In 1 Kings 19 we find Elijah had yielded to fear and intimidation, and drawn back from his God-given assignment. We then get one of those "God Questions". He knows the answer, but wanted Elijah to think about where he was at, to recognize his distorted thinking, and to get back to his assignment, which included raising up others to fulfill the ministry. What are you doing here? Elijah had chosen to yield to fear, withdraw from his assignment, sit down, become passive and isolate at the crucial point when he needed to press forward. Sound familiar? Learn to recognize the signs of pressure.
Let’s open our Bible to 1 Kings 19. I just want to share briefly with you, then we want to have a time to pray for you. We want to see God touch your life. Leaders need to be refreshed, need a fresh touch of God on their life. So we need to learn how to step up.
So, I want to take just a couple of verses and I’ll just open it up a little bit. We read in 1 Kings 19:9, and it says: “Elijah went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Verse 13: "Then came a still small voice - when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. The voice came to him again and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
This is a very serious problem for Elijah. Elijah had a call on his life to stand up in the nation that was corrupt to represent and speak on behalf of God and to confront the spiritual powers of his days. He was called to bring revival to his nation. He was anointed to bring revival to his nation and he emerged out of a season where he was hidden – no one saw him.
You remember the story of how he brought a famine on the land, and then how he called fire down from heaven. A fire came on the alter. Then they destroyed the prophets of Baal. So Elijah was in a move of God. The nation was ready for God to move. But all movements of God require leadership. Nothing happens without leadership.
When God wants to make something happen, He needs a man or a woman to stand up. He needs something anointed with the Holy Spirit who will stand up and represent Him. This has always been the challenge God has had – to have a man or a woman who will represent Him. Represent what He’s like and carry His power to pull down the things that intimidate lives.
The nation lived under witchcraft. It lived in a place of idolatry, of temple prostitution, of all kinds of witchcraft in the nation. There was an oppressive atmosphere set over the nation. Most people were intimidated by it. They lived in fear of it. But God looked for a man to raise up who could stand up in that environment, who was not afraid of the spiritual atmosphere, not afraid of the idols, not afraid of the temples, not afraid of the witchcraft, able to stand up and live a life differently.
So, Elijah began very very well. Then, there came a point where he came under spiritual attack. A spiritual counter-attack. He had made great progress – torn down the alters, built an alter to the Lord, destroyed the prophets of Baal. He was having a move of God. If he could’ve just kept the move of God going, it would’ve reached and touched the whole nation.
But there came a strong spiritual backlash. There came a strong spiritual pressure against him. The Bible says that Jezebel rose up, she said – ‘I intend to kill you. I intend to take your life. I’ll take your life like you took the life of the prophets.’ So she began to intimidate him.
This is always one of the big problems in ministry – is it’s easy to start well, but you need to stand in the face of the battle. You need to stand when pressure comes on you. You need to be able to stand when the spirit world pushes back on you. Usually pushes back on you through people –people accusing you; people threatening you; people intimidating you. You have to choose how you’ll respond.
Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:6-7 – He says: “stir up the gift of God which is in you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” So Timothy also had a problem. He had a powerful anointing, a powerful gift in his life, but he became intimidated by older people. He became intimidated by the religious culture. As a result of being intimidated, the gift in his life began to close down.