Summary: This sermon is based on Elijah’s wilderness experience from 1 Kings 19 and is for those who are weary in their christian journey, It covers Circumstances or Christ, Christ in the Circumstances and Christ of the Circumstances.
When the Journey Gets too Much
What do we do when the journey gets too much? When we find our faith lacking our spirits weary, when we just can’t go on anymore and want to give up! Why does this happen? How do we return the victorious life? The answers are found in Elijah’s experience.
1 Kings 19:3 And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
saw = ra’ah Hebrew 7200, Strong’s - a primitive root; to see, literal or figurative (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitive, intransitive and causative) :- advise self, appear, approve, behold, consider, discern, (make to) enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed× indeed, × joyfully, lo, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, × be near, perceive, present, provide, regard, (have) respect, (fore-, cause to, let) see (-r, -m, one another), shew (self), × sight of others, (e-) spy, stare, × surely, × think, view, visions.
Christ or Circumstances
We always have a choice. Do we look at Christ or the circumstances? Elijah had known and seen the power of God in his life. He had just returned from the victory of seeing God overcome the false god’s of Israel- a revival of sorts. Then he received a message from the King’s wife Jezebel, a very wicked woman. It was a death message. ‘Elijah you are going to die.’ What was the reaction of this man of God? It should have been" Oh yeah! My God is bigger than you."
It was fear v3 Elijah was afraid or a true rendering Elijah saw. He looked at the circumstances instead of Christ, the result was fear and flight he ran for his life. He journeyed into the desert, sat under a tree and said "I have had enough Lord!" "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." Elijah was so discouraged and disillusioned his thoughts turned inward and brought hopelessness. Inward thinking will always cause us to doubt. Self is not where victories are won- victories are won in Christ. Let us understand what happened to Elijah.
1. He saw - looked at circumstance instead of Christ
Hebrews 12:2-3 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. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Exodus 14:10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
2. He ran away.
Faith brings victory – Doubt brings defeat and retreat
3. He began to reason in the natural - sat under a tree for shade
God is the shade of every person of God but Elijah reverted back to natural ways and sought shade from a tree.
Psalm 121:5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
Isaiah 25:1-5 O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.
4. He began looking at self and found only defeat
I am no better than my fathers 5. He fell asleep - Spiritually speaking
Sleeping causes us to lose vision
Christ in the Circumstances 1 Kings 19:5-7
Though there are times in our lives we can prove to be unfaithful, God is always faithful! We can be sure He will "never leave us or forsake us" We are never alone. Elijah wanted to give up- to even die. But Christ was in the circumstances. Sometimes we don’t realize He is there, but he is and he comes;