Guard Your Emotions

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers”” (1 Kings 19:4).

Elijah performed a mighty act of God on Mount Carmel, when he called down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice. He also killed the 450 prophets of Baal and then prophesied so that it rained for the first time in three years. King Ahab told Queen Jezebel what Elijah did on Mount Carmel. “Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow”” (1 Kings 19:2). Elijah’s response was to run away, leaving his servant behind and travelled into the wilderness alone. He then prayed for God to take his life and regarded himself as being no better than his fathers.

Elijah slept and an angel came twice and offered him food and a drink. After eating, drinking and resting, Elijah had enough strength to travel for another forty days. He travelled to a cave and sat in hiding and the Lord appeared and asked what he was doing in the cave. Elijah shared his sad story about the threats from Jezebel. “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10).

God spoke to Elijah through a low whisper and then repeated the question. Elijah repeated his story, about being the only one left who was serving God and they wanted him dead. The irony is that Elijah’s story was not true, because God told him that there were seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed to Baal. God then instructed Elijah to return to anoint a King over Syria, a King over Israel and Elisha to succeed him as prophet. The interesting thing about this story is that God listened to what Elijah had to say. God did not rebuke him but corrected his faulty thinking.

You have to wonder what made Elijah think, that he was the only one left in Israel who remained faithful to God? This is what we call self-pity and exhaustion. Elijah was tired from his battle on Mount Carmel and needed some rest and a good meal. During seasons of great battles, we have to take time out to rest and recharge. Being tired and exhausted can leave us emotionally worn out and make us an easy prey for the lies of the enemy. We also have to balance our perspective and ensure that we are not being led by our emotions. Stay connected to God, make the time to rest and recharge and trust your emotions to God.


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