From where you stand, things can look very discouraging at times. It can even seem like you are the only Christian around. Or that may even be true in your circles. You may in fact be the only one in your family, in your school, at your work place. Even in your church, it may be a very religious place where people really have no relationship with God. But if all we see is the smallness and confinement of the place around us, we are in danger of being overwhelmed with discouragement.
The prophet Elijah found himself in a place like that. He was not confined to a small place but travelling throughout Israel proclaiming the word of the Lord and confronting the religious spirits that had risen up against the people of God. It seemed as if no-one wanted to hear God’s message any more. After a very great victory on Mt. Carmel with the false prophets of Baal, Jezebel sent word that she was going to kill him. (1 Kings 19) Elijah ran for his life and finally ended up at Mt. Horeb where God encountered him once again. When God asked him “What are you doing here?” He responded, “I’ve been very jealous for You. The children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars and slain Your prophets with the sword. I am the only one left and they seek to kill me.”
It’s interesting to me that the Lord chose to ignore the way Elijah felt at the time. He didn’t even respond at first to Elijah’s discouragement but rather handed him his next assignment. Basically He said ” Get up! Go to this place and that place and anoint these people and here’s what will happen.” And then in a quieter tone of voice He said, “By the way … I have 7000 left in Israel who have not bowed their knee to Baal. You are not alone as you thought.”
When the Lord asks you “What are you doing here?” or “Why are you doing this?” it’s not because He doesn’t know. It’s because He wants you to see the truth. Many times the way you feel about something is not the truth of how things really are.
I meet people from different nations, different denominations and different churches who all tell me the same thing. “It’s just so hard here, people don’t seem to care, we need revival but there seems to be a religious spirit here.” Of course there is! As long as we live in this realm we will have religious spirits to deal with. But we must learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord as David did. One good cure for discouragement is finding out the amazing things God is doing around the world in other parts of our family.
We need to be informed about what is really happening, especially if we live in isolated places. We have the world at our fingertips now with the ability to watch videos and read testimonies and prophetic words online. Sharing these things with those around you will be like blowing on the embers and rekindling the fire of God within them. Gather them to watch a conference in your living room with prophetic speakers that you know and trust. See what God is saying to those in other countries and how it echos what He is saying to you and to the prophetic voices in your area. There are many trusted sources under my Recommended Reading and Recommended Links tabs at the top of this page. Check out Elijahlist to see what God is saying for 2014.
I have seen the army of God arising with my own eyes. I have been in schools where Heidi Baker is training 200 people (from dozens of nations, several times a year) to be radical lovers of Jesus, running into the darkest places on earth to bring His love and light. (www.irisglobal.org) She is only one of thousands around the world who are training warriors for God’s end time army. The genuine love and honor among them rivals the early church. Their goal is to become transformed into the image of Christ. They will not break rank. They will not turn and run when the battle rages. They will give their lives as martyrs if necessary and understand the great honor of being counted worthy to die for Him. I have seen them arising in many nations and I have no fear for the future of the true church of God.
You are not alone. You have a great host of brothers and sisters who are fighting with you. The training may at times be fierce but it is necessary to transform us into His image so that we have His mind and His will, not our own. Ours would get us killed. These are choices we make now, not out of duty but because of our love for Him and the honor of being a part of His great end time purposes. His army wins. Light will always defeat the darkness.
Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for Jehovah your God is with you in all places where you go.