As I finish these reflections on Elijah, for now at least, I want to come back to one of the most basic tenets of Christianity. Christ dwells among us. He is our ever-present help in time of need. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Do you boldly approach His throne of grace with confidence? Do you believe you WILL find grace to help your health, your addictions, your bills, your fears, your longings?
Elijah learned to do this. But the keyword here is “learned.” Over time. Through journeying with God. Elijah learned to walk through the testing, failing, trying believing, succeeding and even being disappointed with God. Over time Elijah learned to ask and keep trying. John Dee often says to me, “Keep swinging.” I love that, now. In the beginning of my own journey I hated that phrase; I didn’t want to keep swinging. I wanted to get it Right! And right, right now. Sound familiar?
I think one of the biggest tricks of the enemy is to create a false demand of our perfection then bar-be-que our behinds with guilt and regret when we fail. How pointless to fall for that lie over and over again. If there is no condemnation from God, why are we listening to this accusing hack?
Today, I see the courage of John’s statement and goodness of God’s plan. I keep swinging, because I am convinced this situation, this hurdle, this attack is not the sum total of me, nor is it the end of me. I am increasingly more convinced, that God enjoys the journey with me, with you, so much that He purposely sets us up with life happenings that teach us over time, slowly, with repetition, so that we are truly transformed.
Remember school? I would cram information in so I could dump it back out on a test, but two days later I couldn’t recall a single date or fact. Not so with God. The Holy Spirit is the best Truth Teacher anywhere, so He uses all manner of techniques to instruct, guide and impart for lasting, lifelong, eternal change. Jesus has kept his promise.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13
So the final Elijah picture is beautiful in that God’s response to Elijah’s question was to send a helper, Elisha. God sees, hears, and responds. We do not despair like the godless. We rejoice for Our Living God is with us and for us. Regardless of the present circumstances, we watch and worship, waiting on our Sovereign Father to move on our behalf.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.