Summary: Message 8 in our study of the life and ministry of Elijah. This continues the exploration of depression from message 7. This message focuses on some lessons to learn from Elijah's experience.
Chico Alliance Church
Elijah Series #8
“Lessons from A Cave Where Elijah gets reconnected to God and Ministry”
So far we have extracted numerous timeless lessons or principles in our examination of Elijah’s life long journey of faith.
I. Lessons from the Palace where Elijah boldly announced God’s judgment for sin. 17:1
II. Lessons from the brook where Elijah learned to trust God in obscurity and isolation. 17:2-7
III. Lessons from Zarephath where Elijah learned to trust God for daily ministry 17:8-24
IV. Lessons from the Palace Part two where Elijah confronted Ahab again 18:1-19
V. Lessons from Mount Carmel where Elijah confronted Baalism 18:20-40
VI. Lessons from a Mountain Top where Elijah fervently prayed 18:41-46
VII. Lessons from a Cave where Elijah reconnects with God and Ministry 19:1-21
Last week we attempted to track the cause and cure for Elijah’s depression.
A. Cause of Elijah’s Lapse 19:1-5
1. External circumstances or environment
2. Self-focused fear rather than God-focused faith
3. Physical/emotional exhaustion
5. Self-destructive thoughts
6. Faulty perception
B. Cure for Elijah’s Depression 19:6-21
1. Regained physical / emotional health
2. Realized his own inadequacy.
3. Restored connection with God
4. Reset his perspective
First, realize I am not out to get you.
Second, evaluate your mission.
5. Revisited his mission with a new perspective
First, I never intended you to do this thing alone in the first place.
Second, I have others lined up to continue my work,
Third, you are not alone in your fervor for me.
6. Received an intimate partner
7. Returned to ministry
Following are a few possible timeless principles extracted from the Biblical narrative.
Possible timeless principle #1
Strong victories invite serious vulnerabilities.
So you who are strong take heed lest you fall.
It seems that whenever there is a great victory or expenditure of spiritual energy, the enemy swoops in to knock us off our high. How many spiritual “highs” in your life shortly deteriorated into a spiritual low.
Peter rode a spiritual high one moment a tool of God confessing God’s will the next a tool of Satan spouting error.
Jesus said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:15-19
What a rush. Yet moments later we read this.
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You." But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." Matthew 16:21-23
Peter’s boast of loyalty didn’t turn out so well either.
But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away." Matthew 26:33
It turned out that even though the rest took off, only Peter denied connection to Jesus.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. Proverbs 16:18
Now these things (examples of not keeping connected) happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 1 Corinthians 10:11-12
Let us be diligent to enter that rest (faith in God’s direction), so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience (as the Israelites refusing to trust God to fulfill His promises). Hebrews 4:11
Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. 1 Corinthians 8:1-3
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Galatians 6:1
Possible timeless principle #2
Past evidence of faith does not prevent future flashes of fear.