Fellowship Is My Lifestyle
Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die…
1 Kings 19:3-4
In this passage, you see Elijah after an intense spiritual victory. Elijah walked in God’s anointing as a prophet and God worked mighty miracles through his hands. Yet, here Elijah has come to the end of himself. How did he get to this point of desperation?
First, Elijah faced social isolation. In verse 3, Elijah made a willing decision to travel alone. He thought he was alone, but God had kept 7,000 prophets for Himself.
The enemy tries to make you feel like no one understands your problems and tries to isolate you from others. He discourages you from connecting with other believers, both as part of your routine and when you face tough times. Fellowshipping with other believers must be part of your lifestyle. For the men and women of the early church, it was beyond being a part of their lifestyle-they were devoted to it!
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.
Many people make the mistake of breaking fellowship with other believers and the church and are soon discouraged in their faith. On the contrary, if you maintain those relationships, your life will be full of teaching, fellowship and prayer!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing Christian friends into my life. Jesus prayed for unity in the church, and I echo that prayer. Use my love for my brothers and sisters to cause others to see Your love. I pray that relationships in my church will grow beyond shaking hands on Sunday morning, and that we will become one. Use me to start this in my home church. Make me an encourager of others who, like Elijah, are feeling alone and discouraged. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God Encourages Me!
Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!”
1 Kings 19:5
Along with social isolation following his victory on Mt. Carmel, Elijah faced physical exhaustion. In 1 Kings 19:5, Elijah needed food, water, and rest. He was so exhausted that he didn’t have motivation to eat and drink before falling asleep.
Physical weakness and discouragement often go hand in hand. Elijah, discouraged and afraid, ran until he was absolutely spent. You can focus so much on the world, that you literally work yourself to exhaustion. Even Jesus took time to rest His physical body. It is appropriate to make sure that you rest, and to make sure that your church leaders rest!
Elijah faced spiritual exhaustion like we sometimes do. In 1 Kings 19:11, Elijah needed time in God’s presence to renew his spiritual strength. God responded to Elijah’s need with reassurance, “I am going to pass by.” God will not leave us needing Him. Often, He is there to refresh you even before you recognize your need.
God never intended for your Christian walk to be difficult and discouraging. It’s when you try living out your faith in your own strength that you get discouraged. Time each day in God’s Word and in prayer provides rest for your soul.
Elijah faced emotional exhaustion as well. He victoriously faced the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel. Then he panicked for 70 miles. He felt as though he had lost! His emotions were not an accurate reflection of his recent experience!
His emotions told him he was all alone! (1 Kings 19:14) He now feared Jezebel! Fear always handcuffs your faith and opens the door for discouragement. Emotions rarely walk in harmony with faith!
Pray that God will help you clearly see those things in your life that wear on your emotions so that you can guard your faith.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for examples of lives well lived and for examples of lives restored out of isolation, discouragement and exhaustion. Thank you for showing me that You will never leave me alone, that You will always provide for my physical, emotional and spiritual needs. You care about every part of me, even if I fail to take care of myself. Thank you for loving me, even more than I love myself. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.