Tag Archives: Elijah

When Fear and Darkness Come

helpesless8trackscoverHave you ever come to a place in your life, when out of nowhere, fear grabs you and wraps its black tentacles around your heart and your mind? Then, suddenly, as the fear wraps itself around you, like a relentless boa constrictor, squeezing your heart and lungs so that your breathing becomes labored, panic begins to set in, and you are left with butterflies in your stomach, a racing heart, and a muddled mind. Your every instinct tells you to flee. Have you ever been there?

I’ve experience that many times in my life, and it’s a horrible feeling that leaves you feeling as though everything is out of control. When you’re in that place, you feel as though you’re all alone, as though there is no one else who has been there or who could possibly understand. On top of the intense loneliness, you feel like a complete failure, as though you’ve let yourself down, and worse yet — you feel as though you’ve let God down. Have you been there?

That’s why I find such comfort in 1 Kings 19:1-9a:

When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”

3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” 6 He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”

8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. 9 There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.

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Are you familiar with the story? Elijah was one of God’s most powerful prophets. He was a strong and mighty man of God, who performed many miracles, signs and wonders in the name of the Lord. As a matter of fact, right before this incident, Elijah had just called fire down from heaven, as the fire of the Lord consumed his offering, proving to the people of Israel and the 400 false prophets of Baal that the Lord is God. Then he commanded the people to seize the 400 false prophets and killed every one of them.

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Now, following such a huge victory, it seems kind of crazy that Elijah would turn tail and run away in fear of his life, just because of the threats of one woman. After all, if the Lord had given him victory over the 400 prophets of Baal, wouldn’t you think He would protect Elijah from one woman?

Still, when the spirit of fear grips you, it blinds you to the truth. That spirit of fear magnifies the perceived danger until it becomes larger than life. It isn’t logical or reasonable. As a matter of fact, everything is distorted and warped, making it difficult to think clearly. Have you been there?

4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

~ 1 Kings 19:4 — NLT ~

Now many people have preached and interpreted this verse as Elijah’s pity party. I too, have been guilty of this same interpretation, until recently, when the Lord brought me to a dark place that I’ve never been to before. As I make my way through this dark place, I’m learning that a lot of my judgments of others have been harsh and unkind.

Let’s spend a few moments looking at things from Elijah’s perspective. The life of a prophet is not an easy one. You see, a prophet loves the Lord passionately, and is filled with zeal for Him, that burns within him/her like a consuming fire.

7 O Lord, You have deceived me and I was deceived; You have overcome me and prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; Everyone mocks me. 8 For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction,
Because for me the word of the Lord has resulted In reproach and derision all day long. 9 But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.

~ Jeremiah 20:7-9 — NASB ~

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Not only does the prophet love the Lord passionately, he/she also loves the people of God. The prophet would pour his/her heart and soul into proclaiming the word of the Lord. The prophet would long for the people to repent and  turn back to the Lord. He/She would long for their salvation. As a former prison minister, I understand this. When I ministered to those inmates, the word of the Lord burned within me, and my heart’s desire was for the salvation and deliverance of each and every woman I ministered to. When I minister in my church, again, the word of the Lord burns within me and my heart’s desire is for every man, woman and child to know the Almighty and love Him. I love those people I minister to, and I long for them to walk in liberty in Jesus’ name.

Now put yourself in Elijah’s place…

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.”

~ 1 Kings 19:9b-10 — NLT ~

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Do you really think Elijah was having a pity party? Think about it. His life was being threatened. The people he tried so desperately to lead to repentance and save had not only rejected the Lord, they had also killed the Lord’s prophets. The danger he faced was very real. Not only were his fears real, but he had had enough. He was tired and depressed. He had failed in his mission to lead the people to salvation and repentance. He felt as though he was all alone, and he asked the Lord to take his life, possibly thinking that the God who loved him would be more merciful in his death than the people he had tried to save.

