THIS CAVE?
(Why are you running away?)
a. FEAR is DIRECTING his life. (Elijah was afraid and ran for his life) (1 Kings 19:3) NIV
b. What was he AFRAID of? Jezebel had promised to kill him within TWENTY-FOUR hours for killing her prophets. (19:2)
c. I'm WORN OUT from the task of ministry.
d. I'm the ONLY ONE left that is trying to do the RIGHT THING! (I'm feeling sorry for myself!)
e. I'm TIRED of seeing your people continuing in SIN!
f. I'm FED UP with seeing YOUR ALTARS TORN down.
g. IMPROPER EVALUATION ¡V Elijah thought he was the only one left that was trying to do the right thing.
h. Elijah's FAITH had been DAMAGED!
i. Elijah's FAITH had been ERODED! (Worn down)
CONCLUSION: At this POINT in Elijah's LIFE how would you describe his SITUATION?
*Is he out of the WILL of God?
*Is he a BACKSLIDER?
*Is he LOST & on his way to HELL?
*Is he JUSTIFIED being here with this ATTITUDE?
Where are you: In a CAVE? On the RUN? Directed by FEAR?
WHAT HAPPENED TO ELIJAH?
*God FINALLY got Elijah to listen to Him.
( A STILL SMALL voice - Just a whisper ) But it was too LATE!
*God told Elijah to Go back the way you came.15 NLT
*God said when you get there here's what you are to do: anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. & anoint Jehu son of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.
*Elijah's refusal to CHANGE caused God to have to REPLACE him.
- Each time God asked Elijah why he was in the CAVE his reply was the SAME.
DON'T LET GOD PASS YOU OVER FOR SOMEONE ELSE!