Elijah was a mighty man of God. He was known for such things as calling fire down from heaven, out running a chariot, and having 450 false prophets killed. Yet 1 Kings 19 tells us that he ran from a threat from Queen Jezebel. In verse 10 it records that he went to a cave and lodged there. Are you living in a cave? What put Elijah in the cave? How do we get out of the cave?
Jezebel did not come after Elijah with a tank or did she surround him with soldiers - she simply sent a threatening message. The words of Jezebel took hold of Elijah and sent him packing. Elijah was disheartened, depressed, discouraged, and full of many other emotions. Remember this is the man who called fire from heaven. Why was he so shaken? If he can be shaken - what about us? Elijah became a cave man - Shut up in a cave by his own emotions.
The cave is symbolic of the mental and emotional caves that believers find themselves in. Like Elijah, believers run to the dark places of the mind (such as fear, depression, anxiety, self-pity). Just like a physical cave (which appears to be a safe zone), there are many dangers that lurk in cave of the mind. As we yield to our minds to dark thoughts, they become more and more darkened.
Why to we yield to CAVE THINKING?
1. Habit - We live out what we think. Much of our thinking is a result of a habit of thought. For example if you are a worrier - then over time you will develop a greater propensity to worry. These emotions and thoughts will become your first reaction. Have you ever met a person that is constantly negative? That negativity comes from years of practice.
2. We didn't know we could control control our thoughts and emotions?
If you say, "You put me in a bad mood" - what you actually saying is that you are in a bad mood because of someone else. In reality - they did something or said something and you choose a bad mood. You can choose how you are going to react and feel. Remember these things become habits (even emotions) so you can built habits of right reactions. If you don't take charge of how you are going to feel then you will become a prisioner of your environment.
All of us go through hard times. Actually Jesus said, "In this world you will have tribulation. Problems are a part of life. How you respond to problems will determine the quality of your life. As a matter of fact Jesus finished his statement by saying "but be of good cheer". Did you hear that? He was saying that you can be of good cheer. You can choose - "good cheer". Allowing your emotions to drive you to depression and self pity will not change the situation. It will only make it worse! If you remain in that mindset it can cause great harm.
4. Steal God's Vision for your life?
God has a plan for you. It is called (John 10:10) "life and life more abundantly". His desire is to see you do well. These mental caves of life will attempts to steal that plan. The Bible says that without a vision the people perish. The cave is a vision thief. Decide to come out today.
The christain life is not supposed to be a life of hanging on to God but God hanging on to you. Many fall into the error of thinking it is their job to "hang in there" when in reality they need to let his strength hold them. So my question is this - Are you holding on to God or is he holding you. The answer to that question is a matter of success or failure.
In 1932, 3 sailors hung from a cable that was attached to USS Akron Airship. They were intending to help support its landing but a sudden event hoisted the craft in the air. The men were grasping the rope tightly as it began to rise and rise. Finally, two of the men could hold on no longer. They both fell to their death. The third man however held on for 2 hours and was rescued. When asked, "How did you hold on so long?" - He replied, I wrapped the rope around myself. In otherwords he wasn't holding the rope but the rope was holding him. This is a perfect illustration of how we are supposed to live the christian life.
How do you do that?
The Bible tells us to be strong in the Lord - not in our will power. Will power can only take you so far. Here are some principles to keep you strong in him.
1. See God as your Friend
Yes God is God. He is Judge. He is Awesome. He is Mighty. - and he is also your friend. He doesn't just love you - but he also likes you. Understanding God as a Friend will help you follow more boldly.
2. Recognize the People that God will place in your life
If God wants to bless you he will send you a person. He is so committed to this principle that Jesus put on flesh and became a man. God will send people your way to assist you. You job is to embrace them.
3. Find the church God wants you in
Church is God's idea. His plan is to get you into a body of belivers so that you can grow, be supported, be encouraged, learn, mature, and assist others. It is a mistake to ignore the church - remember it was God's idea and Jesus is called the builder of the church
4. Don't give up your place of prayer
Jesus told his disciples to Pray - or - they will enter into temptation. Prayer will strengthen you to overcome.
5. Don't look back.
Paul said there is one thing that I have learned - forgetting those things that are behind and pressing to the things that are ahead.
Anyone who will do these things will find a strength to take on things that they never thought was possible.
What is the purpose of the church? Whose idea was the Church? Do we need to gather together?
When thinking about which church to attend you should start with the following truths:
1. The church of Jesus Christ is built with people who have received him as Savior
2. The purpose of any church should be to accomplish God's will
3. The church is God's idea - (that doesn't mean that every church is of God but the idea of Pastor, Prophets, evangelists, apostles, and teachers is God's idea - see Eph 4:11-15
4. Jesus is the builder of the church (Math 1618 - "I will build my church")
5. The church is to be the light of the World
6. The church has authority over demonic powers
7. The church is to be funded by believers
8. God has a church for you - he is the one who puts the church together; you will be a piece of the puzzle of whichever church he places you. Make sure you are in the right church.
9. The church is a training center for believers
10. The church is a spiritual hospital
11. The church is a place of protection.
These truths and many others have been prescribed by God in the Bible. Those who would say "church is not necessary" are actually taking a postition opposite the Word of God. Remember, Jesus is the builder of the church - and they are saying the church is not necessary. In essence they are saying they don't need what Jesus is building. This is a common error among many who claim to be saved. It is true you don't have to go to church to be saved but finding the church God wants you in is a part of your new life in Christ.
If someone tells you church is not necessary it is because of one of the following: (1) they are not saved (2) they are saved but have very little committment - they have a lot of compromise in their life (3) they are rebellious toward God (4) they are lazy (5) they are deceived.
Harvest Life Ministries is lead by Pastor Jeff Summers. In his early years he had no intention of being a pastor of even serving the Lord. He received Christ as his savior in March of 1992. :After growing in the Lord for 7 years he took a job at a christian school. In November of 2003 - Pastor Jeff and 28 others launched out to start Harvest Life Ministries. The church began in an old bowling alley and was later moved to its present location on Zittlestown Road in Middletown (1 mile from Boonsboro). .
Harvest Life Ministries
6371 Zittlestown Rd
Middletown, MD 21769