Updated: Sep 18, 2020
When Queen Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah in 1 Kings 19, he ran for his life, laid down under a tree, and said, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” After days of sleeping and feeling dejected, the Lord came to him and said, “What are you doing here Elijah?” Elijah explained how he had gotten to this low point in his life, but God didn't accept his explanation. He sent him out with a plan and a purpose.
We all have low points in our lives when things just aren’t going our way. It could be marital problems, death of a loved one, financial strain, struggles with our children, loneliness, things that deplete our fuel tanks. Not allowing ourselves to refuel can lead to feelings similar to Elijah’s. We become stuck in a negative thought pattern with no plan, no purpose, and no hope.
It’s time to check the gauges. If the fuel is low in your physical, spiritual, emotional or mental tanks, your life will suffer. Are you eating healthy? Are you exercising? Are you sleeping? When Elijah’s physical tank became depleted, the first thing God did was send an angel with food and drink to restore his physical health. Then he began speaking to Elijah directly to get him moving, thinking and understanding. God wants you to reflect on your situation and act. Are you spiritually advancing? Are you seeking God? Are you seeking a community of Christ followers? Do you take care of your emotional needs by being around people? Do you have hobbies and activities that restore your energy?
Too many 'No' answers means it’s time to reconnect with God. You can be sure he is listening and acting, ready to fill your tanks, just as he did with Elijah. However, there's no automatic deposit. You must choose to meet with God regularly so he can restore you. Take nature walks. Read the Bible. Pray. Find a small group. Listen to music. Whatever it takes. Then listen for the whisper in the wind as Elijah did. God has a plan for you. When you allow yourself to hear and act on that plan, your life will become refueled and energized.
When your tanks are depleted, society tries to give quick fixes that promise to refuel you. Do you sometimes find yourself relying on a quick fix? How is that working out?
Pastor Todd relayed a story about two men in a wood chopping contest. One chopped all day, nonstop, and one took periodic rests. Recall which one chopped the most wood and why. Which wood chopper are you? At the end of the day, or week, has your method of accomplishing tasks paid off?
Read 1 Kings 19:9-13. God essentially asks Elijah why he's lying around doing nothing when he should be watching and listening for the Lord. God refuels us. Reread the last paragraph. How often do you include any of those activities in your day? Challenge yourself to commit more time to God. How would that look?
God tells Elijah to get up and go. Periodic rests are important, but they aren't devoid of action. Things happen when you rest. What restful activity could you add to your schedule to bring refueling? Planning? Hanging out with friends? Working on a hobby? Commit and then do it.
God tells Elijah he isn't alone. There are 7000 Israelites who still believe. He must go to them. Are you going? Are you building relationships? Are you seeking guidance from other Christ followers? Answer honestly. If not, figure out the why.