There are many high points and low points in life. One moment everything seems to be going very well in our lives and we are on a proverbial mountain. The next moment everything seems to be falling apart and we are experiencing a very hard time and a low valley. If we are not careful, we will allow the circumstances of life to dictate our outlook on reality. We see one example of this in scripture in I Kings 19 with the story of Elijah. We see his mountain top experience in I Kings 18 when God used Elijah to proclaim the name of God to all the people of Israel. We see God manifesting Himself in such a powerful way through the life and testimony of Elijah. Yet he enters into one of the most discouraging times of his life immediately following in I Kings 19. Discouragement can come at any point in our lives, but often manifests itself after great mountain top experiences through false commanding thoughts of the mind and an improper focus on the words of man rather than the promises and presence of God.
When God uses you to do great things for Himself, Satan will always allow ridicule or conflict to enter into your life and mind to bring about discouragement. Elijah was faced with this in I Kings 19:1-3. When Jezebel heard what God had done through Elijah at Mount Carmel and to the prophets of Baal, she responded with a promise of "... if I make not thy life as the life of one of them ..." (verse 2). When Elijah heard it, "... he arose, and went for his life, ..." (verse 3). Satan does not want us dwelling on the greatness and goodness of the work of God; instead, he wants our thoughts cast down and defeated with discouragement. Elijah allowed his thoughts to dwell so much on the comments of others that it captured his thinking. Have you ever allowed the comments of other people to ring out so much in your mind that what they said became all you could think about? That is what was controlling Elijah's thinking rather than the power of the God that he served. Obviously the God of Mount Carmel, that brought down fire from heaven and allowed Elijah to slay all the prophets of Baal, was the same God that could take care of the evil queen. Yet it was her words that captured his thinking rather than the ability and power of his God.
Discouragement can also make its way into our lives if we focus and allow the words of men to impact us more than the promises and presence of God. In I Kings 19:8-15, God takes Elijah to a place where he can have a proper view of Himself and the God that he serves. The Bible says in I Kings 19:8 that God led him "... unto Horeb the mount of God." This could have been the very place in which God met with Moses and allowed him to see a glimpse of the wonder and majesty of God. This was also the same mountain, Mount Sinai, in which God came down in lightning and thunder to meet with man and give to His people His word and commandments. God showed Himself in a similar way to Elijah as God allowed a mighty wind, earthquake, and fire to be brought before Elijah; but in verses 11-13, the Bible says that the Lord was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. Instead, God was in a still small voice. God was teaching Elijah that it is not the mountain top experiences that give us confidence in God, but in the presence of His still small voice each and every day in our lives. God uses the mountain top experiences in our lives to reveal Himself through us to others. Yet it is the daily time in which we hear the still small voice from God that gives us confidence in Him to overcome the discouragement from the words and actions of men.
When you enter into your mountain top experiences of life, remember to fight against the thoughts that Satan will use to command and cripple your mind. We must also remember God's continued presence is in His still, small voice that He uses to encourage and strengthen us for each new day.
|Written by Andy Horner
March 21, 2018