He had just won one of the fiercest battles of his life and was undoubtedly in very high spirits. Seeing God in action at a time you expect gives one an exhilarating effect. It makes you want to face the world with a ‘Bring it on!’ attitude because you have just seen an awesome demonstration of the power of God. This was how Elijah must have felt after the victory on mount Carmel. (1 Kings 18)
It was supposed to be a no-contest, the odds were 450 – 1 that Elijah would win but like the saying goes, ‘One with God is a majority’. The 450 prophets were disgraced and Elijah’s God answered by fire.
Shortly after, King Ahab went home to report to his wife Jezebel all that happened. As expected, Jezebel was livid with rage. She sent a message to Elijah, "You killed my prophets. Now I'm going to kill you! I pray that the gods will punish me even more severely if I don't do it by this time tomorrow." ( 1 Kings 19:2)
One would have expected Elijah, on the strength of what God had just done, to march straight to her doorstep and pronounce judgment on her but what happened? He panicked! He fled to Judah then went further into the desert. He became depressed and suicidal. He saw himself as a failure. A man, who stood against 450 prophets and ran the risk of incurring the wrath of thousands of people, now scared of the terror of one woman.
Before you judge Elijah, let me ask you. What do you think about yourself? Do you see yourself as a failure?
We all go through periods when we encounter one victory to another. Our faith is at an all time high and we are ready to go all out and shake the devil and his demons out of every nook and cranny of our lives. Enthusiasm wells up from within is and it infects people we come in contact with.
Then, something happens which catches us unawares. You thought you had put that weakness behind you. It hits you once and you bounce back up, shocked and dazed but still with enough enthusiasm to shake the effects off. Then you are hit in quick succession and like a boxer who finds himself cornered, all you can do is try and ward off the blows; you are in no position to launch an attack. Eventually your knees give way and wobble as you slowly slide down. Is that the end of the story? Does this mean you are a failure?
At his lowest ebb, Elijah became suicidal. He begged God to kill him. Hear the words of failure, “I've had enough. Just let me die! I'm no better off than my ancestors." ( 1 Kings 19:4)
Does that sound like you? No one has ever gone to university in your family, so you give up because you fail your GCE exams? Just because you lost money in a business venture, does that mean you were never meant to succeed in business? Because your colleagues seem smarter and quicker at solving problems at work, does it mean you are inferior and not capable of measuring up to their level? You are now in your thirties and as a woman the biological clock is ticking, you are the only one not married among your friends and you are thinking of giving up?
Listen, Elijah thought it was the end, but God was starting a new thing. God gave him nourishment to strengthen him ( 1 Kings 19:7) God asked him, ‘Elijah, why are you here?’ It wasn’t that God did not know why Elijah was there, He wanted Elijah to know that his mission was not over. He also made him understand that contrary to Elijah’s pre-conception that he was the only prophet left, God had seven thousand others who had refused to worship Baal.
You are not a failure! Just because you are facing difficulties and can’t see the way ahead, does not mean God has given up on you! So you are down but God is asking you, ‘What are you doing here?’ It is time to get up and get back into the fight because victory is yours! You have the best coach who can assure you victory. Why do I know that? Because he has fought that same enemy and won the contest! He knows the tricks, the moves and gimmicks of your adversary. He knows you will get knocked down sometimes but He knows that as long as you get back on your feet, victory is certain! This is why His word says, ‘You are more than conquerors through Him who loved you! (Rom 8:37)
So get back there and do what you’ve always wanted to do. So you failed that exam, go back and prepare again, don’t ever let the enemy make you feel you are a failure. So you had the wind taken out of your sail and now you are on the verge of giving up. Elijah thought so too but he was later to take up an assignment which led to the death of the same woman who threatened his life!
So, do you still think you are a failure?
Steve O. Popoola
Copyright Biblepraise Fellowship Online
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He currently resides in London where he works as an IT professional. He serves in the ministerial team of his local church as well as in the music ministry. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org