As I said before, my thoughts about Elijah have changed. I find that since I’ve experienced anxiety and depression, I’m less likely to pass judgment on Elijah or anyone else who is experiencing anxiety and depression. It’s really easy to assume that someone is feeling sorry for himself and having a pity party when he/she is depressed. I know, because I’ve accused people that I love, who have suffered from depression of “feeling sorry” for themselves, and I’ve since had to repent. 

Now, let’s look at what happened next…

5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” 6 He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”

8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.

~ 1 Kings 19:5-8 — NLT ~

After running for his life, Elijah fell into an exhausted sleep. This is typical behavior for someone suffering from depression, and let’s look at the Lord’s response to Elijah. The Lord sent an angel to give Elijah some food. A person suffering from depression and anxiety often doesn’t eat properly, and knowing this, the Lord provided nourishment for Elijah, and then let him lay down and rest some more. After allowing Elijah to rest some more, the angel of the Lord came to him again and touched him, instructing him to eat some more to sustain him for the journey ahead of him. Apparently this food was supernatural, for it sustained Elijah, giving him enough strength to travel for forty days to Mount Sinai.

If Elijah had merely been having a “pity party” or was “feeling sorry” for himself, would the Lord have treated him so gently and compassionately? I don’t think so. I remember the Lord’s response to Jonah, another of His prophets, who was feeling sorry for himself, because a plant died. Unlike His gentle and compassionate response to Elijah, the Lord rebuked Jonah for his heartlessness. 

Therefore, my beloved readers, I urge you to read the rest of this chapter, and take note of the Lord’s gracious treatment of Elijah, especially where the Lord spoke to him in a still small voice. This is not gospel, it is merely my conjecture, but I find it interesting that the Lord chose to speak to the depressed and frightened prophet in a still small voice, rather than thundering at him. Could it be that the Lord knew the depressed prophet wouldn’t have been able to handle the powerful, thunderous blast of His voice, and so, He chose to speak to Him in a gentle whisper? What a merciful and compassionate God we serve. 

As I read this story, I draw strength, knowing that the Lord understands depression. He understands fear and anxiety, and rather than beating a person up when they’re already in the depths of despair, He shows us how to respond to someone suffering from depression…

  • Encourage the person to rest
  • Encourage the person to eat and take care of him/herself
  • Speak to the person with gentleness and compassion
  • Encourage the person to seek his/her healing from the Lord, who truly does care
  • Let the depressed/anxious person know that he/she is not alone
  • Be a friend and helpmate to the person suffering depression, and don’t judge them harshly

My beloved readers, if any of you are suffering from depression and/or anxiety, be encouraged. The Lord doesn’t think you’re just “feeling sorry” for yourself, and He doesn’t think you’re having a “pity party”. He understands, and He knows how to help you, just as He knew how to help Elijah. 

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Who do you say He is?

He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together.

~ Colossians 1:17 — NLT ~

Colossians 1-17A long time ago, Jesus asked the disciples a question. I don’t think they really understood how important that question was, until, suddenly, like the flash of a bolt of lightning from the sky, one of them was given a revelation. To know the answer to that question still requires revelation to this day. Yes, anyone can repeat the answer, but when you are asked this question, don’t just answer with your head, say aloud what you believe in your heart

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

15 Then He asked them, But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, You are blessed, Simon son of John, because My Father in heaven has revealed this to you.You did not learn this from any human being.”

~ Matthew 16:13-17 — NLT ~

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This is a question of such import that every man, woman and child through the ages has had to answer  for themselves, and as Jesus said, it can’t be learned from any human being. It must be revealed to each and every one of us by Almighty God. Who do you say that Jesus is?

Some say He was just a carpenter…

Some say He was a good man…

Some say He was a good teacher…

Some say He was a great prophet…

Who do you say He is?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

~ Genesis 1:1-2 — NLT ~

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.

~ John 1:1-5 — NLT ~

Who do you say He is?

