April 5, 2017
Worn out by Obedience
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.... He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. 1 Kings 19:3-4
Let's face it. There are times when obedience will flat wear you out. Ask the teenager determined to remain sexually pure when his hormones feel like the grand finale of a Fourth of July fireworks display. Ask the young adult who is committed to wait for God's choice when her friends are hooking up with their choices. Ask the husband and wife who vowed "for better, for worse" and are experiencing a long stretch of "worse." Ask the business person whose peers are getting ahead by making promises that they can't keep and products that won't work. You can love God with a "crazy love," but don't forget that the spiritual journey is made up of steps of obedience, and obedience is hard. Just ask Elijah.
Right before today's passage, Elijah had one of his greatest victories. In the showdown at Mt. Carmel, God demonstrated His power through Elijah in a miraculous way, and the prophet demolished (literally) 450 prophets of Baal. After the great victory, Elijah heard that Jezebel was out to kill him. Amazing, isn't it? Standing up for God in chapter 18 and running for his life in chapter 19. Obedience can wear you out.
God told Elijah to take a deep breath and stand in His presence. God sent a microburst that shattered rocks around the prophet, then shook the ground with an earthquake and finally sent a fire. But the Lord was not in the wind, quake, or fire. Then came God's "gentle whisper" that calmed Elijah's fears and reinvigorated his spirit. Worn out by obedience? Listen, shhhh, for God's gentle whisper.
Father, we are busy, tired, and distracted. Obedience is hard. Help us to calm ourselves in You. We wait for Your gentle whisper. In Jesus' name. Amen.