Yesterday’s reflection…Israel was facing a major transition. Elijah won the Prophet Battle Royale (actually, God did!) and the kingdom of Israel was facing a major crossroads; continue on the path they were traveling, or pivot and turn toward God and move, unwavering & undeterred, with Him to the future He was inviting them into.
Not all that different than what we are facing today.
We have a choice to make; continue waffling between what I WANT and where God is calling us to be, or stop “zig-zagging” and move directly toward Him.
It’s not rocket science that a straight line is the fastest and most efficient way to get from where you currently are to where you want to go. Why, then, do we zig-zag and then get frustrated wondering why we feel like we are getting nowhere?
Either in a journal/notebook or on the attached printout (here), write out your answers to the following questions…
1. Do you ever feel frustrated about life and sometimes feel like you aren’t “getting anywhere”?
2. Do you ever get frustrated with God and feel like He’s leaving you behind?
3. What distracts you and leads you off your “straight line” to God?
Immediately after his “Battle Royale” victory, the queen, Jezebel, puts a bounty on Elijah’s head (1 Kings 19). While on the run, anxious & afraid, Elijah stops to rest. While resting, and angel appears and tells him to “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you” (1 Kings 19:7).
Elijah then rises, eats and drinks, and “went in the strength of that food…” (1 Kings 19:8)
One thing we can learn from this is that we need to realize our situation and care for ourselves. If you are stressed, anxious, afraid, confused, frustrated, etc…Rest. Eat. Drink. You will need the physical and mental strength to face the journey ahead.
A subtle nuance of the angel’s command is for Elijah to take an active role in this.
ARISE – The angel basically says, “Get up. Don’t just sit & wallow & wait for someone else to fix this FOR you.
In order for us to move into the future God has for us – the greatest life we could ever live – we need to get up and play an active role.
EAT – The angel does not say, “BE FED.” We need to take an active role in nourishing ourselves…physically, mentally, and spiritually.
For most of us, social-distancing has not altered our physical or mental “feedings.” Our “quarantine-15” and our new remote working/learning and to-do lists are taking care of all that. What social-distancing has done is highlight the void of our ownership of our spiritual growth. Without the church building to go to on Sunday morning and “check the God box” weekly, we are left staring into the mirror of our spiritually malnourished lives. Many of us have treated Sunday morning worship services as our opportunity to check the “God box” we feel obligated to check, be seen as Godly by our presence, and to either be entertained by good music and a good message, or grumble about how much better the “production value” could be (or is elsewhere).
This is a time of great challenge for all of us in so many aspects of life. Part of that challenge is that everything takes extra effort. And…many aspects of our lives will NEVER be the same as there were before Pandemic-2020.
Life is hard. Especially now.
Life can be lonely. Especially now.
Life can feel meaningless & purposeless. Especially now.
Living the greatest life we can possibly live…Living the life God created us to live…
Living the life Jesus came, lived, died, & rose again so that we CAN live…
is hard and lonely. Especially now.
Take this opportunity to listen to the voice of God reminding you to “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you [to travel on your own power].”
Like Elijah, let’s take ownership of our spiritual lives and play an active role in feeding our souls with the Word of God, prayer, learning, growing, merging our lives with Christ’s character.
1 Kings 19:8 says, “And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food…”
He didn’t go in his own strength.
His strength came from what he took time to fill himself with…
4. What are you filling yourself with?
5. Is that sufficient to give you the strength to face the journey ahead?
Whatever May Come – Jeremy & Adie Camp
The last 2 days, we listened to one song (Boundless – Phil Wickham)I have been incessantly listening to since Sunday. This is another song that has captivated me since Palm Sunday morning. This song and Boundless are about the only 2 songs I’ve been listening to this week.
Again, when it comes to worship (& life), oftentimes the more we repeat something, the more it sinks in and becomes a part of WHO we are & HOW we think, act, and exist.
In your quiet place, listen to this song a couple times in a row letting the words sink in.
Add the answers to these questions to your journal/notebook or the printout…
6. What stirred in your heart, mind, soul while you listened?
7. What is your Loving Father, His Son – your Redeemer, and His Spirit – your Source of Life, trying to help you SEE & KNOW as you listen?
I miss you. Easter doesn’t seem right if we cannot be together.
Not gonna lie…I’m a bit sad about that!
At the same time, I know that God is up to something incredible in us, around us, and through us and our community! Let’s take this time and be deliberate about listening & paying attention to HOW He is inviting us to join Him in that great work!
Keep checking back for more Holy Week reflections…