(I wanna give a shout out to Adam Renberg for inspiring me to write about this topic. You’re a great role model, student, and friend.)
Today we’re going to talk about my boy Elijah in 1 Kings 19. This is a sequel to my blog “Benefits for Everyone”. If you don’t know who Elijah is, I’ll give you a little summary of this dude. He’s a prophet sent by God to the Israelites to help fight Baal worship. In chapter 18 Elijah took on 450 priests of Baal and challenged them to a god vs. God battle. The Baal worshipers called out to their god, but nothing happened. So Elijah, being the human that he is, started to mock their false god. Then God sent fire down from heaven to prove that He is the one true God. Pretty cool, right? Go read the story for yourself– I left some parts out.
Elijah’s a pretty rad guy. There’s no denying his radness. On a scale of bummer to rad, he’d be off the charts. He’s rough, he’s tough, he stands up for God in front of hundreds of Baal priests, and he shoots fire from heaven (well God did, but it’s still super cool).
But in chapter 19 we see Elijah faced with a death wish, so he takes off for the hills. King Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel ploy to kill Elijah. In verse 3 we see Elijah literally running for his life. He’s so frightened that he leaves his servant behind.
His conflicts, endeavors, and skirmishes were too much for him to handle. Elijah ran away, and in verse 4 he says, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life.”
Elijah’s struggles with life makes him want to die. The crap that was bearing on his shoulders were pressing down on him. The strong Elijah isn’t strong enough to take on life, so he prays for death.
But God has a different program for Elijah’s life. Elijah may have felt like death was the best answer for him, but life on earth was more beneficial to the world. Elijah, with the help of Elisha, Jehu, and Hazael, help prevent Baal worship in Israel.
Elijah is just like our buddy Paul who writes, “I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account” (Philippians 1:23-24 ESV). Paul wants to die and be in heaven because it’s better than life, and he’s right. Heaven will be better than the life we’re living now, but if we live to die, then what is the worth of our lives?
Like Elijah and Paul, our lives on earth are just as important as our lives in heaven.
In this life we can reach the world and help others to find God. We can plant seeds in the minds of our peers. God can use us for great things.
Be alive in the moment, not dead in the mind.
God wants you to lean on Him in times of trouble. He wants to help you, but it’s up to you to ask for help.
God will help you get out of troubles, so you can get up and help others out of trouble.
No problem is too big for God.
Our lives have purpose. Our lives have meaning. We are all called to live life, and live it in love. Don’t focus on the problems you have now, because God will bring you out of it. Focus on what the problems of the world are, and what God can do through you to help it.