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Order of Service & Notes

Sermon Notes

Part 4
“The Crash”
1 Kings 19:1-9 “Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a juniper tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.”
Now, last time we saw how Elijah called fire down out of heaven to literally consume the sacrifice on the altar he had built while all of Israel watched, including King Ahab.
This took place after Israel had called out all day long to the false god of Baal for fire to fall, and of course nothing happened.
When fire fell at Elijah’s prayer, the people fell on their faces and cried out “The Lord, he is God. The Lord, He is God!”
Then we read that Elijah went up to the very top of Mt. Carmel and prayed for rain to fall to break the drought of 3.5 years.
The sky soon became “black with clouds.”
And before the rain fell Elijah told Ahab, “Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!”—18:44
Then it says “The power of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”—18:46
That means Elijah ran approximately 31 miles, even beating Ahab who was riding in a chariot!
So in chapter 18, we see a supernatural man; Elijah is flowing and functioning in God’s power and experiencing one miracle after another.
This is the zenith of his ministry, the high point of his miracle walk with God.
But as we step from chapter 18 into chapter 19 we find a startling change.
In chapter 18 Elijah is facing down 850 false prophets all on his own—he’s bold, fearless, filled with faith and confidence in God.
But in chapter 19 he’s running for his life from the death threats of one lone woman—Jezebel.
Rather than being filled with faith and inexhaustible zeal, we find him sitting under a juniper tree…
asking God to take him home,
and resigning from the ministry—“I’ve had enough, Lord!”
Translated, “I quit!”
Now, on the heels of this, an angel appears to him with a meal of cake and water.
This happens twice with the angel commanding him both times to eat because “the journey is too great for you.”
From there he travels for 40 days and nights, about 12 miles total, through both desert and very mountainous regions.
He goes all the way to Mt. Horeb, also called Mt. Sinai where Moses received the 10 commandments—so it is called “the mountain of God.”
There he finds a cave and goes in to dwell in total solitude.
So in one day Elijah goes from pinnacle to pit, victory to defeat, mountaintop to valley.
Now let’s remember here what Paul wrote:
1 Cor. 10:11 “All these things happened to them as examples—as object lessons to us—to warn us against doing the same things; they were written down so that we could read about them and learn from them in these last days as the world nears its end.”
So let’s look at how this great prophet crashed and burned and see what we can learn:
First, he was:
I. Physically exhausted
He had personally executed 850 false prophets, which had to have taken hours and was extremely physically exhausting.
Then he had run 31 miles in the middle of a rainstorm to Jezreel.
Then he further “ran for his life” to Beersheba,
And then for an entire day into the wilderness.
And that’s how some of us live—running here and there, never stopping, never resting, gotta this, gotta that…
And then one day it all catches up to us.
We wake up one day with no energy, no motivation, no zest or zeal.
We’re tired, weary, and worn out!
—But that’s not all that happened to Elijah:
The next contributor to his crash was:
II. Failed expectations
After his amazing victory on Mr. Carmel, Elijah had no doubt assumed Baalism was thoroughly wiped out.
Instead, he encountered a wicked queen who, rather than repenting of her own major part in the spread of Baalism, put out a hit on him!
Elijah knew that if Jezebel didn’t repent, Baalism would experience a resurgence.
So what he thought was a resounding victory suddenly looked like a failure.
Failed expectations will take the wind out of your sail like nothing else.
You just knew God was going to do this or that, and it doesn’t happen.
You had the table set and were all prepared to experience what your expectations promised, only to see it vaporize.
Feelings of let down, disillusionment, disappointment, and discouragement replaced those high expectations!
—Someone noted, Burnout is the sum total of a thousand disappointments.
Elijah was deeply disappointed over failed expectations.
Then to add insult to injury, he fell into the trap of:
III. Comparing himself to others
Under the juniper tree, Elijah tells God—“I’m not better than my fathers.”
In other words:
My fathers all failed to destroy Baalism,
All the other prophets lost their lives in the fight,
Who am I to think I’m an exception?
He was measuring himself against the lives of others.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to compare yourself to others!
No one is like you,
No one can be you, and you can’t be someone else.
Like a billion snowflakes are all different, so is every human being.
And to compare someone else’s success, looks, gifts, intellect, or talents to yourself,
and then to feel bad about yourself if you don’t measure up to them, is an affront to the God that made you!
Listen to Paul, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”—2 Cor. 10:12
Be WHAT and WHO God made you to be if you want to be a happy person.
You were born an original, don’t die a copy!
And finally, he sealed the deal with:
IV. Isolation
Elijah isolated himself from others.
The Bible says, “He went to Beersheba, and left his servant there.”—19:3
The worst time to isolate yourself is when you’re down and discouraged.
But this is what he did!
Now he’s completely alone with no one to encourage him.
All these things combined were a recipe for depression and defeat!
So here are two takeaways based on what we learn from his experience:
I. We need a balanced lifestyle
As Christians we are not hoses with an endless supply of power and anointing flowing through us.
We are more like cups where what’s in us is poured out and needs to be refilled!
Paul wrote, “We have this treasure (the Holy Spirit) in vessels of clay”—Divinity dwelling in humanity.
Yes, as believers in Jesus Christ we do indeed have within us the mighty Spirit of the living God.
But He’s dwelling in jars of clay that are fragile, breakable, and limited.
So you can’t go, and go, and go, and go without paying the price.
We must pace ourselves.
We all need a balance of work and play, labor and rest.
Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap!
II. We need a daily refilling
Every day we need to refill our cup.
ILLUS: You can’t drive down the highway of life without paying attention to the gas tank.
Is it full?
Half full?
Are you driving on empty?
Or even fumes?
The Scriptures teach us to keep the gas tank full.
Eph. 5:18 “…be filled to capacity, to the brim) with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him.”
We must be daily replenished, rejuvenated, and renewed through time in His word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers.
If we don’t learn this we’re going to end up like Elijah in a cave of defeat.
Are you there today?

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