The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting (Pt.10)

by Rick

Today we continue our new series entitled, “The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting,” under the banner of the overall series for the year: “Expectation.”  For the past couple of messages we have been looking at the experience Elijah had when he was on a fast.  It started because he was burned-out.  Jezebel wanted to have him killed, he was on the run, and he literally wanted to die.  He asked God to take his life.  So the Lord led him to get some rest and aftwards, the Lord led Elijah to go n a 40-day fast.

 

The fast culminated on Mount Horeb, the mountain of God.  There Elijah had a supernatural encounter with God.  Elijah had to look past strong winds, and earthquake and fire.  The Lord was not in any of those.  But then came a still small voice.  God was in the voice.  This is where I stopped yesterday.  I will pick up the story from here today.

 

When Elijah heard the voice, he used his coat to cover his face.  He knew it was God.  God asked, “Elijah, why are you here?”  Now, let me stop right here long enough to tell you that if God ever asks you a question, it is NOT because He does not know the answer.  God obviously knew the answer, but He wanted Elijah to vocalize what was in his heart.  Elijah did.  Elijah exposed why he had been feeling down.  Elijah said, “Lord God All-Powerful, I have always served you the best that I can, but the Israelites broke their agreement with you. They destroyed your altars and killed your prophets. I am the only prophet left alive, and now they are trying to kill me.”  

 

Elijah was on the run during the 42 months of drought.  He knew Ahab wanted to kill him during this time.  So the issue was not the death threat.  That’s not what was truly getting him down.  The main issue was that Elijah thought he was the only man of God left.  He felt all alone.  That is a dangerous feeling.  The devil will do all he can to get you to think that you are all alone in life.  If satan can isolate you from others, he can torment you in your mind.

 

The Lord then gave Elijah clear instructions.  He said, “Go back. Take the road that leads to the desert around Damascus. Go into Damascus and anoint Hazael as king over Aram.  Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel. Next, anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah. He will be the prophet who takes your place.  Jehu will kill anyone who escapes Hazael’s sword, and Elisha will kill anyone who escapes from Jehu’s sword.  I still have 7000 people in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed that idol.”  In that statement the Lord renewed Elijah’s purpose and He provided him encouragement.  Elijah now had something to do, his successor was identified, and he discovered the fact that he was NOT the only one left.  This changes the narrative of Elijah’s life.  Had Elijah killed himself while he was depressed, we would not remember him the same way.  Elijah’s story takes an amazing turn.  The turn came because of ONE WORD from God.  And he received this WORD while he was fasting!  

 

So what does this mean to you today?  I have already given you a few takeaways today. But I will give you a few more.

 

1.  The devil wants you to feel all alone.

a)  Elijah delved into depression because he thought he was the only prophet left alive.  When he thought he was the only one, satan was able to attack his mind continually.  The feeling of being all alone opened the door to fear.  Fear opened the door to suicide.  Elijah wanted to die.  Feeling all alone is truly dangerous.  The good news is that you are NEVER alone.  God will never leave you, nor forsake you.  He will never turn His back on you.  Reminding yourself of this will help you combat the thoughts of feeling all alone.

b)  In the creation, God said, and God said, and God said, and He then saw everything He said.  And He said it was all good.  The only thing God said was NOT good was when Adam was by himself.  God said it was NOT good for man to be alone.  God did not create us to be all by ourselves.  God created us to have a vertical (upward) relationship with Him and horizontal (outward) relationships with other people.  There are no Lone Rangers in the Body of Christ.  Appreciate those God has placed around you.  The journey is better when it is enjoyed with others.

 

2.  One Word from God can turn your life around.

a)  One minute Elijah wanted to die and the next He had purpose, direction and motivation.  This all came because he received a Word from God.  And this Word came in the middle of a fast.  So, never underestimate the power of fasting and never devalue a Word God gives you.  One Word can change your situation for ever!

b)  We were designed to LIVE by every Word God speaks to us.  We should seek God daily.  His Words to us are spirit and they are life!

 

Closing Confession:  

Father, this is a season of expectation for me.  I make the time to fast and pray.  I spend time in Your presence daily.  I seek and hear Your voice.  I am restored by every Word You speak to me.  I combat feelings of loneliness.  I am never all alone.  You are always with me.  I am never hopeless, because I am never helpless.  Your presence in my life lifts me up daily!  And I live by every Word You release over me!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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