Monday, May 10, 2010

Becoming A Significant Servant, Pt. 2





Servant’s lesson #2: Outer victories mean nothing if I do not win the inner battle.
You'd think that chapter 18 of 1 Kings contained the biggest battles of Elijah's life. He battled the powerful king Ahab, he battled 450 false prophets! But in chapter 19 he faces an even bigger battle, the battle within himself. He won the battles of 18 fairly easily, yet almost lost his life in the battle with himself in 19. In 1 Kings 19 Elijah gives clear expression to the kinds of inner battles which every true servant of God will inevitably have to face. See if you can feel Elijah...

“I want to run!”1 Kings 19:3

We often feel like running after a great victory. The combination of the physical and emotional fatigue often makes us feel like escaping when everyone else is celebrating, makes us sorrowful when everybody’s shouting. When we’re run down we want to run away.

“I've had enough!” 1 Kings 19:4

The feeling is, “I’ve reached my limit...I can’t go any further…I can’t take any more.” Often times we quit emotionally before we quit physically. We throw in the towel way before we throw in the towel.

“I'm all alone!” 1 Kings 19:10

The greatest inner battle is the battle of loneliness. When you decide that you're all alone the inner battle is lost. It is possible to have family and friends around and still feel lonely. Company is not always Companionship.

The inner victory for Elijah was won on 6 different fronts. So the next time you feel like running, feel run down or isolated. You need to remember what God told Elijah…
  • You need rest! (v. 7)
  • You must worship! (v. 8)
  • You can tell someone! (v. 9-10)
  • You need a fresh encounter with God! (v. 11-13)
  • You are useful! ( v. 15-17)
  • You aren't alone! (v. 18)
Here’s where I want us to hang our spiritual hats this morning on this idea of a fresh encounter with God. Elijah, who had already seen God in the fire and the storms, heard God this time in a gentle whisper. You might feel desperate to hear God’s voice right now. Keep listening! Elijah didn’t hear God the 1st or 2nd or even the 3rd time. But he was faithful to be where God wanted him to be and eventually heard God’s still small voice. What do you need to hear God whisper?

Pray this servant’s prayer: Lord, I want to serve you for the rest of my life. I pray that you would give to me the wisdom to rest when it’s needed, the desire to place a priority on worship, the courage to tell You about the problems I face, the inner confidence that I am useful to you and the assurance that I am never alone in serving you. I pray that I would regularly hear you speaking to me in fresh, new ways.
AMEN.
LISTEN! "Elijah"
[Rich Mullins]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I am reading this devotional from Panama. I have also been following the sermons online from this church. I appreciate all of your online options as I am away from home and unable to get to the local episcopal church.