It has been noticed that we are at our most vulnerable when we are flushed with success and the immediacy of a ministry event is passed. It doesn’t take much to ‘burst our bubble’ or tempt us into distance from God with the result we can become disappointed or discouraged.
At the time we will be focussed and attentive to God’s purposes and leadings -afterwards our memory and attention wanes and the enemy attacks. A word, a gesture, a temptation will draw us from God, as Elijah found out from Jezebel (1Ki. 19:2). We may forget, or class as insignificant past acts of God as we lose confidence in ourselves, and present concerns take centre stage and seem overwhelming. Elijah seems to pay little attention to his past; miraculous provision, the healing of a dead child, mighty acts of God on a mountaintop, as he is thrown into despair. Having accompanied Elijah into his physical and spiritual wilderness, God does not allow Elijah to wallow in self-pity in his crisis of faith and self-confidence. God recommissions Elijah and gives him a renewed strength of purpose and direction.
If we find ourselves in such a state of lack of self-confidence in our abilities and effectiveness in God’s service – let us remember past successes and blessings, trust that God does not change, recognize where the attacks come from, try to separate facts from feelings, and ask God to renew and restore our faith.
Elijah is certainly not the only prophet left in Israel, but that is how he feels at that time.
We are not alone – the LORD our God is with us through the Holy Spirit.
… God has said,
“I will never leave or forsake you”
So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (ESV)