Some say He was a troublemaker…

Some say He was a liar…

Some say He was the devil’s brother…

Some say He deserved to die…

Who do you say He is?

6 Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, 8 He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 9 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

~ Philippians 2:6-11 NLT ~

Who do you say He is? It’s the single most important question you will ever have to answer, whether in this lifetime of the next, because your answer will determine where you spend eternity…

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

~ John 11:25 — NKJV ~

Who do you say He is? There is no such thing as reincarnation. There is no Allah. Buddha can’t save you. Confucius is dead. The Jesus the Latter Day Saints worship has never existed except in the minds of those who have been deceived. The Jehovah served by Jehovah’s Witnesses is a lie, as are freemasons and all other religions, and those lies were birthed in the bowels of hell, to destroy mankind. While these words are not politically correct or popular, they are truth. There is only one way to the Father and eternal life…

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.”

~ John 14:6 — NLT ~

My beloved readers, some of you may be hurt or angry as you read these words, but please know that I share them with you out of love, because it is not the Father’s will for anyone to perish. On the other hand, the devil is a liar, and has been since the beginning, and he will tell you anything you want to hear, for the sole purpose of destroying you…

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

~ John 10:10 — NLT ~

Beloved, who do you say Jesus is? I can’t answer that question for you, because as I said earlier, this is a question we must all answer for ourselves, and that answer only comes by the revelation of God. However, I can share who I say Jesus is…

Jesus is the Son of the Living God…

Jesus is the Christ and the Messiah…

Jesus is Lord of my life…

Jesus is my Savior…

Jesus is my Deliverer…

Jesus is my Protector…

Jesus is my Hope…

Jesus is my Peace…

Jesus is my Joy…

Jesus is the Love of my life…

Jesus is the Rock of Ages…

Jesus is my Strong Tower…

Jesus is my Shelter…

Jesus is my Master…

Jesus is Holy…

Jesus is my Shepherd…

Jesus is the Ancient of Days…

Jesus is my Provider…

Jesus is my Healer…

Jesus is the Light of the world…

Jesus is my Life…

Jesus is the Lamb of God…

Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah…

Jesus is Alpha and Omega…

Jesus is the Resurrected King…

Jesus is Emmanuel {God with Us}…

Jesus is First and Last…

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life…

Jesus is KING of kings and LORD of lords…

Jesus is all of this and so much more! So now, in closing, I’ll ask you again…

Who do you say Jesus is?

Only God can reveal the answer to that question to you, and my  prayer is that everyone who reads this post will receive the revelation of who Christ is, because knowing the answer to this question will change your whole life. Remember, the answer to this question does not come from your brain. God writes the answer to this question on our hearts, and once you receive that revelation, you will never be the same…

Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:3 — NLT ~

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

The Visible Image of the Invisible God

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…

~ Colossians 1:15 — NLT ~

fc935-cross-and-crown-of-thorns

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had really known Me, you would know who My Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! So why are you asking Me to show Him to you? 10  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak are not My own, but My Father who lives in Me does His work through Me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen Me do.”

~ John 14:6-11 — NLT

Unknowingly, for the last three years, while the disciples lived with Jesus, and walked with Him, they were seeing God. Even though Peter boldly declared, “…You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:16b) they still didn’t comprehend that they were looking into the face of the Living God.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…

Colossians 1:15 — NLT ~

What does it mean that Christ is the visible image of the invisible God? We see in John 14:6-11 that Jesus explained that He and the Father are one, and that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him… Jesus looks like His Daddy. Strong’s Greek Lexicon defines the word image in the scripture above this way…

Image — Eikon
an image, figure, likeness
an image of the things (the heavenly things)
used of the moral likeness of renewed men to God
the image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed, is likeness not only to the heavenly body, but also to the most holy and blessed state of mind, which Christ possesses
the image of one
one in whom the likeness of any one is seen
applied to man on account of his power of command
to Christ on account of His divine nature and absolute moral excellence

My beautiful daughter...
My beautiful daughter…

My daughter is the image of me. She looks a lot like me. She has many of my mannerisms, often to the point that we will be talking and find ourselves standing or sitting in the same position. She also thinks a lot like me, and praise God, she has a strong, unwavering faith much like mine. It amazes me how much she resembles me, not only in looks.

