MAKING AN IMPACT, The Story of Elijah, Week 3, Restoration for Impact

 Last week was awesome.  Great ending.  If it was a Disney movie, it would have ended last week!!  Victory!!! Fire, Rain came back, Full Sprinting…and they lived happily ever after…didn’t he…here’s what I like about the Bible…it tells the whole story…if you make an Impact…

Elijah runs ahead of King Ahab and they get back…all exciting yes…and we loved it…however the next day…

RESTORATION FOR IMPACT — I Kings 19

INTRODUCTION: The Aftershock

  • JEZEBEL’S THREAT (vv. 1-2)

NOW…1 When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”

  1. You killed my prophets if I don’t kill you, may my gods be that severe with me by tomorrow!!
  2. She is there and ticked off and ready to kill Elijah…we all that King Ahab was in charge…the real leader is Jezebel. 
  3. But of course Elijah will be strong, he just watched God do amazing things on Mt. Carmel…
  • ELIJAH’S RESPONSE (vv. 3-5a)

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. (fear can creep in can’t it…even on our best days we can get scared…we will talk about this later) He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”  5a Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree…

  • GOD’S MINISTRY TO ELIJAH (vv. 5b-9a)

5b “But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”

So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave, where he spent the night…

  • GOD MEETS WITH ELIJAH (vv. 9b-18)

“But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah? 10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

15 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram.16 Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi[b] to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.17 Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! 18 Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

  • ELIJAH’S RESPONSE (vv. 19-21) 

19 So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. 20 Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!”

Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.”

21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.

  1. We are in a spiritual battle – expect pushback
  1. Spiritual battles have pushback…Elijah.
  2. Demonic worship and spiritual worship.

Ephesians 6:10-12

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

3. If I am going to step out for God…pushback is going to happen.  Satan doesn’t just sit back and leave you alone. 

2. We should recognize the power of fear

  1. God says fear not, Elijah fears like crazy!!!
  2. Not matter who we are or what we believe, we still have fear!!

3. We should prepare for vulnerability following victory.

  1. It is after a great victory that we can be most vulnerable
  2. We need to be prepared to stand after the great moments to stand strong.   Married couples go away for a great weekend, think everything is fixed, come home and struggle…People with addictions will do great for years and be on cloud 9…then the addiction is back…youth and college will go to camp for a week and all is good family, friends, life, faith…then back to reality…and they struggle again.temptations…frustrations…  This is what happens to Elijah.

4. Two things that make us vulnerable…

  • Exhaustion – Elijah is Exhausted…Physical, emotional, and spiritual…nothing left in the tank.  He needs to refuel. 
  • Expectation – I thought it was going to be different.   Elijah it is going to be a great new revival and it was going to be awesome!!  But it was not good.  Rather than Revival and take over it was depression and a bummer!!!

“I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

5. None of us is immune to discouragement and depression.

  1. One of Satan’s favorite toys is discouragement.   Satan loves to come and tell you nothing is going to change it will always be like this.  Satan tells you things are wrong when they are not…let me ask you…what did Elijah do wrong…nothing…yet Satan want to discourage him. 
  2. This discouragement can lead to depression.  A lot people struggle with depression.  It is going up in our country.  New York times says depression is growing most among those who are 35-64 Baby Boomers…and the highest of all Men in their 50’s…more people die to suicide in our country than to car accidents…I didn’t expect life to be this way…I didn’t know this would happen…add depression to that..and we have trouble that is what Elijah was going through in this passage and that is what some of you are going through…So how does God respond…how does God help?…How can God help us?  We think God is going to jump on us and challenge us and force us to move forward, that’s not what he does here in 1 Kings 19…

5. God’s first response: sleep and eat

“Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” (v7)

  1. God knows that Elijah and you are exhausted mentally and physically.  Sleep is what you need.  We have a God who cares for us.
  2. For some of us today, maybe your biggest take away is that you need to rest more in the Lord.  Celebrate the Lord in your time in Him.  We get so busy in our lives and all that we forget to rest in the Lord.
  3. Remember the song, it is better to burn out than to fade away – Neil Young (1975).  (Former Nirvana frontman Cobain took his own life in 1994 and, in the final letter he left to his fans, friends and family, reprinted the phrase “It’s better to burn out than to fade away”).
  4. Not really the way God looks at things.  He wants you to sleep and rest.  If we are constantly burning out, how can we accomplish great things for God…Elijah…sleep/eat…over burdened Christian…sleep/eat.

