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Fight or flight

Take the  sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God
God's word is powerful

I love God’s Word.  It is so full of eternal hope and direction for us, not just in the good days but especially in the most difficult days.  In these blogs we have been looking at the story of Elijah and pulling out so many nuggets of gold which have inspired us so far.  There is so much more…

Elijah had demonstrated such courage before Ahab in the King’s palace and on Mount Carmel.  He also witnessed God’s supply by the brook, in the home of the widow, in the years of famine, in the fire from heaven that consumed the sacrifice, in the coming of the rain, and in the ability to outrun Ahab back to Jezreel.  However, when faced with the threat of Jezebel and the obvious fact there would be no immediate revival in the land, he suddenly became fearful and discouraged!  He then deserted his post and ran for his life.  

1 Kings 19:1 “Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.   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.”  Now that’s a threat!!

I survived a very violent childhood. My Dad was an alcoholic, and my Mum also had a drink problem.  They were broken people, and it was like Dyna met Mite.  Dangerous explosions could happen at any moment in our home.  I hated violence and intimidation (and still do).  I could sense trouble a mile away before it even started and the urge to run would always overwhelm me.  It’s called “Fight or flight”.  I hated fighting, so I would always find it easier to run, even if I had nowhere to go and eventually had to go home again. So, I can understand why Elijah was afraid and chose to run for his life when the message was delivered.

How many of us run because of messengers of discouragement?

“When Elijah came to Beersheba in Judah, (80 miles away and out of Jezebel’s territory) he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, 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.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.” 

How often do we reach the end of ourselves?  We have been running full belt, spinning so many plates trying to ensure they don’t drop.  No matter how many victories we have had, or how much success we have seen, when we are exhausted like Elijah, we are very vulnerable to intimidation.   

Elijah looking to God
Elijah fled from Jezebel but he couldn't run from God

As Elijah is hiding away, crying out, desperately to God, God sent the angel of the Lord.  He came and ministered to Elijah providing food and water.  In the midst of his brokenness in the desert place God Himself comes to Elijah!  Here God tells Elijah once again that He loves him and still has a plan for his life.


At the end of 2011 through to spring 2012, me and my family went through a very serious spiritual storm.  It hit us in three ways – first our home, next our family and finally our ministry CWM.  The enemy really wanted to take me out and it was so very painful.  I just about stood through the first, I wobbled very badly in the second and after the third, I hit the wall!  “That’s it God, I give up!  I cannot do this anymore.  The price is too high!”  


The fact that we had seen God move so powerfully in multiple, and amazing miraculous ways no longer mattered.  I could not see the way forward and I was completely broken.  The next morning, I had just about staggered out of bed when my phone rang.  It was a dear friend of ours who was a Vicar in Bridlington.  God had spoken to him and given him a word of encouragement for me.  It was exactly what I needed to hear, and it filled me with hope again.  Thanks to God’s helpful messenger, I was able to arise and pick myself up again.  It took a while for me to recover, but despite that God moved so powerfully through our ministry, even though I was fragile.  


I thank God that we have a speaking God who loves us and knows every detail of our lives.  He never wants to leave us as a victim broken on the floor.   If you are going through something painful, cry out to God, look to Him, and put your trust in Him.  He WILL bring you through to the other side and your character will be stronger than ever.


God speaking rise up
God is a speaking God so arise

It is important too that we make ourselves available by listening to God, so that we can be used to be His messenger of hope to someone else.  Your simple words can change someone’s life – never underestimate what God can do through you.


Strengthened Elijah picked himself up and travelled for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.  It should have only taken Elijah 7 days, so clearly, he had been wandering about like the children of Israel had done.  After 40 days he arrived at Horeb.  This was the place where the 10 commandments were given to Moses after the children of Israel had escaped from Egypt!


1 Kings 19:9There Elijah the Prophet went into a cave and spent the night.  And the word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’


How often God asks us that question, when we are not in the right place, with the right people, doing the right thing, at the right time, for Him to use us?


10 Elijah replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” This was not the truth; he was not the only one!  Elijah did not know that Obadiah had hidden one hundred prophets away.  Elijah’s attitude was all wrong!  Have you ever misunderstood the situation and felt isolated?

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

No matter how fragile we feel, we need to position ourselves so that God can speak to us.

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  

When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

Elijah saw himself as a victim – how could that be true when God was with him?

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.”

The amazing thing here is that Elijah was not killed by our holy God, but commissioned afresh to anoint and appoint the Kings and the next Prophet.  Wow!  How awesome is our God.  He waits until we are dead to ourselves before we are given the highest commission and strongest anointing.

Running horses, Big Ben and the Builders
Calvary horses running through London

In a season when we have witnessed two cavalry horses running through the streets in the heart of London, one covered in blood and Big Ben silenced, don’t give up!  Allow the Lord Himself to come to you and heal you.  While you have breath in your body God has a mission for you that nobody else can fulfil. Take courage as God has chosen you and appointed you for such a time as this. 

Take a moment to read the prophetic word - Running Horses, Big Ben and the Builders. Availble on our website.

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