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Recognising and Withstanding Jezebel's attack (3 of 3)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

Introduction:
· Ecc 4:9-12
“…9 Two are better than one…because they have a good reward for their labor….10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. …11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? …12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord cannot be broken.”
· There is multiplied strength when we stand together
· There is multiplied problems when we isolate and go it alone
· Gods’ blessing and power flows when we walk together
· One consequence of the fall is isolation in relationships
· Prov 18:1 “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire, he rages against all wise judgment”

Elijah in the Face of Spiritual Pressure:
1 Kings 19:1-5 “And when he saw that, he ran for his life”
a) Elijah was poised for national transformation:
· Jezebel ruled and influenced the nation
· Jezebel attacked and killed prophets and replaced them with her own prophets
· There was spiritual and relational drought
· Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal and killed them
· Jezebel reacted against him and attacked him

b) Jezebels’ Messenger:
…v2 “She sent a massager to Elijah saying…”
· Evil massages can come in many forms
· Criticism, murderous words, threats, manipulation
· Behind the massager are evil spirits that attack
· Their goal was to remove Elijah from his position of influence

c) Elijah’s Response to Witchcraft Attacks:
i. Elijah’s Feelings:
· Fear •Indecisiveness •Discouraged •Retaliate
· Confusion •Overwhelmed •Loneliness •Rejection
ii. Elijah’s Responses:
· Fear of death – he yielded to it, gave in to it. He shut down
· Flight - “ran for his live” v3
- self preservation
- withdraw from challenge, issue, and the assignment God
gave him
· Isolation – “left his servant” v3
· Loss of perspective v14 “I alone am left”
· “Sat down” = Passivity v4
· Overcame by rejection
· Despair and hopelessness
· Desire to die – overwhelmed by a spirit of death
· Elijah’s key mistake was yielding to fear and isolating himself
· Prov 18:1 “He that isolates himself seeks his own desire”

3. Jesus Response to Spiritual Pressure:
· Matt 26:36-41
· Jesus faced immense spiritual pressure and attacks upon him
· Jesus faced the immanent prospect of a horrible death, spiritual powers wanted to remove him
· How did Jesus Respond?
i. He refused to draw back in Fear v36
ii. He refused to Isolate, he invited good friends to be with him v36
iii. He opened his heart to the v38
Ø He shared openly his feelings and struggles
Ø He became vulnerable to them
Ø People struggle in this area to be vulnerable
a. Fear: Keeps people from being open, keeps issues in the dark
b. Pride: Keeps a front up, a covering to maintain appearance
c. Shame: causes people to hide and avoid relationships
iv. He asked for their support in prayer v38
Ø Indicated to them how they could help him
v. He poured out his heart to his Father v38
Ø Draw into a place of intimacy
vi. He wrestled in prayer to come to a place of rest v39
Ø Luke 22:44 “pray more earnestly” Heb 5:7 “strong crying and tears”
Ø He contended in prayer to overcome spiritual pressure and the human tendency is to preserve or save self
vii. He draw strength from the Father by faith and persevering in prayer
Ø Luke 22:44 “Angel”
Ø Jesus formed a habit of prayer to survive spiritual pressure
viii. He set his eyes firmly on the hope before him Heb 12:2
Ø He kept his eyes set on the end result, he kept his eyes set on the Victory
· What to do when you are facing pressure?
Ø Don’t isolate and go it alone, include trusted friends
i. Inform them: Let them know what happened or what is happening
ii. Council: Seek council and help
iii. Question: Ask them for input. What you are not seeing?