Spoke up for God even when it meant offending the people.
1KI 18: 17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 He answered, “I have not troubled Israel; but you have, and your father’s house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals.
Sometimes we are afraid to witness to our friends and relatives because we fear that we will offend them. We should not let this stop us. We should be overcome by a greater fear that they die without knowing Jesus.
There are several ways to ensure that people do not become offended when we tell them the gospel. One is to approach them at a suitable time. When a person is agitated with other work, he may not have the mood to talk about matters of religion. The other approach is to make sure that you communicate God’s love first. People will not be offended when we tell them the gospel if they know that we really care for them. There is a saying that goes like this : People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Ask God to help you to find favor with these people first.
Had confidence that his God will prevail over the other gods. Not afraid to confront.
1KI 18: 19 Now therefore have all Israel assemble for me at Mount Carmel, with the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 20 So Ahab sent to all the Israelites, and assembled the prophets at Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” The people did not answer him a word.
If you read further, Elijah instituted a test to see who the real God is. We should have this same kind of confidence when we talk to people of other religions. Often we are afraid of engaging in discussions with them because we are afraid that we will lose. But we should have the confidence that God’s truth will prevail. Of course we have to do the necessary research.
We should also challenge unbelievers to give God a try. If they have a need that their gods cannot help, why not offer to pray for them? Ask them to come out of indecisiveness. If their gods are true, follow them. If not abandon them and follow Jesus.
Elijah chose to work alone and paid for it through isolation. He despaired because he fails to recognize that other people could be supporting him.
1 Kings 19 14 He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16 Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17 Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
Elijah experienced hopelessness because it is as if the whole world was going against him. He failed to see that there could be other people who could be supporting him. Are you trying to do God’s work alone? Why not pray that God will show you people who will be able to support you in your ministry. You can then proceed with God’s work together as a team.
God refreshes His servants when they are tired and burnt-out.
Isaiah reached a point in his ministry where he is so burnt-out he simply fell asleep.
1 Kings 19 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” 8 He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
God knows our limitations and he wants to refresh us. He does not expect us to work beyond our physical limitations. He know we are made from dust.
Jn 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
21:16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
21:17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
Jesus asked twice whether Peter agape Him. Peter replied twice that he could only phileo Him. When Jesus asked him the third time He used phileo going down to where Peter was.
Do you feel burnt-out in your ministry? Ask God to give you renewed strength to go further. God promises to do that.
Isaiah 40 : 31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
And don’t forget common sense methods of recovering from burnt-out which is food and rest. God did not just rely on spiritual methods to revive us. He also uses food and rest to revive Elijah.