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Jun 20, 2021

Preparing for Sabbath

Preparing for Sabbath

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: Prelude: Preparing for Sabbath

Category: Sunday Morning

A Desire to Wander!

Do you have a desire to go wandering? to go out without a plan, agenda, or direction, with no destination? with just a desire and hope that something would be discovered? Elijah was a wanderer and shows up in I Kings 15. Elijah runs 100 miles to get away from wicked Jezebel and went into the desert alone. He wanted to die. Elijah was up against something bigger than he could handle on his own. God comes to care for Elijah with food and rest.

How much do we attempt to do things on our own? 

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

I Kings 19:8 So he arose and ate and drank, and he journeyed in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God. It should have only taken him 10 days for this journey but he wandered for forty days. What was he searching for? Do we wander? This was after Elijah saw a great move of God. How much do we wander and hope for something before we identify a destination? Elijah wandered and found himself at the Mountain of God where he knew God would show up. He goes back to the place where God continually revealed Himself to His people. 

Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who diligently seek me will find me. If you don't hear God in the midst of all the noise, then go back to the last place that you heard God speak. Elijah went back to where he knew God was. Are you at that place of wandering and hoping to find God in this place?

I Kings 19:9 Then he came there to a cave and spent the night there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” God was waiting for him. It's for us too... God is waiting no matter how far or how long that we have wandered. 

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

We serve a compassionate Father. God is waiting. He gives us assurance of His love. God's question is not condemning. God's question was from a compassionate Father who could see the difficulty that Elijah faced. Elijah poured out his heart to God. 

I Kings 19:10 And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of armies; for the sons of Israel have abandoned Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they have sought to take my life.”

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

and the promise... Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. There is something therapeutic about expressing our hearts to God. Elijah was questioning his calling. God questions Elijah and wants to hear his heart. Do you ever feel alone when you aren't physically alone? feel alone in a relationship? These kinds of thoughts are detrimental to the body.

In Genesis 2, Adam had a perfect relationship with God and yet was alone. God responds to Elijah without condemning or correcting or wrath. He doesn't say, "listen to me." God's response...

1 Kings 19:11-14 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

We miss God sometimes because our focus is wrong. God did a big work but His Word says He was not in those things. Do you hear God in the quiet, in the stillness, when just listening? God responds to Elijah's brokenness with gentleness. God speaks to Elijah by name. God knows our names, our circumstances, and our difficulties. Sometimes we see God's Word as a guideline or rule instead of a personal letter. 

God begins to restore Elijah. Are you at a point of desperation? God comes to restore our broken places and our wandering. God's response in verses 15-18 is a direct answer to Elijah's heart. God says your calling has significance. God responds to Elijah's aloneness in anointing Elisha. 

1 Kings 19:15-18 Then the Lord said to him, “Go and return by the way you came to the Wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, you are to anoint Hazael as king over Aram. You are to anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Then Jehu will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Jehu. But I will leave 7,000 in Israel—every knee that has not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

God hears our cries. He is compassionate. He responds to our brokenness. But... He waits for us to come. Elijah needed redirection. Are you wandering? Whoever seeks Him will find Him. 

How have you experienced a big move of God in your life and then have a big struggle come?

When have you found yourself wandering and not able to talk to God?

How did God reassure you that He is always present?