📝 = Fill in the Blank
This morning I’m well aware that it’s Father’s Day, but I want to share a message that everyone in this room can connect with. This message may appear to be off at first glance, because the majority of us are masters of covering up what we’re really going through.
Behind every “I’m good, how are you?” is an “I don’t know how much longer I can take this.”
Behind every, "I’m on my grind, I’m team no sleep,“ is an individual one step away from there breaking point.
Behind every PUBLIC successful Superman that everyone is taking pictures with is a PRIVATE weary Clark Kent that doesn’t know how many more days he can do this.
How does Superman admit that he’s tired?
How does Wonder Woman confess that she’s losing her wonder?
They don’t. Instead they hold it in. They keep going. In fact, they often taken on another thing or two try not to look too weak, or too tired.
How does Superman admit that he’s tired?
How does Wonder Woman confess that she’s losing her wonder?
They don’t. Instead they cave. So it was with God’s man that we’re going to learn about today. If there was ever a Superman in the Bible, Elijah had to be the closest thing to it. James 5:17-18
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
You think that’s something, one day Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal, to see which God was the one and true LIVING God! 1 Kings 18:20-21
“So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.”
I Kings 18:20-21
“Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.””
I Kings 18:24
They called on their god, they hollered, they screamed, they cut themselves, Elijah, the man of God began teasing them saying, "Scream louder, maybe he’s sleeping, maybe he’s on vacation, or relieving himself. But NOTHING happened. You know why? The fact of the matter is this,
📝LOWER CASE GODS will fail you every time.
“And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.”
I Kings 18:36
“Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.””
I Kings 18:37
“Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!””
I Kings 18:38-39
“And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there.”
I Kings 18:40
The plot twist takes place early in the next chapter. 1 Kings 19:1 reads,
“Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.” 1 Kings 19:1
“So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”” 1 Kings 19:2
“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there,” 1 Kings 19:3
“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.”” 1 Kings 19:4
“Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep...1 Kings 19:5
Yes this man worked 2-3 jobs at a time. This man coached football, basketball, soccer, tennis, all at the same time. But most importantly this man was tired.
It’s the enemies tactic to wear you down then to send the spirit of Jezebel in for the kill.
Notice now, the Bible says...
...HE LEFT HIS SERVANT THERE, while he HIMSELF went a day’s journey into the wilderness. 1 Kings 19:3-4
This was his first mistake. That’s why I’m telling you point number one today...
📝 God does his best work through RELATIONSHIPS, Satan does His best work through ISOLATION.
📝 SOLITUDE is a healthy thing when orchestrated BY God, but ISOLATION is a deadly thing when orchestrated by the deceiver.
Solitude is when you get away to be with God. Isolation is when you strive to get away from everyone INCLUDING God.
Isolation is a dangerous thing WHEN YOU’RE NOT WELL because the only voice that’s leading you is your own, and the voice of the deceiver.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Ecclesiastes 4:9
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone IS IN REAL TROUBLE. Ecclesiastes 4:10
“Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “GET UP AND EAT.”” 1 Kings 19:5
“He looked around, and there by his head was some BREAD baked over hot coals, and a jar of WATER. He ate and drank and then LAY DOWN AGAIN.” 1 Kings 19:6
“The angel of the Lord came back A SECOND TIME and touched him and said, “GET UP and EAT, FOR THE JOURNEY IS TOO MUCH FOR YOU.”” 1 Kings 19:7
The Bible says that the angel provided him BREAD, WATER, and encouraged him to REST. Jesus Christ is all three.
STAY SPIRITUALLY FIT
“….FOR THE JOURNEY IS TOO MUCH FOR YOU.”” 1 Kings 19:7
📝 The journey is TOO MUCH FOR ME, but not for JESUS.
“THE THIEF does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
📝 When you look back over any spiritual attack, the first thing that came under fire was your DEVOTION LIFE.
📝 He robbed you of your time with the living bread, he robbed you of your time with the living water, he robbed you of your position of rest that’s only found in Christ Jesus.
In the midst of all that you do, be sure to do this,
📝 Stay DEVOTED to your DEVOTION life.
📝Satan knows that if he can disconnect you from THE SOURCE that you’ll never be a beneficial RESOURCE to those around you.
That’s why for this very reason…
📝 Above all else GUARD your devotion life to God. Not out of DUTY but out of DESPERATION. Not from a place of RELIGION but from a place of RELATIONSHIP.
The thief knows that bread, water, and rest are all essential to your spiritual survival and Jesus Christ is all three.
“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” John 7:37
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you REST.”
