Perhaps Elijah's greatest virtue was his zeal. Indeed, we shall see that twice in his communication with God, Elijah speaks of having been "very zealous" for the Lord. But zeal, unattended by wisdom, eventually becomes its own "god"; it compels us toward expectations which are unrealistic and outside the timing and anointing of God.
To remain balanced, zeal must be reined in and harnessed by strategic encounters with the living God. Otherwise we become frustrated with people and discouraged with delays. We step outside our place of strength and spiritual protection.
Elijah had come to Horeb and lodged there in a cave. Soon, the Word of the Lord came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (vs. 9).
This is one of the most important questions God will ever ask us: "What are you doing here?" He may ask: "How did your service to Me become dry and desolate? When was it you left your first love?"
It is especially true in our times. We can become so consumed with the [b]deteriorating condition of the world that we fail to see the deteriorating condition of our own soul[/b]. In His love, the Lord stops us and demands we look at our life. Is this existence which I now live the abundant life promised me from Christ?
We can be honest at Horeb. We have nothing to prove and no need to pretend. Here, at Horeb, the internal mechanisms of defensiveness and pride crumble. If we are disappointed, we are free to express it; if frustrated, we can admit it. We must simply and truthfully evaluate, without rationalization, our heart's condition.
In our transparency, the Presence of God draws near our hearts. Is not intimacy with God the very thing we have neglected? And is not the Lord alone our source of strength in battle? If the enemy can distract us from our time alone with God, he will keep the power of God from accompanying our efforts.
You will recall the story of Joseph and Mary after the Passover in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-49). Supposing the child Jesus was with them, they journeyed home. But Jesus was neither with them nor with their relatives. Three days later they found Him in the temple.
[b]Likewise, many of us have become so consumed with our battles that we fail to notice Jesus is not with us on our journey[/b]. Jesus' parents returned to where they had last seen Him; so also must we. To renew us, God is bringing us back to our most recent encounter with the living Christ. [b]He is bringing us back to basics[/b].
As the pressures and warfare of this age continue to intensify, it is imperative we realize that yesterday's anointing will not suffice for today's battles. Like Elijah, we must return to the sacred mountain. Indeed, in order to fit us with a new mantle, God must dis-mantle our confidence in the flesh. For Elijah, the Lord was about to use the "loner" Elijah to mentor another prophet's life. The new anointing would ultimately release a "double portion" of power to his protege, Elisha. Under this new anointing Jezebel would be destroyed and Baal worship crushed!
To reach this same place of breakthrough in our own times, God is bringing us back to the [b]simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ[/b] (2 Cor. 11:1-3). What seems like a time of desolation is more truly a time of preparation: A revival of great proportions is coming to our land! God has prepared a new beginning for you. Beloved, it is not time to despair, but prepare. When you return to the battle, you shall go with a double portion.
Lord Jesus, apart from You my life is dry and desolate. Forgive me for trying to do Your will without Your Presence. I desperately need You, Lord.
This day, I commit my heart to return to my first love. Teach me, Lord, to consider intimacy with You the greatest measure of my success. Let me see Your glory; reveal to me Your goodness; guide me, O Holy Spirit, into the Presence of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Adapted from the book, The Stronghold of God by F. Frangipane