“Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there... So he did what the Lord had told him.” (1 Kings 17:2-5)
I like to think that I could be like Elijah. I like to think that if God told me to go somewhere with no food and a limited supply of water, I’d go. I also like to think that I would go ninja on someone who, say, tried to steal a kitkat out of my hand, and maybe I would, but the chances are it wouldn’t be long before doubts start to crawl in my mind. It wouldn’t be long before the fears start to creep their way in. It wouldn’t be long before I started to wonder if God was really going to provide food or before I started to calculate in my mind how long it would be before the brook dried up. What then? Would God provide water? Would He send me somewhere else? What happens after? If this were my story, it would probably look something like this:
God: Go to the Sahara and stay there. I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.
Me: Okay, God…(pauses….starts thinking…What if He doesn’t provide? What if I run out of water? What if the ravens stop bringing me food?...Hmm, maybe this doesn’t sound like the best idea.)
Okay, so the Sahara isn’t quite the Kerith Ravine, but you get the point. I just wonder of the faith Elijah must have had to not have questioned or doubted anything God told him to do. When you grow up reading these stories, and even when you don’t, it’s so easy to forget that the people in these stories were actual people. We read or hear awesome stories about Elijah or Abraham or Moses, and we’re like, “of course that would happen to them, don’t you see who they are!” Even stories about Jesus. Especially stories about Jesus. It’s easy to read these stories as you would read stories of Camelot and dragons as a child (if you read such stories). The truth of these stories is so easily pushed to the back of our minds. We forget that there is so much more than the black and white printed on the thin sheets of our Bibles. Elijah was a man. Fully human. Very real. He had feelings. He had emotions. He had a personality. He didn’t have superpowers. He didn’t run around in a cape and spandex. He was an ordinary man. No different from you and I. Allow that to sit in your mind for a moment. Then read that verse again.
Would you have gone? No questions. No doubts. Just you, fully trusting God. Fully taking God at His word. Would you have gone? I’m no expert at all things you, but I’m going to take a wild guess that the answer is not likely. Maybe you would’ve gone eventually. Maybe you wouldn’t have gone at all, or maybe you would’ve gone immediately, like Elijah, no questions asked. Would you think about something for a moment? Would you just imagine what would happen if we took God at His word? If we fully trusted God, and I mean, fully trusted Him. For everything…every moment, every second of every day, never doubting, never questioning, never fearing. I mean, can you imagine what our lives would look like?! We would be dangerous for His kingdom! We would be unstoppable! Elijah was an ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life for one reason, and one reason only. He trusted God. He took God at His every word. He was a man of faith. And oh my gosh, the things we could do if we had trust like that!
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is in Joshua 10. In Joshua 10, Joshua leads an army from Gilgal to fight the Amorites. The verse says,
“…Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon. So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies.” (Joshua 10:12-13)
Then it goes on to say that there has never been a day like it before or since. I won’t tell the whole story, but let this soak in! Joshua prayed for something impossible…not just a little impossible, but COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE! Not only that, but he stood in front of all of Israel! He stood in front of Israel and prayed the most radical, impossible prayer he could think of! And when he prayed that prayer, he didn’t say, “hey God, you know, it’d be really cool if you could stop the sun from going down…you know…if you want to. I mean, I’m sure you can…if you wanted to. I don’t know if you do want to, but, you know, it’s a cool thought.” No! He said, “Sun, stand still over Gibeon! O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon!” I can only imagine what his army must’ve thought as he prayed that. “This dude’s crazy! He must be insane, that’s impossible! There’s no way God’s going to do that!” But guess what? Joshua didn’t care! Joshua knew the God he served. Joshua knew his God was faithful. He knew his God was fighting for him, and if God be for me, then who can be against me! Oh to have faith like that! Really! Can you just imagine?!
Here’s something to think about. Why do we have to imagine it? If we really believe that God is who He says He is. Lord of all creation. Alpha. Omega. Author. Perfect. Good. Loving. Gracious. Eternal. Powerful. So far beyond anything we could ever think or imagine. Why do we have such a hard time trusting Him? Why do we have such a hard time believing that He only has the best in mind for us? Here’s what I think. I think that one reason is because if we knew, really knew, really believed, God and trusted His every word for our lives, we would be dangerous. What do I mean by dangerous? A Christian who fully believes and fully trusts God’s every word is a threat to Satan and everything he has tried so hard to build. Look at Elijah’s story. Elijah lived in a time where all of the people of Israel worshipped idols. God’s people had turned away. The land was full of idols from foreign lands. God was on the back burner (if He wasn’t completely off the stove). Satan delighted in that! He loved that! Elijah was the only one of God’s prophets left, but Elijah stood firm. Believing that He served the one true God, Elijah challenged the people with their idols. He told them, “you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of mine. The one who answers by fire – he is God.” When they called on the name of their gods, no one answered, but when Elijah called on the name of the Lord, the fire came and consumed the altar. Elijah didn’t doubt. He didn’t wonder, “Well, what if God doesn’t answer?” No…he knew. Elijah knew the God he served. Like Joshua, Elijah knew his God was faithful. His God was fighting for him, but more than that, his God and his God alone would be glorified.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalms 20:7)
Oh the things that could happen if we knew the God we serve…the things that God could do through us if we trusted Him. With everything. Not just some things. Everything. Our jobs. Our finances. Our kids, whether or not we’ll have kids. Our marriages, whether or not we’ll ever be married. The food we eat. The clothes we buy. Every single thing. No matter how big. No matter how small.
God may not tell you to go to the Sahara. He may not tell you to go to the Amazon. He may not tell you to go anywhere outside of your city, but no matter what God tells us to do, His plan is perfect. God knows what we need. He knows every doubt. He knows every fear, and He says only one thing, “Trust Me…because I love you.” I pray that we would trust and know the God we serve, and when doubts and fears try to creep in, our minds and our hearts will be reminded of the faithfulness of our God. “The will of God will never take you, where the grace of God cannot keep you, where the arms of God cannot support you, where the riches of God cannot supply your needs, and where the power of God cannot endow you.”
Note from the blog author:
My name is Havana Webb. I am 25 years old, and an active member of Core Midtown, with my husband, Jon'te, to whom I've been married for 3 years. God has been pursuing me my entire life, but it wasn't until I was 18 that I understood what it really meant to have a relationship with Christ and made the decision to actively follow Him. Amongst other things, I have a deep passion for writing. I believe words are powerful, and it is my hope and prayer that the words you read on this page will encourage you, challenge you, uplift you, and give you the assurance you need to walk through life in the love and grace of God, knowing that you are never alone.