God asks Elijah a question: What Are You Doing Here? Pushing past the centuries you and I ask, "Do we see ourselves in the story?"
From Faith to Fear
The characters—God, Elijah, Ahab, and Jezebel—draw us into this drama in I Kings 19:10-22. After a supernatural occurrence in chapter 18 where Elijah demonstrates heroic, victorious faith on Mount Carmel, he flees in fear to the desert and prays that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord…Take my life.” Gripped with fear, his faith melts, and he falls asleep.
From God the Caterer
Within the narrative, we see the tender grace of God displayed as He supernaturally caters food and water right in the middle of the desert to meet the physical needs in Elijah’s life. (The ministry of food and sleep are real in the life of a child of God. Sometimes all we need is a nourishing meal and a restorative night’s sleep.)
From the Desert to the Cave
With more sleep and the second helping, so to speak, Elijah journeys forty days—forty days farther away from his enemies Jezebel and Ahab—and into a cave where he spends the night.
Then comes the question: What are you doing here, Elijah? God pursues His servant and poses the inquiry, because Elijah is not where God wants him to be.
Bring this forward to our own lives…
If honest, you and I have to admit that, yes, we do see ourselves in the story. I suggest that within each of us resides an Elijah:
Fear and fatigue contaminate our perspective of our situation.
Fear and fatigue drive us to places we should not go.
Fear and fatigue alter our perspective of God.
And yet, Elijah’s God is our God as well, and He meets us wherever we are. In a desert of discouragement and despair, or in a cave of fear, chaos and confusion, God joins us.
But the game changer is our response.
We are given the choice to stay where we are or to listen to the Voice of God and go back. When I acknowledge that I am not where God wants me to be—in a relationship, a pastime, a purchase, a perspective, a financial decision, or even a habit—I need to choose to go back to the center of God’s will, and under the protection of His Wings.
Elijah had to answer God's direct question with intentional action. So do we.
Living With Eternal Intentionality™
Questions we find in Scripture arrest my attention. Over time, I invite you to journey with me through a series we will call “Classic Questions.” This blog post entry launched our first: What Are You Doing Here? (I Kings 19:10-22)
- When do you last remember being in a place where you did not need to be?
- How did you answer God's Classic Question: What are you doing here?
- What was the outcome?