walk in the word
Problems, Relying on God, Sin / Suffering / Satan
“There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” … And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.” 1 Kings 19:9,11-13
True or false? The Bible never talks about godly people who battled depression.
If you were around last week for our visit with Elijah under the juniper tree, then you know that answer is false. In 1 Kings 18-19 (as well as other places), God not only pictures for us people who were depressed, but from their lives He also shows us the way out of depression. If you remember, the difference between people is not the intensity of the things that we go through, but how we choose to deal with those circumstances. We talked last week about the three steps that take you down into depression and I promised you that this week we’d look at five steps to getting out of that valley and on to victory.
That is exactly what Elijah did—he got out of the valley. How? He met God and let Him change him. Let’s look at Elijah’s choices in detail. Ask yourself if these are decisions that you too need to make:
1. Let God confront you. In 1 Kings 19:9, Elijah’s frame of mind drove him to a cave. Alone and exhausted, Elijah was asleep in the cool blackness when God spoke to him. Elijah, what are you doing here? Stuttering with lame excuses, Elijah didn’t have a good reason for isolating himself. Notice that the Lord didn’t get angry or judgmental of His servant; He just ministered grace to him. I love that.
2. Let God reveal Himself to you. Once He comforted Elijah, God showed Himself strong. Go stand outside, Elijah. “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.” Did you hear where God’s message was communicated? In the quiet and the un-spectacular. We live in a day when people clamor, Make my eyes go wow, God, and then I’ll believe in You. But Elijah had seen the wild stuff and he was like, whatever. When God whispered to him in a still, small voice: It’s Me, Elijah. It’s going to be OK. You can trust Me, thenElijah came around.
3. Let God provide for you. Finally, once Elijah was in a place where he could receive help, God supernaturally sent food and rest. If you’ll let Him, God will nourish you too with His Word or through a friend or through a piece of wisdom that He brings to mind and you’ll feel yourself getting stronger.
4. Immediately do what God says. God gave Elijah the very specific instructions to leave the cave. Verses 15 through 17 can be paraphrased, Get up, man. Get on with life!
5. Get involved with people again. After all this, God sent Elijah back to civilization. God said, I have reserved seven thousand people in Israel who have never bowed to Baal who are as faithful as you are. Go back and get with those people.
Which of these five steps up to victory do you need to take?
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