During times of trials and tribulations, it is easy to forget about the day-to-day blessings that the Lord gives each one of us. We tend to focus on the fear of what we may not have tomorrow but we need to remember that tomorrow is never promised. To have this shift of perspective is the key to living a life of victory and reverence instead of living a life wasted in defeat. The best way to share this lesson is found in the seventeenth chapter of the book of 1 Kings. In this chapter, God’s servant Elijah gave the message to Ahab that He was displeased with the idolaters and would chastise them by the want of rain, which did not belong to the gods that they were worshiping. Then Elijah was commanded to hide and something wonderful happened. Continue reading and find out what and why it is important to apply in your life.
It is written, “Elijah the foreigner, who was an alien resident from Gilead, told Ahab, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, in whose presence I’m standing, there will be neither dew nor rain these next several years, except when I say so.” Later, this message came to him from the LORD: “Leave here and go into hiding at the Wadi Cherith, where it enters the Jordan River. You will be able to drink from that brook, and I’ve commanded some crows to sustain you there.” So Elijah left and did exactly what the LORD had told him to do—he went to live near the Wadi Cherith, where it enters the Jordan River. Crows would bring him bread and meat both in the morning and in the evening, and he would drink from the brook,” (1 Kings 17:1-6).
Elijah was the first in a long line of prophets that God sent to Israel and Judah. The tribe of Israel was the northern kingdom and had no godly kings, and all of them turned to pagan worshiping and turned the hearts of the people away from God. There were a few amounts of priests from the tribe of Levi there because the majority of them lived in Judah. But even the priest of Judah was corrupt and was inefficient in bringing the people back to the Lord. With all this corruption, what did God do? He started to send out prophets for the next 300 years or so. The prophets were to help the people become moral again and help them to spiritually turn back to the Lord. It was their responsibility, a mandate by God himself to bring the people’s hearts back to Him. However, this brought about many challenges, especially when they had to share the people’s consequences for their disobedience. When they did this they were often attacked and what is sad is that this problem is still happening today in this world.
Now what was so important about 1 Kings 17:1-6 and how does it help you live a life of victory? In this situation, the pagan worshipers believed in Baal. To them, he brought rains to the people. So when Elijah told them his God was going to stop the rains, Elijah was putting the pagans in their place. He was saying that our God was the one true God and all the pagan gods were false gods that had no power over our Heavenly Father. But this is only the first important part of this scripture. In this action, we can see that Elijah was a faithful man of obedience. Elijah knew that there could be consequences going up to these pagan worshippers and telling them about their punishment. However, Elijah was not lead by fear because he knew that God was anointing his steps and that he had a hedge of protection around him.
In this, we can learn that sometimes the Lord will place us in uncomfortable circumstances for Him. The Spirit of the Lord knew that Elijah was fit for this occasion and like Elijah, we must ensure that we are fit to rise to any occasion for the Lord. When we can do this, we not only glorify Him but like Elijah, that we walk in obedience to His will. When we can do this, we are blessed with a special covering because He knows that we can be counted on. Don’t you want God to be able to count on you for delivering the most impactful message to your community? Well, He already has! As Elijah was commanded to rebuke the world for their idol worship, we are commanded to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ. Like Elijah, we will be placed in uncomfortable situations but must be lead by the Holy Spirit. Since victory comes only through being obedient to God’s will, we must not live in fear and miss being used by God. God is calling us all to be His prophets and messengers. Like Elijah, we are all empowered and equipped for this task because we have the blood of Christ covering us and the Holy Spirit guiding our steps. What is keeping us from not only living in victory but sharing it is our faith and obedience.
Next, God told Elijah to hide and told him that he would provide all the provisions he required to be sustained. So Elijah did just as God told him to do and left. This showed full obedience and trust in God’s promise to him. Then a miracle happened! A raven was bringing Elijah bread and meat every day to eat and he was able to drink water from the brook just like God promised him. Man, isn’t that amazing! A bird that normally neglects it’s own young was the animal used to bring Elijah his nourishment. God did not bring him snacks, or wine, just the necessities. God had the power to give Elijah whatever he wanted to eat and drink for his obedience, however, He only provided Elijah with the bare necessities required to survive. God was not only feeding Elijah physically but spiritually as well. He was cultivating Elijah’s faith for future works! God had tested Elijah and he passed with flying colors.
Lastly, God provided Elijah with a stable roof over his head. Elijah lived in a damp cave for a very extended period of time. However, Elijah never complained once. Elijah knew that he was protected not only from the elements but the people he rebuked. From the moment Elijah proclaimed the power of the Lord he had a target painted on his back. Elijah had no time to plan or pack, he simply trusted God and had the clothes on his back. Elijah did not have many of the basic necessities that we have today but he was grateful and grew closer to God for it. How wonderful to come to the realization that you have everything that you need. Well, guess what? You also have what you need. It is worldly of us to consistently want more from God than what He has already provided us with. We already have everything that we need, we just need to believe it. You only lack what you want and not what you need!
In this message, we have learned three important things that will help us live a life of victory, especially during troubled times. First was that we need to walk in faith and obedience to God regardless of our circumstances. It does not matter the trial or tribulation your season brings, we are all called to be His righteous people. A remnant few that He can trust to carry out His will in this world. He wants us to be chain breakers and mountain movers. Sometimes this may mean identifying sin in someone’s life. You may get lashed out at or attacked in one way or another, however, this does not change the fact that we are His messengers. To share His message is to walk in obedience and to live a life filled with faith.
Secondly, God provided His messenger the physical and spiritual nourishment required to endure the fallout. This teaches us that God never forsakes His people. If we are doing what God is calling us to do, He will provide what we need. No more and no less. So if God is providing you with meat, bread, and water; give Him thanks for it instead of wanting more or something else. This is the key to living a reverent life. When you can understand that you already have God’s blessings in your life, whenever you receive an additional gift or blessing, it will only add to your joy in the Lord. We lack nothing in Him.
Lastly, when it comes to accommodations if God simply provided Elijah with a cave to live in when he did mighty works for Him, what makes you think that you deserve any more? To do so is to sin against the One sending you out into this world to share His gospel! We are not different nor better than the prophet Elijah. The message may differ but the messengers are the same. Those who share the same Spirit also share the same burden. If we walk around unhappy with the provisions already provided to us, which is a blessing within itself, what makes you think God will bless you with more? He is not our personal genie.
Ultimately, the key to living a life in victory is simple and taught to us by Elijah in 1 Kings. Simply put, do not lose your raven. To not lose our raven means that we live a life of faith and obedience; giving thanks for the day-to-day provisions we already receive from Him, and to find joy in where God currently has us at. If you lose sight of your raven, you are simply hardening your heart to the Lord which is walking in defeat. He has so much more planned for you than that! Just as God cultivated Elijah for future mighter works, He is doing the same for us all today. So do not lose sight of this simple truth and live a life full of victory! Amen.