Intro: the back story on Elijah…From 1 Kings18:18 “I have made no trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead. 19 Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.[a]”
20 So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. 21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.
Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal and Asherah, to make a sacrifice of a bull on a fire and says…call on the name of your god to light the fire and I will call on my God to light my fire…
When the gods of Baal and Asherah don’t show up to light the fire Elijah pokes fun at them…verse 27, “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”
When the fire didn’t lite Elijah prepared his sacrifice for fire. He poured water on it. 3 times they covered it in water. Elijah called on God, our God and fire came down from heaven and lite up the sacrifice. Then all of the evil prophets were killed. It was a great triumph for Elijah.
40 And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. 46 Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.
What a great celebration!! God came through with the fire and with the rain. Elijah must have been so excited and fulfilled. Probably on fire for God. But before we assume all this about Elijah….let’s look at the next verse.
I. A Man with a Miserable Job: Elijah the Prophet
1 When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. 2 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.”
3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. 4 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.” 1 Kings 19:1-4
Elijah was a prophet of God.
He obeyed God and Killed the Prophets of Baal.
When threatened by Jezebel, He fled in Fear and Doubt.
What a shock…he was miserable, down, defeat…He was Living on Empty,
II. Living on Empty: 3 Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni
Irrelevance – What I do has no relevance!
How does what I do impact anyone? Which takes root when employees cannot see how their job makes a difference in the lives of others. Every employee needs to know that the work they do impacts someone’s life – a customer, a co-worker, even a supervisor – in one way or another.
Yes, go, and say to this people, ‘Listen carefully, but do not understand. Watch closely, but learn nothing.’ Isaiah 6:9
Immeasurement – What I do is not measurable?
How am I doing? Which is the inability of employees to assess for themselves their contribution or success. Employees who have no means of measuring how well they are doing on a given day or in a given week, must rely on the subjective opinions of others, usually their managers’, to gauge their progress or contribution.
But Amos replied, ‘I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one.’ Amos 7:14 Amos is saying leave me alone…I know I am not perfect!
Anonymity – No one knows what I do!
No One Knows Me. The feeling that employees get when they realize that their manager has little interest in them a human being and that they know little about their lives, their aspirations and their interests.
Then Elijah said to them, ‘I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left…’
1 Kings 18:22
Patrick Lencioni sets up this triangle as an illustration of miserable jobs, the reason I am talking about it today is because I think it can be used as an illustration for a miserable life. His principles communicate a struggle that many of us have or have had or may have in the future. These principles if not dealt with can lead to depression, burnout and an Ultimately Living on Empty. Let’s take a look at these then see how they apply, then see how we can change…
III. IS THIS A MISERABLE LIFE?
Irrelevance – Do I Impact Anyone? Do I make a difference in anyone’s life?
Immeasurement – Am I Doing Okay? How is my life going? How am I doing in my job, my family, with my kids?
Anonymity – Does Anyone Know Me? Do I have any good friends? Am I close to my spouse or friends at school.
Maybe we are like Alice in Wonderland…
Alice asks, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
Cheshire Cat, ”That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” – From ‘Alice in Wonderland’
IV. ELIJAH’S WHOLE STORY: God Cares for Him
Angels Lead and Feed Elijah at the Broom Tree
Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. 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. I Kings 19:5-6
God Met and Directed Elijah on Mount Sinai
“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. 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. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. 1 Kings 19:11-13
God Clarifies Elijah’s Role
“What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9,13
God is saying you are suppose to he a prophet in the
V. Defeating the Miserable Life
Irrelevance – Do I Impact Anyone?
Go to where you can make an Impact. Figure out a place where you can use what God has given you for influence. Use your Spiritual Gifts, talents and experience to Impact people?
God asked Elijah, What are you doing here?
Immeasurement – Am I Doing Okay?
– Maybe, maybe not, but God can still use you!
– ‘Press on’ to Reach what God has for you!
…But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14
Anonymity – Does Anyone Know Me?
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. Philippians 3:10
Our Vision statement for 2014 is
Get to Know God. Learn the Bible. Connect with People.
That’s a pretty basic outline of what God expects of us the rest of our lives…
Be Proactive, Get Involved…Small group? Men’s? Women’s? Ports game? Youth? Pastor’s Connection?
Stay in engaged w/ Jesus, Stay engaged with His Church.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another… Hebrews 10:25
Knowing the remedy doesn’t necessarily complete the healing; the difference comes when we apply it. – Wayne Cordeiro