Photo by Katerina Kerdi
And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here Elijah?”1 Kings 19:13 ESV
The story begins with Elijah proclaiming a drought for over 3 years in Israel and going into hiding. When he comes back he releases rain and calls Israel to choose between God and Baal. He tells them to make a choice between God and Baal and stop wavering between the two. If God was God then they should serve him, but if Baal was god then they should serve Baal. (1 Kings 18)
He ends up destroying over 400 Baal worshipers and calling Israel back to God. But Jezebel, the queen, hears what he has done to her prophets and swears to end him.
Elijah runs to the wilderness terrified.
God tells him to go to the mountain and the first thing God asks him is, “what are you doing here?”
God isn’t asking Elijah what exactly he was doing there. He was asking Elijah why he was out of his place of purpose. See, Elijah had allowed opposition to get him out of assignment and God wasn’t pleased.
Nothing should remove us from the places God has set us in. The only thing that should move us is God telling us to move.
Are you out of purpose? Have you left your place of assignment because of a situation? It’s easy for us to run away from things that God commanded us to finish because it got hard.
I remember at the beginning of my walk with God. God would put me in a situation and every time it got hard. I would run away from that situation. I had to make up my mind that nothing would remove me from my assignment but God.
Before this, God would have to give me a time out because I was kicking and screaming. When I kicked and screamed God would pause a season and let me leave. but I would be right back to the thing I was running away from, in no time.
Jezebel’s opposition made Elijah run away from his assignment. People can oppose us to the point of removing us from the purposes of God.
Do you run every time someone disagrees with you? Do you run away every time you face conflict? Do you run every time things get a little hard? Do you run whenever you feel discouraged in the things God has called you in? Do you run when the season takes longer than you expected and try to open your own doors?
The only thing that should take us out of our places of assignment should be God saying well done. Now proceed to the next level.
Few things we can learn from Elijah:
He allowed discouragement to come in. Every time we give ourselves up to discouragement. We will get out of assignment. The enemy will throw discouragement at us to make us leave our positions. If we forfeit our positions we have already lost the battle. Refuse to give in to discouragement. Discouragement tells us there is no way out. It tells us nobody is coming to help us, we are all alone.
Praise is a weapon that casts out discouragement.
The psalmist said why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again- my savior and my God psalm 42:5. He knew the only way out was to put his eyes on God his salvation. The way out was to praise God and remind himself who his savior was.
We always end up in the wilderness when we run from our assignment. The only place you’ll end up in when you are out of the will of God is in the wilderness.
You could be in a relationship that is a wilderness because it wasn’t of God. You could be in a good job that is a wilderness. You could be in a place without conflict but it’s a wilderness. Sometimes, our wilderness is a sign that we are out of the places God assigned us to be.
When we take our eyes off Jesus, things get blurry. Elijah’s answer to God was, “I’m all alone, and they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:14 All Elijah could see was his circumstance and it becomes amplified because he took his eyes off God. All he saw was the opposition, not the almighty God who was for him, Elijah just needed to remember, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
God will lead you back to the places you keep running away from. I learned this the hard way. If I don’t pass the test, God will just keep making me retake it until I pass it. Your test can be a one-time thing or it can be a lifetime, you decide.
If you don’t pass the test of the season you are in, you will not be promoted to the next season. Don’t try to promote yourself. if you do, the next season will eject you out and you’ll find yourself right back where you ran away from. The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came…”1 Kings 19:15
We can have our excuses or we can have victory but we won’t have both.
Father, thank you for your unending love and mercy. Even when I run away you pursue me in love and return me with kindness. Give me the strength to stay put in the places you have placed me in. Thank you for the grace to finish this assignment, even when it’s hard. I make a choice today that I will only leave here because you’ve promoted me to the next level. In Jesus name amen!