So what did Elijah do? Verse 8 tells us,
“So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.” 1 Kings 19:8
“There he went INTO A CAVE and spent the night...1 Kings 19:9
I know we’re already two points into the message but let me give you the title to this morning’s message:
I know the pressure is on you to be Superman, and to have all of the answers. I know the pressure is on you to be Wonder Woman, to work 60 + hours a week and somehow have a fresh hot meal on the table every night. I know the pressure is on you to be Super Woman, to be that stay at home mom with a perfectly clean house, with a perfectly clean car and garage, with a well stocked refrigerator, clean dishes, with the perfect acting kids….I know you’re tired from the journey and working long hours, only to come home to stay up all night as you try to sort through the stack of bills, or to figure out your calendar for the next couple of days.
Somewhere in between there you have a practice you have to go to, or a game you have to attend. You love your family, you really do, but on the inside you’re tired. You really want to communicate to your significant other, but how do you communicate something that YOU don’t even understand?
As the leader of the home, or as the caregiver of your home, how do you communicate that at this point you don’t know what to do?
How do you tell everyone that sees you ONLY as SUPERMAN that you’re really CLARK KENT?
How do you tell everyone that sees you ONLY as WONDER WOMAN, that you’re losing your wonder?
I see you doing the best you can my brother. I see you doing the best you can my sister. Through it all...DON’T GIVE UP. DON’T CAVE.
Fear, pressure, and isolation tell you that nobody understands you. They’re ungrateful. Don’t waste your time trying to tell them about what’s going on in your mind. Next, depression sends you an invitation…
"JUST COME SIT WITH ME IN THE CAVE.” -Depression
What I love about God is this...GOD SHOWS UP IN THE CAVE. Look at verse 9,
“There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord CAME TO HIM: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”” 1 Kings 19:9
God’s voice showed up in the cave. Elijah. What are you doing? With everything that I have placed inside of you. With all the many times that I have used you, as gifted and anointed as you are, what are you doing sitting in this cave? My child, what are you doing here? God knows what Satan wants to keep from you and it’s this…
📝 You weren’t created to CAVE. You were created to CONQUER.
“Yet IN all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
📝 It doesn’t matter what I’m IN. Yet IN ALL THESE THINGS I’m more than a conqueror.
What are you doing in this dark place? Your wife needs you. What are you doing in this dark place? Your husband needs you. Your children need you. Your bloodline needs you. This community needs you. THIS CHURCH NEEDS YOU. You’re more than a conqueror—Don’t cave!
“Then He said, “GO OUT, and stand on the mountain before the LORD...” 1 Kings 19:11
That’s what I love about God, not only will God show up in the cave, but
📝 GOD CALLS US OUT THE CAVE.
Check out verse 11,
And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake;” I Kings 19:11
“and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” I Kings 19:12
“So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle AND WENT OUT and stood in the entrance of the cave... I Kings 19:13
God specializes in calling us OUT the cave.
As soon as he stepped out the cave, God asked Elijah the same question again,
"What are you doing here, Elijah?” I Kings 19:13
When you’re tired and not spiritually where you need to be your perception is always off.
God’s answer to all of what Elijah was going through was this,
Go anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Go anoint Jehu over Israel. And go anoint Elisha as prophet in your place. (See 1 Kings 19:15-17)
In other words...
Why did God instruct Elijah with these specific instructions? I believe the answer rest in verse 7 when the angel told him,
“...Arise and eat, BECAUSE THE JOURNEY IS TOO GREAT FOR YOU.”” I Kings 19:7
📝 Seeking support isn’t a sign of WEAKNESS but rather a sign of STRENGTH.
📝 You weren’t created for THE CAVE. You were created for COMMUNITY.
Men, let me speak directly to you for a moment. We are the GATEKEEPERS of our families. We are the GATEKEEPERS of our community. We are the GATEKEEPERS of our church. But what happens when the GATEKEEPER gets tired? What happens when the GATEKEEPER begins to feel as if he can’t go on anymore? I’m going to tell you what happens, THE Gatekeeper leaves the gate and goes into the cave.
This journey is too much for you alone, surround yourself with other GATEKEEPERS. Ladies, surround yourself with other SHINE ladies. Plug into one of discipleship groups. You weren’t created for THE CAVE. You were created for COMMUNITY.
During the showdown with Baal, when it was Elisha’s turn to call on His God, he did something so significant but yet it appears so small.
1 Kings 18:30 says,
“Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. AND HE REPAIRED THE ALTAR OF THE LORD THAT WAS BROKEN DOWN.” I Kings 18:30
• REPAIR the ALTAR.
It’s through repairing the altar, and through prayer and fasting that we will witness God change lives. We will witness our God call people out of the cave. But I believe with all of my heart, He’s doing it here, and He’s doing it now. He’s calling someone out of the cave.
It all starts with a question. The same question that God posed to Elijah, is the same question that I pose to you TODAY...
WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?
God sent THIS WORD to us THIS MORNING because...
HE HEARD YOUR CRY FROM THE CAVE.
And the same question that God asked Elijah twice, is the same question that I ask you again...
WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?
You weren’t built for the cave. You weren’t built to give up. You weren’t built to hold back. You weren’t built to withdraw. You were built to CONQUER. You were built for COMMUNITY.