1 Kings 19:4 “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”
Elijah had been going strong for some time and was in need of a rest. His heart and mind were tied to a task that lasted years. He had, by God’s instruction, prophesied the famine that came upon the land. It culminated in the challenge on Mount Carmel.
The one, true and living God answered by fire and Elijah, with the help of the people, took the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of the groves and slew them by the brook Kishon.
Upon hearing the news of the slaughter, Jezebel issued a death threat that if she caught Elijah, he would be put to death. We read all through the previous events that Elijah had followed God’s instruction – to this point. He ran from Jezebel and fell down requesting he be taken home – he was done.
It has been said of most churches today that 10-20% of the people do 80-90% of the work. If that is true, then there is a large group in need of repenting of the sin of laziness and another who need to balance their life before they burn out.
Passion and zeal are good things. But left untempered, they will tempt us to go in the strength of the flesh and fail to hear when God calls us to a place of rest.
Psalms 23:1-3 “(A Psalm of David.) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Our enemy, the devil, is using technology to capture our minds and cause us to fail in areas that God desires us to flourish. Information and images are thrust before us every day with such voracity, that we, God’s children must take heed to His word:
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
It is our responsibility what we see, what we hear and what we subject our minds to meditate upon. We are admonished and exhorted to filter just what we allow our minds to settle on.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Once we know what it is that we should allow, God instructs us how to handle what happens when we are confronted with things He does not allow.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
The bright, shiny things that capture our attention away from what is good and right and holy need to be dealt with in our life. We can passively push them aside for a while, but they will return – they always do. They slowly push their way into our life and if we are not careful, that game, that app, that activity becomes an addictive behavior and puts us into bondage.
We must fight for our time with God. We must covet our time in prayer. We must diligently keep our daily appointment to read God’s Word and seek to get something personal every single day. Otherwise, the flashy, insignificant and often time-consuming activities will fill our days and we drift further and further in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
What level have you reached on your favorite game? How many hours (not minutes) have been spent binge-watching your favorite series? How many entries in that lotto game? How often do you check the sports scores, stats and news about the teams and athletes you follow?
Your favorite activity may not have been mentioned, but you know in your heart whether or not it has risen in priority and pushed God out. You and I need only give God first place in everything and we will find that all things will fall into place.
Stop. Take some time to evaluate just how you spend your time. Is God first? Do you seek His guidance and direction before you begin your day? God knows best how we ought to spend our time. He knows just how profitable we can be for the kingdom.
WHile out witnessing in our city, I met a homeless man and invited him to church. He made such excuse and finally walked away saying “I’m too busy to come to your church.”
A man without a job; without responsibility of home or family – too busy? As absurd as his excuse might seem to us, think of how we excuse what we should do because of the lack of time, and in reality, we have far more time than we realize.
It does not matter who you are, what you do or where you serve. We have all said at one time or another – “I’m busy”. Every one of us needs to learn to balance our lives in a manner that pleases God.
We must do as Elijah did at the beginning – he moved or stayed at the command of God.