Summary: Our unique relationship within the Body of Christ, is SO different that it is nearly impossible, through natural logic, to comprehend. We are “fellow” workers WITH God in His field and on His building, and field.
We have been looking at the subject of "Service after Worship", and it might better be titled "Service AND Worship". The two subjects CANNOT be separated. If you experience true worship, you WILL be available for service, and if you are engaged in true Biblical service, it will be as a result of real worship.
For the service aspect of our study, we have been looking at the life of Elijah. Today, we will move on to a combination of the lives of Elijah and Elisha.
A firsthand account of a family on vacation in Florida went something like:
One spring our family was driving from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa, Florida. As far as the eye could see, orange trees were loaded with fruit. When we stopped for breakfast, I ordered orange juice with my eggs.
"I’m sorry," the waitress said. "I can’t bring you orange juice. Our machine is broken."
At first I was dumbfounded. I knew they had oranges in the kitchen--orange slices garnished our plates. What was the problem? No juice? Hardly. We were surrounded by thousands of gallons of juice.
The problem was they had become dependent on a machine to get the juice. Christians are sometimes like that. They may be surrounded by Bibles in their homes, but if something should happen to the Sunday morning preaching service, their devotional guide, etc., they would have no nourishment for their souls.
The problem is not a lack of spiritual food--but many Christians haven’t grown enough to know how to get it for themselves. Too many Christians rely on some person to prepare, serve and almost pre-chew their Spiritual food.
1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.
Our unique relationship within the Body of Christ, is SO different that it’s nearly impossible, through natural logic, to comprehend. We are "fellow" workers WITH God in His field and on His building. We are also the "FIELD" of which we cultivate, plant and harvest God’s Spiritual crops.
Yes, we are the field AND we are the "fellow workers" with God in that field.
We are BOTH..:
The worker who tends God’s field
God’s field in which we serve alongside God, Himself
Just in case you are not inclined to understand farming, the Holy Spirit used another illustration to establish this truth. We are "fellow workers" with God on God’s "building" or dwelling place.
Not only do we do the building,
we ARE the "BUILDING".
This fact is SO important!!! We will give a very quick examination to this subject, later. This is one of the things that makes Biblical service so different and exciting, and at times, SO frustrating and even damaging to the local church, when ignored.
To see this and other aspects of Biblical service, let’s continue our study of Elijah and expand our study to Elisha. The "theme" of Elijah’s life was to hear God’s word and go and do what he heard. We saw that fact..:
(1) When he went to Ahab with the message of no rain for three years
(2) When he went to the Brook Cherith
(3) When he went to the widow’s house
(4) When he went to Mount Carmel
But when Jezebel "put out a contract" on his life, Elijah "ran" from the place of service. Because of many factors, Elijah sank into a state of despondency.
He was so low, as some might put it, he could have walked under a rug and never left a bump. He felt that he alone stood for what was right and all others had forsaken the right way.
Not only had they forsaken the right way, they were all out to kill him. Therefore, he was a failure. There was nothing more he could do, so he prayed that he might die. After all, he had done the "BIG" thing on Mt. Carmel, what was there left, in this life, that could "top" that?? Certainly, God COULD NOT use him in that state of mind, but God is an expert "Mind-changer".
Despondency is an ego and attitude problem. For every human, this is an easy "pit" to fall into. We human have such overgrown egos and distorted attitudes that it takes very little to offend them, and thereby sending us into a spiral of despondency. On the other hand, we may take the "high" road and just blame someone else for our failures and problems.
For the Believer, the problem of ego and attitude shows it ugly head, most often, when our attention shifts FROM who God is and what God said, TO what "I" have done and how "I" feel.
When Elijah had his focus on who God was, and what God had told him to do, without fear for his life, he withstood the king, stood against and killed the prophets of Baal and many other things.