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This Week's Journeys
1 Kings 18:36-38
37 Answer me, Lord! Answer me so that this people will know that you, the Lord, are God and that you have turned their hearts back.’ Then the Lord’s fire fell…”
Prayer Journal Entry
Yahweh, I have been reminded this week of my propensity to turn from You to other things and people, even myself, to sustain me just as generations of people before me have done. (Deuteronomy 4:23-27) Thank You for Your continued warnings (Exodus 34:12-17) and Your continued grace (1 Kings 18:37-39) as I navigate my brokenness in this world.
I know Your judgment is just and You rebuke those You love (Proverbs 13:24), so I shall accept my afflictions with gratitude (Psalm 119: 75-76). In my afflictions, give me life according to Your Word and teach me Your statutes. (Psalm 119:107-108) Lord, Your faithfulness, despite my brokenness, always astounds me. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
Yahweh, I ask for Your help in learning to discern Your voice from others. I ask for Your discipline (Hebrews 12:5-6) as I study Your Word and practice patience in waiting for Your answers to my prayers. (Psalm 62:1-2) I ask You for a heart that desires You and seeks Your counsel above all others, a heart like David’s who sought Your ways. (Acts 13:22)
Let me walk through this life with uprightness so that others who fear You may see me and rejoice and be strengthened in their faith. (Psalm 119: 74)
In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.
Worship Through Song
When we are struggling deeply inside the griefs of sorrow, loss, and challenges beyond our abilities, we are easily tempted to only see our pain.
Lifting our head feels too difficult, let alone lifting our eyes to see another’s grief or to consider that our limited perspective is not the holistic view of the Lord God. But there comes a point in our suffering, where the intensity of the pain drives us either to surrender or choose to hoard bitterness like a miser who feeds upon it.
The widow in Elijah’s storyline found herself at this crossroads the day her son died. She had witnessed Elijah’s God caring for her, feeding her and her son in the midst of a multi-year famine, but still, it wasn’t enough for her to choose Yahweh as her God. The Lord did not bring her more abundance to help her eyes finally see and choose Him, He brought her a pain so great and a loss so deep, she simply must choose to either worship or walk away.
If you’ve experienced loss of some kind, how have you navigated these waters of decision? What factors have drawn you closer, pleading with you to surrender to the God whose “goodness and mercy” have continued to pursue you?
In what ways have you been tempted to turn away, trust yourself, and pull your pain ever-closer like a tattered blanket? In what ways do you sense the Lord calling you in this moment?
Elijah’s everyday faith, that grew over time as the Lord taught him to trust, is a great example of acting out our faith in daily life. The way Elijah speaks with the Lord while awaiting His instructions at the widow’s house is a great model for us.
When we feel the freedom to speak with the Lord as though He is a friend sitting across from us, we become actively engaged with Him and focus our thoughts on Him. Additionally, we see Elijah pause in anticipation of a response from the Lord. While it may not be an immediate response – in fact, Elijah spent years waiting for his next instructions – it is vital we intentionally listen for God’s voice when we speak with Him.
This helps us learn to discern His voice from others, including our own; learn patience, as God will answer us when He is ready and not a moment sooner. In actively listening for the Lord, we learn to trust Him regardless of our circumstances. As we seek God’s counsel each time we are faced with a decision, we learn to lean on His ways over our own more and more. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Insistently engaging God and seeking His counsel is something others will begin to see in our lives, just as the widow witnessed in Elijah. Consider whose faith-life has influenced your own. Praise God for their impact!
Ask the Lord to strengthen and increase your faith, making you aware of those around you who are being influenced by your walk with the Lord!
Humankind was made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27) God created everything we see (Genesis 1:1-27). Being made in His image means that, because He is creative, we, too, have been blessed with creativity. When we use our creativity for His purposes, we reflect His glory back to Him and the world around us. This is true for every good aspect of our humanity.
Unfortunately, we often use what was intended to bring the Lord glory and instead wield its power to our detriment. The most obvious way we do this is through idolatry. (Jeremiah 2:5-9)
Idolatry in Elijah’s time was blatantly apparent with images they worshiped. Baal was the reigning “god” among king Ahab’s people, as well as Asherah, two universal gods of fertility. (1 Kings 16:31-33) While idolatry in our time covertly disguises itself, we are still sacrificing parts of ourselves in the name of gods that have no real power like social media, cancel culture, approval of others, money, and image.
The prophets of Baal and Asherah who faced Elijah in 1 Kings 18:20-40 gave themselves over to something mankind created thinking it would give them ultimate power. When Elijah calls on the Lord, he knows that he himself is not capable of calling the fire, but God is outside of himself.
God was the Source of power, Elijah was meant to use his life to reflect God’s glory back to Him. What are we giving ourselves to that doesn’t have the power to sustain us like God? Which idols are your favorite?
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