Friday, July 30, 2010
Where is our Security?
In I Kings 17, we have the account of Elijah hiding from King Ahab of Israel in the Kerith Ravine. After a year, the brook dries up because of drought in the land. Could God have caused the water to keep flowing since he had told Elijah to hide there? Yes! However, Elijah is told to go to Zarephath in Sidon. This was where Ahab’s wife, the wicked Jezebel, came from. That must have surprised Elijah because he could be sure that everyone there hated his guts since he had prophesied the current drought afflicting Israel. Why could not God send him to safer Jerusalem in Judah, ruled by good King Jehoshaphat? Further, widows were the poorest of all peoples. Yet, we see Elijah, in obedience, turn control of his life over to God and he moves, despite the drastic change.
With President-elect Obama helming the USA, we have seen him seek to implement policies to bring about changes. There is no doubt the changes have rattled departments which have been in maintenance mode or may have tangentially veered off. Further, some of his changes will affect other nations. Will all the federal servants be happy to implement the changes? Will those affected by the policy changes be happy? I may be wrong but somehow I doubt many will be. Nobody likes change especially once they have settled in.
I believe God brings changes in our lives so that we do not settle into our comfort zone and forget who he is or what we have to do. There is a Chinese saying that goes, “When you drink the water, remember the spring.” Biblically, I think that means remember not just your blessings but who provides them. Earlier, Elijah had seen the miracle of unclean ravens bringing food to him daily. Perhaps, watching the same miracle day after day can make the miraculous mundane for Elijah, as it sometimes does for us. God had a tremendous task ahead for him – to purge Israel of idolatry. To achieve that, Elijah needed the complete assurance of God’s sovereignty over all things. Perhaps it is to assure Elijah of this that God brings about this change.
We may find change uncomfortable but yet it is necessary. When change occurs, we learn to let go of what we want so that we can do what God wants. We become more dependent on the Holy Spirit’s guidance rather than people or our own resources. When change occurs, we adapt faster when we are rooted in God and not in our own resources. That is one lesson we can learn from Elijah’s life. In 2009, no one can doubt that there will be many challenges to our lives. Some of these challenges will be personal to us because of our uncertain times. Some of it will be part of our HPC journey as God moves us from where we are to where he wants us to be. These challenges will require changes, some uncomfortable, in our lives. However, let us concentrate on the end result to which we know God is leading us – our own spiritual maturity and making his glory known to the nations. When we do so, we will, just like Elijah, not be distracted by what is currently happening in our lives. When we do so, we will be walking in faith and trusting in the one who has sovereignty over all things, just as has been proven in Elijah’s life.