Find Your Mountain - Part 1
Updated: Aug 24, 2019
Elijah finds his mountain in the most critic moment of his life...
Elijah was one of Israel’s greatest prophets, yet James tells that Elijah was "just a man like us" (James 5:17).
At one point, we find him in a Spiritual Battle; mano a mano with, the ego heavy, King Ahab. Elijah faces off against the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, outnumbered 800 to 1. Against the odds, Elijah comes out a winner - God sends the fire down - and the prophets of Baal are all killed.
But the story is just getting started. After an extremely impressive victory - an amazing display of God's power - we read about a man who's life takes a drastic turn. Elijah’s fears take control of his emotions as he learns of death threats against him by Jezebel, the king's psycho wife. Now he becomes scared to death, running for his life - literally. But is he running from Jezebel or is he running from himself?
In his escape, he becomes physically & emotionally exhausted - completely tired and anxious to the point of deep depression. He wanted to quit; he wanted to give up - even his own life.
Doing the only thing that would save him in that moment, he cried out to God - and God responded. During this conversation we see that Elijah makes the mistake of ‘comparison’. That comparison is ultimately what led him to feel isolated and alone.
After providing Elijah with some food and water, the Lord encouraged him to travel to a special location. A journey that would take forty days and change Elijah’s perspective.
Elijah travels to a place - a mountain - known as Mount Horeb.
Ironically this location is the place of another, well-known, mountain top visit with Lord. An event that changed the course of history. Because Horeb is another name for Sinai, the place where God met with a leader named Moses. A place where He made the first covenant with Israel, issuing the 10 Commandments for the people.
In this moment, we are reminded of God’s promise; God's protection; God's presence.
If my research is correct, Elijah is the only person recorded as going back to Horeb/Sinai, which suggests to me that God is wanting to renew something within Elijah that would ultimately renew something within God's people.
God offers Elijah an opportunity to become personable by asking him a question after arriving at the mountain: “What are you doing here?” God asks. Elijah replies with a selfish answer, "I’ve done your work but now everyone’s turned against you and I’m the only one left who still worships you.”
Then God does something very unique and unusual...
He sends a strong and powerful wind that tears the mountain to pieces; but God wasn't in the wind.
Then He sends an earthquake that shakes the very heart of Elijah; but God wasn't in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake came fire, a reminder of the marvelous work and Elijah’s greatest victory on Mount Carmel; but God wasn't even in the fire.
Then something amazing happens: depending on what translation you read, it was called "a gentle whisper" ~ “a still, small voice” ~ the sound of sheer silence.
It is like we can see God reaching down from heaven, holding Elijah - no actual conversation, just an intimate embrace. God bringing the chaos surrounding him to a stop so His presence could be felt - God just being there, like a Father for His child.
And then God speaks again – “What are you doing here?” Unlike his first response, Elijah's focus turns to God - his answer is the same but his heart and attitude has changed.
Elijah recognized that God was in control - in every situation.
This is still so true today. God calls us all - to the mountain. God calls us all to recognize His voice; to recognize that He is still in control. Even when life seems too overwhelming and we just don't feel like we can take anymore... He is always there. We must first stop running in fear, then we must rest and re-focus.
Jesus promised that He would never leave us - and has gifted us with the ability to have this same encounter with the presence of God. He has given us the Holy Spirit to be our Helper, our Comforter - to be with us all of the time - even when you feel like your world is falling apart.
No matter what you've done or where you've been; thru mistakes and failures - God is there and He desires a relationship with you... You just have to find your mountain and listen for His small, still voice.
"When you get tired, find rest, don't quit."
(1 Kings 18-19)