In continuing our study of Elijah using Priscilla Shirer’s study, we are learning how God prepares us for service by separating us from something, someone, or someplace. Elijah: Faith and Fire, Priscilla Shirer, p. 47.
We have all identified things that we need to separate ourselves from. It is different for everyone. We know in our hearts what is distracting us from good things and wastes our time.
Over and over in Scripture we see God moving people, exiling people, having people wander in a desert for a generation, all to prepare them for something new He has planned. He tells us in Scripture that He won’t desert us, He will rescue us, and we can ask for what we need. We worship a great God who works through weak vessels just because it is how He chooses.
When I think of Elijah approaching the area of Zarepath in Sidon, an area antagonistic to Israelites, I think of Jonah as well, a prophet directed to go to the enemy with God’s word. We don’t always get moved to approach volatile situations. Sometimes we are separated from what is comfortable and steady to situations that are more complicated and require more of us. Often if we rebel against what is uncomfortable, we forget to look for God’s grace and mercy in the situation.
“Nothing of value in God’s kingdom is ever achieved quickly or without cost.” Like Elijah, we may be “positioned for things more impactful and far-reaching” than we could imagine. Elijah: Faith and Fire, Priscilla Shirer, p. 92. We become “a participant in God’s bigger plan,” and “a partner in God’s miraculous provision.”Elijah: Faith and Fire, Priscilla Shirer, p. 95, 98.
Sometimes we feel as empty-handed as the widow with her last meal.
“But emptiness, when acknowledged, is often what builds bridges to others. It intersects you with someone else’s lack, where God can then use you as a catalyst for their own encounter with Him…Elijah’s faith is going to turn…From a place of needing to be fed himself, he will introduce others to the God who can feed them too.”Elijah: Faith and Fire, Priscilla Shirer, p. 98-99
May God grant in us the willingness and the desire to partner and participate in His redeeming work.