Elijah Needed a Band

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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.

CONSIDER THIS

ME: THIS IS THE WAY—
YOU: FROM GLORY TO GLORY!

Elijah needed a band. No, not like Elijah and the Tumble Weeds (or the Broom Bush Boys as it were). He didn’t need fans or Facebook followers. He needed friends to help bear the burdens and call forth the blessedness of being him. He needed two or three men in his life with him under that broom bush. We all do—because every single one of us are struggling to be us—the real, true, best version of who we were made to become and be. We will never get there by ourselves. 

About seven years ago, at a particularly low point in my life (which was about to get even more glorious—I mean—lower), two friends and I started a band. No, it wasn’t a rock band, though sometime I’d love to tell you the true story of my country band (J. D. and the Dukes). And no you won’t find us on the Youtube or Apple Music or anywhere else . . . yet. ;0) 

We were just three Elijah types (burned-out, amateur prophets) wanting to belong more to Jesus. We lived in different states so we began meeting by phone every Friday morning at 8 a.m. We learned a ton from our friend, Dr. Kevin Watson, whose book on the subject Seedbed would later publish. We began to pioneer an innovation on the eighteenth-century model used by John Wesley. Here’s how it works:

After a couple of minutes of eighth-grade banter, someone says:

Wake up sleepers, and rise from the dead . . . (see if you can guess the response of the other two)
AND CHRIST WILL SHINE ON YOU! (right out of Ephesians 5:14)

Then one of us prays this prayer (right out of Ephesians 3:16–19)

Father, we pray that out of your glorious riches you would strengthen us with power, through your Spirit, in our inner being that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. And we pray that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power—together with all the saints—to grasp how high and how wide and how deep and how long is the love of Christ; and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Then someone volunteers to go first and responds to these three questions:

1. How is it with my soul?
2. What are my struggles and successes this week?
3. How might the Scriptures and the Spirit be speaking in my life?   

And after about a year of trust building we added the last two questions:

4. Do I have any sin I want to confess?
5. Is there anything I wish to keep secret from the band? 

Then we pray for the one who shared and the next one follows suit. 

It takes about an hour. We close with this (right out of Ephesians 3:19–20)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

And that’s it—until next time.

In all my fifty-five years, NOTHING HAS CHANGED MY LIFE MORE THAN BANDING (ALL CAPS for emphasis). 

Yep, Elijah needed a band. Thank God he had an angel, whom we will meet tomorrow. 

This is the way—from glory to glory. 

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, something deep in me knows I need a band. For some reason, I also fear it. I know what got me here won’t get me there. I know more information and learning can only go so far. I need to learn to encourage and be encouraged at the level of soul. I want to become the version of me that you can already see. So I am willing to be made willing to take this step of faith. Come Holy Spirit. Praying in Jesus’ name, amen. 

THE QUESTION

Are you in a band? (In the sense of today’s post) Would you do me a favor and take three minutes to answer three questions? LINK HERE. This will really help us in our work to advance this project. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

3 COMMENTS

  1. For a decade my wife and I were in a Salvation Army “band.” We were both working for them when they approached us and asked us if we would like to start a Sunday morning meeting in an empty church building that they owned. They said that the traditional church format had never worked in that building and asked if we would do something nontraditional.

    We accepted their offer and began to meet “band-style” (as in a band of brothers and sisters meeting interactively together with open hearted honesty, love, humility, and compassion). It was a 10-year experience. We typically had between 20 and 35 adults. After praise and worship, people would freely share as they felt prompted by the Lord. We soon discovered that ordinary people are eloquent when they speak from their heart as led by the Spirit.

    Every Sunday was different, but incredible. Each week we heard, saw, and experienced amazing things. Love abounded in our multi-racial “band.” Lives were changed in front of our eyes. We were supported and encouraged by local, regional, and national Salvation Army leadership until a new local leader arrived in Nashville and told us we couldn’t meet like that anymore because it wasn’t The Salvation Army way.

    That was five years ago. Since then, my wife and I have experienced much banding. We meet almost every day with people in both planned and spontaneous ways (in person, by Zoom, or on the phone). We now have open-hearted sharing and spiritual connections with more people than we have ever had before. We are continually amazed at how God continues to knit our hearts together with people we’ve known for a while and with people we’ve only recently met. We love “band-style” gatherings of the body of Christ (whether in twos or threes or in “big band” meetings where 20 or 30 or more people share as prompted by the risen Jesus).

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