Last night one of my foster sons and I read the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18. Every time I read that particular account, I do some serious self-reflection and wonder if I would ever have the confidence in God to play Elijah’s role in that event.
I usually come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t and feel a little discouraged. However, this time around as I considered myself in Elijah’s shoes, my thoughts went in another direction.
In Elijah’s generation, God’s followers were under enormous persecution, but there were still at least 100 other prophets of God (1 Kings 18:4). None of these prophets were with Elijah on Mount Carmel and truthfully not much is said about them in the Biblical narrative at all. Yet, they too were filled with God’s Spirit and sharing his message among his people.
I wonder if these prophets also compared themselves to Elijah with self-judgement or even envy for what God used him to do on Mount Carmel. Or I wonder if they rejoiced with Elijah for what God did on Mount Carmel and also had faith that God would accomplish his will in the specific contexts in which God had placed them.
When I think about these other prophets and what their lives, ministries, and thoughts might have been, I wonder if a different reaction to rereading the account of Elijah on Mount Carmel would be more appropriate. I wonder if instead of comparing myself to Elijah in the situations God put him in, if I should instead reflect on my level of trust in God in the situations God has put me in.
And so I wonder, what is the biggest, most intimidating scenario in my life right now in my pursuit of God’s kingdom? It most certainly isn’t a face-off with self-mutilating idol worshipers in which I am counting on God to bring fire from heaven. But are there intimidating scenarios in which I have an opportunity to advance God’s kingdom or cower? Yes!
So this time around, as I meditated on Elijah on Mount Carmel, I thought instead about what faith would look like in the scenarios of my life. What does faith look like when it comes to trying support my foster sons’ families when they return home? What does faith look like as I take an opportunity God gave me to return to serving our community as a Speech-Language Pathologist for a time? What does faith look like as I support our church leaders through a difficult season?
I don’t always know what faith looks like, but I do know who to ask. And the God who can give me clarity on how to walk in faith is also the God who supplies my faith and empowers me through the Holy Spirit to pursue his Kingdom.
So, I think I’ll leave Elijah on his mountain, but take his God with me to mine and see what he can do!
Since life has been a little less socially distanced, this is our last socially distanced devotion. We look forward to seeing you at our modified Sunday morning services.
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