Summary: Elijah ran out of gas. What keeps a Christian up and running? Simple four point outline: 1. Running on Feeling. 2. Running on Fear. 3. Running on Fumes. And 4. Running on Faith!
(Heb 12:1 KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
(Heb 12:2 KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Title of the Message: “Running in the Rain”
Introduction: Elijah had just called down fire from Heaven. Certainly King Ahab and the people of Israel would now choose to follow God? Elijah had the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal put to death. Elijah must have thought that revival had come to Israel?
In our primary text, Elijah tells Ahab to eat and drink. It was time to celebrate! God was going to renew his blessing upon Israel. God was going to send the much needed rain. (Read 1 Kings 18:41-46)
1. Running on Feeling.
(1 Ki 18:46 KJV) And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
After the seventh prayer, the rain came in the shape of a man’s hand. Suddenly the sky was black, and the thundering rains came.
In our text, Elijah is running in the rain. What is his motivation? He was sure that revival had indeed come to Israel. He outran the chariot of King Ahab. He came to the entrance of the palace. No doubt, he must of thought, I will be an invited honored guest? After all, his God had won the contest of fire!
Elijah was running on the emotion of hope. He was running on feelings. He felt good about his victory. Have you ever had your hopes suddenly dashed? Elijah was about to!
2. Running on Fear.
(1 Ki 19:1 KJV) And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
(1 Ki 19:2 KJV) Then 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.
(1 Ki 19:3 KJV) And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
Queen Jezebel was not about to repent. She wanted the life of Elijah, and meant to do it by days end!
Elijah is up and running again. This time, Elijah is running on fear.
Fear will motivate a man. Fear sells. Everyone wants to be safe. Some people only to come to Church, because, they feel safe there.
Unfortunately, for those who seek only safe harbors, God has called us to minister into the world of Jezebels!
We are to take up a cross and the message of the gospel and launch out into the deep. And Jezebel wants to take your life from you!
3. Running on Fumes.
(1 Ki 19:4 KJV) But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
(1 Ki 19:5 KJV) And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
In this text, Elijah has run out of gas. He is fully immersed in depression.
And so will you be, if you do not find the proper fuel source of the Christian life!
A Christian is not to live by feelings. A Christian is not to live by fear. A Christian is to live by…
3. Running on Faith!
(1 Ki 19:8 KJV) And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
The angel fed Elijah the manna from Heaven! (The Word of God) The next event in Elijah’s life illustrates the importance of listening to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit as he ministers to the heart of the believer through his Word.
(1 Ki 19:9 KJV) And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
(1 Ki 19:10 KJV) And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.