WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?
TEXT: I KINGS 19:9-13
INTRO: Transfiguration- Matt. 17. God's prophet Elijah is one of the most interesting persons in the Bible. He comes on the scene like a lion in I Kings 17, during the reign of Ahab and left in similar fashion in the reign of Ahaziah(II Kings 2)
While Elijah was "God's Man" on the earth, he was entrusted to do many things that changed the spiritual landscape, all part of his mission to stamp out the idolatrous worship of Baal. But as we look in on Elijah in I Kings 19, he is not the man he used to be. Where is his faith? Why is he afraid?
God came to Elijah and asked "What are you doing here, Elijah?" What word did he emphasize?
I) WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, ELIJAH?
A) This Is Out Of Character For You! You are the rugged type, living off the land, eating locusts and honey for food, grabbing a drink from a spring. You wear rough clothing and you ran faster than Ahab's horses could run.
B) Maybe God Is Stressing His God Blessed and God Directed Life! "YOU of all people!" "I love you, called you to be my spokesman, empowered you to perform mighty miracles and to have impossible victories. How much encouragement does it take to keep you spirits up?"
C) Christian, What Are YOU Doing Here? "You are very special to me- the apple of my eye. I Peter 2:9. I gave my Son for you; you made a lifelong commitment to follow Him. There never was a promise of sunny skies your whole life. I told you that there was benefit to suffering and trials (Rom 5) Do you not trust me? I said, 'I will never forsake you nor leave you'(Heb. 13:5). This is just not like you- complaining and despondent
II) WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE ELIJAH?
A) Perhaps The Place Was The Issue. "Have you forgotten the recent past? In your fight against wrong you called for famine and I responded. This did not end until you prayed for rain at which time I brought the rain. I looked after you through the help of ravens, a brook, a woman, and a miraculous continuance of flour from which to make bread. I showed myself through you on Mt Carmel as you took on 850 prophets. Your faith was amazing, and I gave
you the power each time. Then, when one woman, Jezebel, promised to take your life, you became afraid and ran for your life. You were in hiding. Now, what are you doing here, sitting in a cave, sulking and faithless?
B) Christian, What Are You Doing Here?
1) Has God ever been uncomfortable where you took him?
(a) At a bar? Nightclub? Misrepresenting Him to others?
(b) In the midst of a shady business deal? In a situation of refusing to forgive?
2) Are you still salt and light?
3) Do your words, mind and body represent a suffering saviour? Or are you like Peter?
III) WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, ELIJAH?
A) Nothing Lord, Just Sulking. Elijah had a job to do. He was always supposed to make God's will known to those who needed to know. He was not responsible for the results, just the message. His life must be ordered by God.
B) Nothing Lord, Just Feeling Sorry For Myself. I have served you faithfully for many years and the people I preach to are worse than ever. I am discouraged. In fact, to my knowledge, all the other prophets have been killed by the sword. I am the only one left. He felt like his whole life serving God was a waste!!!
C) Christian, What Are You Doing Here
1) Have you felt like you had a job to do and should be doing it?
(a) Perhaps practicing "pure religion."
(b) Maybe being hospitable to members and visitors
(c) Or, showing your friendly side to all here at worship
(d) Acting like Jesus would want you to act every day.
(e) Making the best of bad situations.
(f) Speaking to someone about Jesus the Saviour
2) Each one of us can be faithful and allow our lights to shine each day.
IV) CONCLUSION: A rather arrogant church goer was attempting to flaunt his religion. He said, "Don't you wish you had been born into a religious family like I was?" His confused but honest sceptic replied, "I would not give much for your religion unless it can be seen. Lamps do not talk, but they do shine."