“Then [Elijah] was afraid… and ran for his life to Beersheba… and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness… and asked that he might die…And behold an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water… And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is to great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” – 1 Kings 19: 3-8
We often focus on how God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice but we often neglect the journey and preparation preceding him hearing and meeting with God.
Here are some important preparatory steps Elijah went through beforehand:
- 1.Our first response to fear and intimidation should always be to return back to God’s covenant and promise
“and [Elijah] ran for his life to Beersheba.” Beersheba’s name literally means ‘well of the oath.’ Historically Beersheba represented a place of remembering God’s faithfulness in covenant and word. What promises and covenants has God given you? Furthermore have you strengthened yourself by returning back to these words of hope and security during times of fear and anxiety?
- 2.Moving towards God often means moving away from our current security
“[Elijah] went a day’s journey into the wilderness.” This almost seems contradictory to our previous step but its actually complimentary. Many of us have experienced homesickness upon first leaving our parent’s home only to have challenges with finances, jobs, school or relationships overwhelm us. Even though temporarily returning back home (our Beersheba) can bring comfort, we will never truly mature unless we once again leave home (our comfort zones) and move forward. God allows us to occasionally return to places of comfort and familiarity but these times are almost always temporary to prepare us for the true destination and more importantly the journey in-between.
- 3.God is met when we stop relying on our own ingenuity and wisdom and begin relying on His divine provisions and strength
“Arise and eat, for the journey is to great for you.” Even though never directly implied in the passage, it would be easy to surmise Elijah settling on a one-day journey into the wilderness since it was a reasonable and humanly possible distance. Rather than God accepting this as a permissible location to meet, God instead sends Elijah forty days further into the wilderness. God meets us in the place where we’ve been stripped of any reliance on our own abilities and strength.
- 4.God’s ways of provisions and His subsequent requests can oftentimes seem illogical
“and [Elijah] arose… and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” Even though divinely provided, the energy from two cakes and two jars of water should have never lasted Elijah for forty days. It is only upon us accepting that God’s ways are truly higher than ours that we can begin to be lead and prepared to be brought face to face with God and the destination He has for us. Sometimes the illogical route is the divinely ordained way.
Be blessed my friend,
I will not drive [your enemies] out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased and possess the land. (Ex. 23:29-30)
Often we can find ourselves wondering where our original dreams and goals have gone. We began with a clear-cut vision and passion towards what we felt was our calling – our destiny. But somewhere in-between our vision and destiny our progress has seemingly began to digress or disappear altogether.
Here are three principles God is giving the children of Israel in order for them to possess their destiny:
1.The principle of Stewardship is extremely important
“Lest the land become desolate” – The principle of stewardship is extremely important to God. Proper care and concern for the welfare of our surroundings is oftentimes more important than us achieving personal victory or dominance.
2.True progress takes time
“Little by little I will drive them out before you” – Just as wealth gained quickly will dwindle (Prov. 13:11), so will influence and power. God allows us to expand according to our ability to properly manage and maintain.
3.In order to possess the future we must first be fruitful in the present
“until you have increased and possess the land” – The word increased actually means to be fruitful. If we wait until tomorrow to be excellent at what we can accomplish today our lives will not progress towards the true destiny God has for us. The more we learn to be fruitful in our current situation – the more God will grant us our dreams.
Had a blast @ The William Glesby Centre of Portage La Prairie, MB. So appreciative of a full venue and an awesome crowd!
Check out a video here: HERE
More to come soon....
(Still a couple of dates left in the Canadian Tour - hope to see you soon!)
April 12 - New Hope Church, Delta, B.C.
April 13 - Maple Ridge Alliance Church, Maple Ridge, B.C.
April 14 - Connaught Heights Pentecostal, New Westminster, B.C.
April 17 - Glesby Center, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
April 21 - (AM) Prairie Community Church, Portage la Prairie, MB
- (PM) Calvary Temple, Winnipeg, MB
18th Annual Glorious Reunion @ King's Highway Baptist Church this Sunday (March 17th) in Fredericksburg, VA.
Vist their website for more info CLICK HERE
Hope to see you out!
Looking forward to be apart of the program and sharing a couple of favorites from our new album Travelin' Through.
In everything give thanks – but don’t give thanks for everything.
I heard an excellent preacher make this statement one Sunday morning and it’s stuck with me ever since. How many times had I misread 1 Thessalonians 5:18? If you’re like me, you’re most likely not going to look up this reference and see what it actually says – so here it is: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God…”
A series of studies have come out in the past decade seemingly pointing to stress and depression causing a physiological ‘shrinkage’ of the brain. I chuckled at this since it seems to make sense that the more we become inundated with the anxiety, worry and stress around us, the smaller our worlds (and brains) become! Conversely, the more we externalize our focus on others and on God, the larger our world becomes (I guess our brains stay the same size in this scenario… no published research here).
I mention this study to underline the importance of having a ‘thankful heart’ to enlarge our vision, our world and our reality. Dr. Martin Seligman (University of Pennsylvania) continues to be a trailblazer in the new discipline of Positive Psychology because he teaches the importance of thankfulness, altruistic behavior, and overall getting your eyes off yourself and focusing your life on others.
God is not vying for you to thank Him for everything – rather thank Him in the midst of everything. Another way to represent this is: Love your neighbor in spite of their behavior, but you certainly don’t have to love all their behavior.
Often times I was under the delusion that I had to somehow find the good in the midst of a tragedy. For example, when my mother died, I wasn’t sure if I was somehow supposed to find the ‘good’ and be thankful (i.e. thank you God she didn’t suffer longer?) This didn’t seem right!
God is asking us to show thankfulness in spite of our surroundings, not necessarily for the particular surrounding(s). Consequently, in my scenario, it wasn’t a matter of thanking God for some minuscule ‘good’ within my loss and grief, but rather giving thanks in spite of my loss and grief. I could still thank Him for His faithfulness, love and friendship even though it may not have been presently observable (at least to me).
When you face setbacks or tragedies, remember that God desires for you to develop thankfulness in spite of and not necessarily thankfulness for.
Concerts/Performances coming up: Fox Hill Central United Methodist Church, Hampton, VA (This Saturday @ 7pm) New Life Providence Church, Virginia Beach, VA (Sunday 9am & 11:30am) Gulf Beach Presbyterian Church, Panama City Beach, FL (Jan. 27 @ 7pm)
After a sold-out performance in August, Kevin and Jerry Maksymyk of the Glesby Centre would like to announce that tickets have gone on sale for the spring concert - April 17, 2013!
Tickets are moving fast - get yours today by calling The Glesby at 204-239-4848
or visiting thier website Glesbycentre.com