6. You can’t address the emotional and spiritual issues unless you take care of the physical issues. 

  1. Listen people take care of your physical issues. Maybe you need to see a dr. and your hesitant.  Go see a Dr.   God wants you to get things right in your life, He wants to help, and sometimes the physical can hold us back!!  Until we deal with he physical we are often not prepared to hear about the emotional and spiritual!
  2. God deals with Elijah physically first.  Food, Drink, Rest first…then sends him on a journey to Mt Sinai.   This is where God showed Himself to Moses…Mt Sinai (aka Mt Horeb)…now he brings Elijajh there…

So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.

7. There is purpose in the places God leads you and meets with you.

  1. Do you have a place where you meet with God?  A chapel, a special place, I love at Mount Hermon where Natalie is serving this summer… there’s a Chapel and Cross above Ponderosa Lodge…a dock in Antioch,     
  1. Maybe there’s a place you go once a week, once a month, once a year, once a whatever…to meet with God….

8. God never asks us questions for His sake, but for our understanding.

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (v9)

Remember God knows the Answer.

God wants to hear from Elijah

“I am the Only One Left”

9. Two signs that we have lost perspective:

  • Exaggerate how bad it is
    1. They are all trying to Kill me….as if they are all trying to Kill Him. Just Jezebell threatens him, not all of Israel.  Very me centered.  Not that we would ever do that
  • Become “me” centered 

Very me centered.  Not that we would ever do that…

I have been zealous.  I have done these things. 

10.  In times of restoration, God calls us to look to Him.

  • His Power
  1. Fire down from heaven nothing compares to God’s power
  • His Presence
  1. God Is there, God is in my Life,
  2. He’s In my eart, He speaks to Me.
  • His Plan
    1. Elijah I have a new plan for you.
    2. Maybe we don’t listen to God’s plan because we don’t like His plan.

We at God and say look I need your power

I desperately need your presence

You show me where I need to go…what is your plan…I will go

And last… Your not alone, you don’t have to life alone…

  • His People (Elijah there are 700 other Prophets)
  1. There are other people to walk with you in your Struggles
  2. And I have someone else to Go with You!! (Elisha!!)

11. A life of impact means trusting God to go again.

God loves to meet you in the cave, but you don’t live there.  It’s time for some to go again.

21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.

Clarence Jordan, grew up in Georgia,  PHD in the New Testament, Americus, Georgia, Opened the Koinonia Farm is a Christian farming intentional community in Sumter County, Georgia.  Where black and white people sharing on the farm. Wanted to show the world what Christianity looked like, after 14 years,  the klu klux klan destroyed every building and the entire farm except his home…the next day a reporter  showed up.  Jordan recognized the voice from the night before.  The reporter said, I heard what happened last night, I came to report on the closing of your farm, Jordan didn’t answer, finally, the reporter said you have 2 phd’s and you put 14 years into this farm, now there’s nothing left…you don’t get it do you……All Clarence Jordan said was…faithful…I am going to be faithful to what God called me to be here!  He was ready to go a 2nd round…He was going to faithful to God’s vision for the 2nd round, just like Elijah, Just like me and you…I love Elisha buring the place down and going wth Elijah…that is so cool…maybe we need to get rid of some things and get back to following God…

https://www.koinoniafarm.org/

Can you trust God enough to go back out again?

The God who showed up for Elijah will show up for you!!

  1. When are you most vulnerable to attacks by the enemy? In what ways do you struggle when you are under attack – fear, discouragement, depression, etc.? How could you prepare yourself for these times?
  2. Do you monitor how your physical well being impacts your spiritual well being? Do you need to address some physical needs in your life?
  3. Do you find God asking you any questions or forcing you to deal with some questions in your life? What do you think He is trying to reveal to you?
  4. When God revealed Himself to Elijah, He showed him His power, His presence, His plan, and His people. Which of these do you need to focus on today?
  5. Are you willing to trust God again? Sometimes the greatest act of faith is stepping out one more time. Are you ready and willing?

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