Think About This: “It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end.” – Rick Warren
The Crisis Questions of Our Faith
Posted on January 12, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“Have you ever had a crisis in your life in which you deliberately, earnestly, and recklessly abandoned everything? It is a crisis of the will. You may come to that point many times externally, but it will amount to nothing. The true deep crisis of abandonment, or total surrender, is reached internally, not externally. The giving up of only external things may actually be an indication of your being in total bondage.”
And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched Elijah and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God. … There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And He said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke 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. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a still, small Voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a Voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
~Elijah, in The Very Near Presence of G_d, and in a Very Real Crisis in 1 Kings 19
Oh beloved, it is true.
If anyone lied to you about the ease of our faith, please accept my condolences.
For, in becoming one with The One Who saved us, He shared ALL of His Life with us.
All The Love
All the courage
All the hope
All the authority
All the sense of belonging
All the purpose
All the wisdom
All the honor
All the power
and… All the suffering
All of it.
And it is on that last clause that we tend to choke. Our tiny little minds sometimes want to think that any kind of suffering is bad. Well, actually many of us do get it. We get that the suffering is somehow working together for our good. We believe that the pressure and heat of a situation is going to do real good for us somehow, someway.
Oh, but the getting there. To come through that wicket gate is a crisis for sure. All of the baggage we carry catches itself on the latch. We think we know the way through, and struggle past a couple of obstacles, but just as the gate swings shut behind us, we panic at the vast and wide open territory ahead of us.
Like, what the heck have I gotten myself into now!?!?!?
Can we see it?
Elijah could not.
Read the whole context of the story above. Elijah had just come off some major victories. He had called down the very fire of G_d onto some altars of sacrifice, and his guys had just routed the ranks of the false prophets who had been annoyingly jumping around all day. If you read it all, you can feel it. This is a story we can understand at many levels.
But only a few days later, Elijah was trekking through the deserts of Judah – compelled to another face-to-face meeting with His Maker – fueled by food prepared by the angel of G_d. He was scared. He was tired. He was angry. He was truly disillusioned, and even more disoriented.
See, Elijah had had all the elements of a victory back when he was smacking down the prophets of Baal. But he had missed the key ingredient. So, Our Creator in His Great, Great Love – helped this super-prophet finally understand a lesson that was passed down to many of the other great prophets and helped them get through their own crises.
“Why are you here, Elijah?”
Elijah is already wound up after 40-days of thinking through this. He thinks he knows… that is for about three seconds after G_d gets him really thinking. Let me paraphrase what Elijah said:
“I did everything you asked! Why the hell am I now on the backside of this desert
and running from those evil people, Father!!!!???!!!”
And then, as only G_d can do, He tore the hinges off of the door of Elijah’s thinking. Mountains going BOOOOM! Earthquakes liquifacting ground under Elijah’s feet. And then… the same fire that swallowed up the altars Elijah had built, now threatened to burn down everything in sight.
G_d was not in those things.
And so, the question came again, but in what was likely the quiet Voice that many of us hear quite often. “Why are you here, Elijah?” This time Elijah started to get it. The power was not in the effects, but in the Voice. The victory did not belong to Elijah, it belonged to The L_RD.
Even so, all of this left Elijah in the wake of a crisis of faith. Except now, he was under no illusions that he was in control anywhere except one place. And that one place was to listen to The Voice of His Maker, and to entrust himself to the Love in the words, and to act in obedience to the same.
So, are you in a crisis of faith? Are your struggling, and huffing and working up your argument to present to G_d about what you think He should do? Leave it beloved. Lay that burden down.
Tonight is your night. Listen to His still, small Voice. Entrust yourself to Him, and walk out of your crisis by obeying His plans for you – and utterly abandoning your own.
“Surrender is not the surrender of the external life, but of the will; when that is done, all is done. There are very few crises in life; the great crisis is the surrender of the will. God never crushes a man’s will into surrender, He never beseeches him, He waits until the man yields up his will to Him. That battle never needs to be re-fought.”
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’” Lamentations 3:22-24