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Purity 101

Elijah the Loner
I Kings 19:9-18

 

     The lie that Satan uses to "divide and conquer" the lonely Christian is one of the most powerful weapons in his arsenal. If he's been using this weapon to discourage and defeat you--relax, you're in good company!
     Even Elijah, one of the most powerful, spirit-filled prophets mentioned in the Old Testament, fell prey to this convincing lie. The same Elijah who revived a dead child, called fire down from heaven, and ended his earthly life by being caught up to heaven in a chariot of fire once found himself alone in a cave: isolated, discouraged, and sure that he was the only one willing to serve God.
     Paralyzed by a pity party that had zapped his zeal and restrained him from continuing his work for the Lord, the Holy Spirit found him holed up in a dark little cave.
     "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
     In verse ten, Elijah replies, "I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."
     God responded to Elijah's complaints by giving Elijah an object lesson. First, he showed Elijah three large, impressive things--a whirlwind, an earthquake, and a fire. The three things had strength and power, but God was not interested in using those things. Instead, God chose to use something insignificant and weak: a still, small voice.
     After Elijah had witnessed this object lesson, God asked him again; "What are you doing here, Elijah?" But Elijah's answer did not change. So God said, "Alright, Elijah, go find and train yourself a replacement--it's time for you to just come on home."
     Elijah missed the lesson God was trying to teach him, and therefore he missed out on the future miracles God could have done through him. God was trying to teach Elijah about the power of one.
     You see, Elijah was discouraged and defeated because his focus was in the wrong place. He had his eyes on "them:" the people who disagreed with his belief in God, hated him for his stand, and wanted to end his ministry.
     Make no mistake; there were a lot of people who felt this way about Elijah, and some of them were pretty powerful people in his society. Queen Jezebel herself had vowed to personally ensure Elijah's death, but God

 

wanted Elijah to see that power is not in numbers or even in earthy positions of popularity and authority. He wanted Elijah to learn the power of one.
     God wanted Elijah to know what He wants you to know today: that you alone, living for God, are more powerful than five million people who are just drifting along with their peers and the cultural norms of society. God doesn't choose to use "the in crowd," God chooses to use the blood-bought, consecrated individual to accomplish His greater plan. (See I Corinthians 1:27-29.)
     After Elijah failed to respond to God's message about the value of one, God finally revealed to Elijah the error of his belief. Just as I realized later in life that I could have chosen to associate with other Christians in my high school, Elijah learned from God that there were still seven thousand other Israelites who had not succumbed to the culture of idol worship that was so prevalent in his day. He didn't know them personally, he didn't benefit from their friendship on a daily basis, but that didn't mean they were not there.
     In fact, God knew who they were and where they were and he directed Elijah to the home of Elisha, whom God had chosen to continue His work.
     Girls, if God knew where to find the believers in Elijah's day, He still knows where to find them today. He can bring you together with whomever He wants, whenever He wants. If you're feeling impatient or worried about having Christian friends or meeting a phenomenal Christian guy, don't become impatient and push forward your own plan--talk to God about it! Then try to relax and trust Him to make it happen.
     I know it isn't easy to wait, and I know it's hard to feel alone, but allowing yourself to dwell on these feelings is just what the devil would like you to do. Next time the devil tries to tempt and discourage you, fire back with the weapons Jesus used when Satan attempted to isolate and defeat Him (Luke 4:1-13). Quote scripture, walk in the power of the Spirit, and tell Satan to go away! The Bible says that if we resist him, he will flee (James 4:7). If you continue to be tempted and discouraged, you may wish to clip out and keep this three-point reminder in your locker, book bag or purse:

1. Don't discount the power of one.
2. Don't believe the devil's lie.
3. Don't doubt God's provision.


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