7,000 others

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1 Kings 19:9-18 New Living Translation (NLT)

There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

15 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram.16 Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi[a] to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.17 Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! 18 Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

In the previous chapter of 1 Kings we read that Elijah had a pretty successful ministry:

  • Elijah heard from God.
  • He obeyed.
  • God displayed His power.
  • The people believed that the Lord was God.
  • The false prophets of Baal were eliminated.

After that mountain top experience, the enemy was ticked off. And he didn’t slither away quietly. Nope. He influenced a wicked queen named Jezebel to threaten Elijah. She swore to kill him within a day, just as he had killed the false prophets.

The enemy is still ticked off. And he isn’t slithering away quietly.

Faithful people who minister the gospel to others all over the world are experiencing the same cycle as Elijah:

  • They hear from God.
  • They obey.
  • God displays His power.
  • The people believe that the Lord is
  • The enemy is defeated.

I’m not a prophet. But I have served and ministered to people for more than a decade and I can tell you I have experienced this cycle personally.

  • I hear from God.
  • I obey.
  • God displays His power.
  • The people believe that the Lord is
  • The enemy is defeated.

I’ve also been afraid like Elijah. Coming down off the miraculous mountain, I’ve received threats from the enemy through leaders, friends and yes, even family. And I’ve been paralyzed by fear. I’ve run away. I’ve told God, “I have had ENOUGH!” (19:4). The Lord, in His kindness has provided strength for me as I’ve journeyed (19:5-8). And after I’ve spent the night in a cave, the Lord has said, “what are you doing here?” (19:9). We’ve had a chat. I’ve whined about the wicked people in the world and the church. I’ve whined about the enemy trying to kill me! I’ve whined about how unfair it was that I was the only one faithfully serving Him…

That is, until recently, when God gently rebuked me by encouraging me to re-read the story of Elijah. I had known that the Lord was with me in the fight against the enemy. I had known that the Lord was my strength. I had known that the Lord had provided His armor for my protection. I had known that the sword He gave me would slay evil rulers, authorities of the unseen, and mighty powers in this dark world. I had known the euphoria of victory! But for the first time, as I re-read the above passage, I realized that I am not alone. I am not the only one faithfully serving the Lord.

At some point, when I had climbed down a mountain, the enemy had threatened me with the lie: “you are alone.”

And I believed it.

The Truth that I failed to receive (because of my fear….and subsequent pride) was that God has preserved 7,000 others alongside me! They too are fighting the good fight. They too are hearing from God, obeying, experiencing His miraculous power, seeing people repent and believe in God, and rejoicing when the enemy is defeated!

Fear & isolation is a very real issue amongst warriors in the Kingdom of God. Fatigued from faithfully serving. Weary from battle. Scarred from the arrows that have hit their mark through missing or broken armor. Exhausted from defeating the false prophets in the land. Wounded and afraid because angry leaders have been threatened by their ministry.

Many have said “that’s ENOUGH!” Many have run away. Many are hiding in caves. Many have been replaced by others.  I don’t want to be among the many. I don’t want to be replaced. I don’t want to hide. I don’t want to run away from the battle.

  • I want to know that HE is God.
  • I want to experience His miraculous power.
  • I want to see people repent and believe in Jesus.
  • I want to help defeat the enemy.
  • I want to know that there are 7,000 others with me!
  • I want to hear “well done, good and faithful warrior.”

I’ve had ENOUGH. Enough of the enemy’s threats. Enough of his lies.

I am a child of the King. I will put on His armor. I will obey His commands. I will fight with my double-edged sword. And….I will rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91).

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