*/Don’t Quit, Come Out of Your Cave!
1 Kings 19:1-4, 9-15
a. As America celebrates the tremendous victory of the Election of Sen. Barrack Obama as the 44th President of the these United States, the church can not forget the fact that we face difficult times and a tremendous challenge to represent, stand and hold fast the principles of God in the earth! God has called you, or the church to the tremendous task of representing Him on earth, even in seemingly impossible situations! “God has called us for such a time as this!”
i. Outside of the Lord Jesus Christ, I can think no more courageous leader than the Prophet Elijah!
ii. Eli jah, was an awesome man of God ( When God judged Israel for turning away from God Elijah prayed and it did not rain for three one half year, inflicting drought, starvation, hardship on the land. Elijah, prayed and fire fell from heaven, single handedly killed 800 false prophets of Baal/Asherah)
b. As courageous as he was, when threaten by Jezebel, he ran for his life and hid in a cave! He was still a human and subject to human emotions! When our emotions get the best of us and send us to the “CAVE, God can bring you out!
c. Perhaps there is no greater example, outside of the Lord Jesus Christ, than Elijah! As great as he was for God, he was still human! Sometimes humans “quit, before they finish the job!” As Paul said, “you did run well, but what has hindered you?”
i. Eli jah, was an awesome man of God, he prayed and heaven was shut up from rain for 3 1/2 years and he said there would not be any more rain unless he said so! He withstood 850 false prophets on Mt. Carmel, called fire down from heaven, and then slew the 850 prophets. But his human emotions got the better of him and he almost wasted the rest of his life hiding in a cave! But God come out of your cave!
d. Instead of bringing God glory, we can live wasted potential living in a cave! Jesus put it this way, Matthew 5: 14, 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
1. “9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Ga 6.9)
e. Elijah fell victim to his emotions and landed in “the cave!”
i. In order to get out of our “cave”, we are going to learn: how Elijah “landed in the cave, and how God brought him out!”
ii. God can bring you out, “you can’t quit, it’s not over!”
II. Why would Elijah fear Jezebel? (Background) One has to understand a little Jezebel’s background. She was the pagan wife of King Ahab of Israel. Though he was the king, she wore the pants.. He depended upon Jezebel to carry out his tough responsibilities.
a. So King Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah, one man, had executed 850 false prophets, you would think she would be afraid. But she was anything but afraid.
b. Jezebel was a domineering wife. She was a “dominatrix.” First she quickly took matters into her own hand; Second, she did her husband’s dirty work, if he wanted something done he would just tell her, and no matter what it was she would get it done at any price; thirdly, she quickly turned to threats and intimidation and revenge! She had a “take over Spirit,” is often referred to as the “Jezebel” spirit!
i. She sent word to Elijah, “by tomorrow this time I am going to kill you, just like you killed my prophets!”
III. So then why would this mighty man run from this woman? Well there are 4 reasons he became vulnerable to her threats!
i. First of all: Elijah was physically and emotionally exhausted.
1. When you are tired you don’t think clearly. Never make important decisions when you are exhausted, or stressed out. If he was thinking clearly, he would have said, “God is in control, not Jezebel. Or I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!”
ii. Secondly, he separated himself from strengthening relationships.
1. He left his servant and he went alone into the wilderness. He should have stayed with or had fellowship with a trusted friend. The Bible says, “forsaken not the assembly of yourselves, as some do.” The devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour!”
iii. Thirdly, Elijah was in the “aftermath” a great victory on Mt. Carmel.
1. It is after a great victory that we become most vulnerable. “12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12)
iv. Fourthly, Elijah began to “drown” in “self-pity”
1. (feeling sorry for himself, his situation, position and condition in life). The “poor old me” syndrome that cultivates a “victim-mentality!” That causes up to blame someone else and never accept “personal responsibility.” But we can never receive help or change our situation until we accept personal responsibility!
IV. Discouragement caused Elijah to Depart from God, and He ended up in a Cave!
i. Discouragement is the cancer of SUCCESS! If not arrested will cause you to be Depressed! That’s why the Bible teaches us to “encourage” or strengthen one another in the Lord!” God will strengthen you, sent angles and one of our greatest ministries should be to strengthen one another! (Relationships, in the church in the family). David said, “I strengthened myself!”
b. Elijah became so DISCOURAGED, that he became DEPRESSED! He allowed his EMOTIONS or Feelings to dominate his life! When we allow our “feelings or emotions” to dominate our life we take our eye off of God and focus on “SELF”. We become more concerned with “what the people think, say and react than what God thinks, say and respond!” The Bible says, “should fear God, more than man or the people!”
V. Elijah moves by his feelings, rather than his faith in God! (We live by faith, and not by sight!’)
i. 1) He goes into a cave, drops out of life and inflicts a self imposed retirement on himself! Cave like a hole in the ground, isolated, black, without any natural “light!” The “darkness” puts it out! (But if we walk in the light, then darkness can’t conquer us! Jesus is the light!
ii. How many times we “move into a cave, and just give up because someone doesn’t like us, talks about u; we are, tired, discouraged or people don’t do or think the way we want them.
iii. Next, Elisha: “Wishes that he was dead!” (Desire to take his own life? Why?
1. He concentrated on himself, and took his mind off of God! “Look at me, I am the only one Lord that is speaking for you and nobody is listening!”
2. He forgot it was God that chose him, and not he that chose God. It was God that gave him the “assignment!”
3. Apostle Paul told Timothy, “2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Tim 4:2-4)
VI. God Can Bring your Out of your Cave! No matter what Cave or how deep you are in the Cave! Don’t quit, give up, Because God is not through with you!”
a. First God says “CHANGE your POSITION.”, “Get up and walk to the mouth of the cave and I am going to speak to you!”
i. You can’t hear God in the Cave! You’ve got to separate from you negative environment and relations. You are dominated by your “feelings!”!
ii. Stop listening to every ungodly person or thing! (Ps 1). Come out from among them and be separate! Be ye holy, for I am holy!
iii. Change the scenery, associations! (Wrong friends (use you, seduce you and entice you to do wrong! Drugs, illicit sex, rebel against your parents, drop out of school, church; don’t work, make babies, commit crime)
b. Secondly, God performs a miracle, get his ATTENTION (Earthquake, wind, and fire), but notice God was not in the “miracle.”
i. The miracle was just to get your attention so you could listen to God! Jesus performed many miracles, but the miracles were not to save them, but to convince them to receive the Word of God as Truth!
1. “Except you repent of your sins, believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved, he that believeth not condemned, because….” (Jh 3:15-17)
ii. God has performed the greatest miracle, the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the grave after thee days, with a glorified body!
c. Thirdly, God SPEAKS to him in a “small voice” and commissions him on a new assignment! God could have left him in the cave out of commission. God could have used someone else, but God RE-ASSIGNED him. Elijah’s assignment was not over! “Don’t Quit, God is not Through With You!” It’sTime to Come Our of Your Cave!
VII. Your Assignment is not over! You’ve been struggling with your “emotions and the feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, discouraged, depressed long enough! You have been in your cave long enough! Today I’m coming out of my cave!
a. God is not through with you! Don’t Quit! God sent Elijah to anoint Hazeal, as King over Syria: anoint Jehu, as king over Israel, and anoint Elisha, as his successor! (Don’t forget, I have 7,000 prophets who haven’t bowed their knees to Baal!)
b. God sent me to anoint you for service! Be saved, baptized, Holy Ghost! Speak the Word, Sing, Work, Win Souls! Develop renew relationship with God!
c. God will use you to bless someone to complete the job!
d. Today I want to anoint you to do the work the assignment that God has for your life!