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Summary: How God wants to meet you and use you in the dark times of your life.

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ELIJAH: FROM THE PINNACLE TO THE PITS (1 KINGS 19)

ENCOUNTERS WITH GOD (pt 4)

Intro

- Having to look up what Pinnacle means

- Need to set up the story – a brief history

- All the incredible things that God had done to him and through him in chapters 17-18

- God fed him during a drought by having ravens bring him food

- Then He brought Elijah to a widow’s house where she only had enough food to make one loaf of bread, and God provided them with a jar of flour and a jar of oil that wouldn’t run out

- When that widow’s son died, Elijah prayed to God and brought the boy back to life

- And then in a challenge to some prophets of a false God, Elijah prays to God, and God sends fire down in order to prove that He is God

- My guess is that Elijah must have been feeling pretty good about himself

- I get really excited when I beat a level on a video game, so Elijah must have been on like cloud nine

- But Elijah ends up going from this incredible spiritual high point, to an incredibly low point

- He has these sort of impulses that lead him away from what God’s plan was

- These impulses that sort of led him astray

- Have your impulses ever led you astray?

- Turning the car around backwards on the freeway senior year

- My natural impulse led us to a place where it was dangerous to be

- Sometimes, our natural impulses lead us astray

- And I think that’s what happened to Elijah

- Because after he had those incredible experiences with God, his impulses led him to a sort of spiritual low point

- In fact, it’s such a paradox that many Old Testament scholars try to argue that this chapter is out of place, that it’s out of sequence

- Because how could a guy come off of those experiences, and then be in the pits and bummed out in the way that we’re going to see that Elijah was

- But I think it’s in the right order

- And it just shows us how human Elijah really is

- That as a spiritual giant, he still suffered spiritual high and low points

- And that speaks directly to my life because that’s where I’m at

- I often describe my own spiritual life as a sort of roller-coaster ride

- That it’s this exciting ride – where you go up, and then you’re dropped down, only to go back up again

- It’s this series of ups and downs, and you just hold on for the ride

- And today, I want to spend some time looking with you at the roller-coaster ride that Elijah experienced

- And you may notice that in your notes, I have a series of coupled points

- So that we can look at what Elijah’s impulses were, and how God redeemed those impulses

- I hope that what we can do today is be real with ourselves, and identify with Elijah, and the sort of pit that he was in

- But my desire is that we wouldn’t leave here in that pit

- That we could see how even at our low points, God wants to redeem us, and we could leave here with the hope that He wants to bring us right back up again because He’s got bigger plans for us than letting us just sit in the pit

Elijah’s Impulse: TO GIVE INTO THE ENEMY’S PLANS

Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah. She said, “May the gods strike me dead if by this time tomorrow I don’t take your life the way you took the lives of Baal’s prophets.”… Then Elijah walked for a whole day into the desert. He sat down under a bush and asked to die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he prayed. “Let me die. I am no better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:2,4 (GWT, NCV)


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