Seeds of the Kingdom Daily Devotional 23 January 2022
TOPIC: When Things Seem the Same
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba. – 1 Kings 19:1-3, ESV
Seeds of the Kingdom Daily Devotional 23 January 2022 MESSAGE
In his pastoral letter to scattered believers, James, the half-brother of Jesus described Elijah as someone ‘as human as we are’ (James 5:17 NLT). I’m not sure he could have said that if the only record of Elijah’s life were his mighty prayers of faith. Perhaps when he wrote those words James was thinking of the account of Elijah’s lowest moment in 1 Kings 19, alone in the desert beneath a broom tree.
I have always been moved by the account of God’s gentle dealings with Elijah when he fled for his life at Jezebel’s promise to find and kill him. The reality is that even moving under God’s anointing, can take a physical and emotional toll on His servants. But perhaps the greatest factor in Elijah’s inner collapse was that, after the defeat of the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel and the apparent turning of the hearts of the people back to the Lord, evil still seemed as much in control through wicked Jezebel. Nothing seemed to have changed.
After we moved back to the East of England three years ago, Gemma and I discovered that the small back street where our home is situated was a favourite place for drug dealing, sometimes outside our front door. Through prayer, security cameras and the work of the local drug squad, we saw the activity stopped and for a time experienced freedom from the oppressive spiritual darkness it brought to our street.
Suddenly, though, the activity resumed, and we went through the process above until it stopped again. That cycle has repeated itself several times now. I have found the re-occurrence of the situation, just when it seems to have been stopped, particularly distressing at times, even to the point of wanting to sell our home and move away.
In those times it’s been the Lord’s gentle reminder that He led us to our home and still has work for us to do here that has steadied me to trust Him afresh.
Perhaps for someone reading this Seed today, you too are seeing a difficult or long-standing situation that began to change in answer to prayer, suddenly go into reverse and now seem just the same as before. In your discouragement, you may even, like Elijah, feel that you can’t take any more. But despite appearances, Elijah’s victory on Mount Carmel wasn’t in vain. Jezebel was eventually dethroned, and God’s Word encourages you that your service and prayers in His name aren’t in vain either (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Lord Jesus, ‘Here I am once again. I pour out my heart, for I know that You hear every cry. You are listening. No matter what state my heart is in You are faithful to answer with words that are true and a hope that is real’ (From ‘Pour out my heart’ by Craig Musseau).