1 Kings 19:3–5 (NIV)
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
ME: THIS IS THE WAY—
YOU: FROM GLORY TO GLORY!
And just like that, Elijah went from running a victory lap to running for his life. In no time, he fell from hero to zero. Every bounty hunter in the tri-state region had Jezebel in their ears and Elijah in their sites.
What would he do? Would he assemble an entourage of security experts and body guards? Would he call for a “clarity council” of his closest advisors to “discern” his next steps? Would he call on the intercessory prayer team to spring into action? No. No. And no.
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.
We only know Elijah from the vantage point of history. At the time, Elijah was not really Elijah. No-one, including him, had any idea he would come to be known as a major (league) prophet. Yes, he was fulfilling the role of prophet, and while he had won a major victory, he was not singing “Victory in Jesus.” He was ready to throw in the towel.
When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness.
Yes, he traveled a hundred miles, ditched his aide, and went into deep cover in the wilderness. Then this:
He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
Our mental models and spiritual maps tells us when we obey God things should go well; when we do hard things, life should get easier. I’m not sure where we get this idea. Could it be we somehow equate this way from glory to glory with the notion of going from good to great; of the “abundant life” as material prosperity. What if feeling crushed and despairing and abandoned and even destroyed are the signs you are in the center of the will of God? What if these are the mile markers on the pathway from glory to glory?
Isn’t this exactly how Paul describes the road—only eight verses after he first coined the Spirit-inspired phrase: “from one degree of glory to another”?
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8–9)
Some, perhaps many of you, reading today can identify with Elijah. You are way past tired and discouraged. You feel crushed and despairing. You are sitting underneath the broom bush with Elijah somewhere between, “I have had enough, Lord,” and “Take my life;”. Can I get a witness?
What if . . . just what if— the harder life is the better Jesus gets? What if when we are feeling crushed, despairing, abandoned, and destroyed the Spirit is whispering, “No, but you are hard pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down.” It is in just such times as these when the willingness of the Holy Spirit rises up in the weak resignation of our spirits and cries out these inspired and revealed words, “NOT CRUSHED. NOT DESPAIRING. NOT ABANDONED. NOT DESTROYED. NOT TODAY, SATAN!”
What if the whole goal of this way of glory is to bring us to these harrowingly sacred places where we say, “I have had enough Lord. Take my life.” It is in these places where “I have had enough Lord,” becomes the last nail in the coffin of the old self. It is in these places where “take my life” is transformed from giving up on one’s life to laying down one’s life and taking up the new creation–self in a whole new way. Giving up is resignation. Laying down is relinquishment. Truth be told, we often have to pass through layers of resignation in order to get down to the level of relinquishment.
Bottom line: It is in the places between “I have had enough, Lord” and “take my life” where Jesus responds, “I thought you would never ask. I would be delighted.” This is the place between a broom bush and a burning bush.
I’ll see you back here at the broom bush tomorrow with even better news and the most excellent way.
This is the way—from glory to glory.
Abba Father, we see in Elijah a man who was defeated and despairing. The truth is, he wanted to die. And we marvel at how your Spirit persevered in him. However, we also know that Elijah did not see what we see and know what we know. We live on the Jesus side of Elijah. We live on the Pentecost side of Elijah. We live in the extravagant resources of the age of the Spirit. How much more do you help us today not only in, but even because of, our weaknesses! Yes, I have had enough, Lord. Take my life, and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee!” Praying in Jesus’ name, amen.
How do you identify with this movement from “I have had enough” to “take my life,” and the difference between giving up on life and laying down one’s life; between resignation and relinquishment? Do you see the glory?
P.S. It’s the last day of the month. . .
And you know what that means.
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For the Awakening,