Perhaps because my daughter is the image of me, I am able to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “… Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father!…” (John 14:9b) My daughter could say the same thing to someone who doesn’t know me, and they would have a good idea of what I look like, because not only does her physical appearance parallel mine, but her personality, her gifts and her faith, though they are uniquely hers, are still much like mine. It’s so funny, because not only does my daughter greatly mirror me, her oldest daughter (my granddaughter) is the spitting image of her mama, in appearance and in her ways. The main difference in the three of us is only the color of our hair.

Me
Me

Not only do my daughter and I resemble one another, we also resemble Jesus. You see, the more time we spend in His presence, the more we look like Him, as we begin to be transformed into His likeness, by His word.

Whenever I minister somewhere, I don’t much care whether people can remember my name or not. It doesn’t bother me (not anymore) if someone forgets to put my name on a bulletin or to give me credit for something I’ve done in the Lord’s name, because ministering to others is not about me. What is important to me is that people remember that I ministered to them about Jesus, because my heart’s desire is that I would be able to change many lives in Jesus’ name, and that many would be snatched from the fires of hell, as God transforms their lives. I want God to get all the glory, honor and praise that He is due.

16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 — NKJV~

If we are truly living for the Lord, we must walk with Him, and as we spend more and more time with Him, meditating on His word, we will be changed…

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

~ Romans 12:1-2 — NLT ~

As a Christian, (a follower of Christ), we need to have the same attitude that Christ has. When  people see me, I want them to see Christ within me. In order for that to happen, I must be willing to live as He lived…

6 Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

7 Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, 

He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

~ Philippians 2:6-11 — NLT ~.

Hallelujah! Christ is the visible image of the invisible God… One of my personal prayers has been that God will one day allow me to see Him face to face. And then, just now, He brought the following scripture passage to my mind…

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in His presence, and He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show You hospitality? Or naked and give You clothing? 39 When did we ever see You sick or in prison and visit You?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed Me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give Me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite Me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give Me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit Me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help You?’

45 “And He will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

Do you see what I see? The answer to my prayer is right there in Jesus’ words, as He spoke to His disciples. Whenever I look on the poor and the needy and help them, I am looking into the face of God, and blessing Him. However, every time I look at those who need help with contempt and disdain, I am looking into the face of God with contempt.

Do you want to see the face of God? Look for Christ. Do you want to see Christ? Look into the eyes of the poor and broken-hearted. Look into the eyes of those who are hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or are naked, sick or in prison, for it is there that you might see Christ, who is the visible image of the invisible God.

Father, I bless you for every time You’ve shown Your face to me, even though I failed to recognize You. I bless You for loving me, enough to give me the opportunity to see You and to serve You. Lord, I also ask for your forgiveness for those times I failed to serve You, even though I looked into Your eyes and saw Your need. 

I bless Your holy name, Lord, and I ask You to bless my readers, and draw them close to You, and let them see You in Jesus, and in one another! Amen.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

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How my soul longs for You, Lord!

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
So I long for You, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before Him?
3 Day and night I have only tears for food,
While my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?

 ~ Psalm 42:1-3 — NLT ~

So far, 2013 has been one of the most painful and difficult times of my life, and that’s saying a lot. I’ve been battered and bruised by the enemy of my soul, as I’ve suffered chronic acute pain, grief, and illness, followed by the deepest darkest depression I’ve ever experienced, and on top of that, terrible financial difficulty because I am no longer able to work. All of these things combined have also left me struggling with fear and anxiety. I keep trying to remember that God does not give us me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind, but these things just keep attacking me from nowhere, while I am at my weakest. Continue reading Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!