Invalid Fear: Is Your Imagination Running Away with You?
The Prophet Elijah was a bad man... and when I say bad, I mean that in the most honorable, good way possible. This was a man that was not to be trifled with. God blessed Elijah with an abundance of power. So much so that God rained down fire from heaven at his request. So much so that God shut rain up in heaven for three years at his request.
Elijah knew God and God knew him. Because of this, he was used mightily by God. But Elijah was only a man. After God rained down fire on four hundred false prophets at Elijah's request, Jezebel, the king's wife was wroth. She declared that she would have Elijah killed by the next day. So, he ran away in fear. While in hiding, God spoke to him.
There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?" He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
(1 Kings 19:9-10 NIV)
Elijah didn't want to continue doing God's work. In fact, he didn't want to live at all. He stated he'd done God's work and that he'd been zealous in doing so. Indeed, he had! He was incredibly bold to stand against four hundred men alone. But from what he saw, being one of God's prophets only resulted in rejection and death and he was the last true prophet standing.
God asked Elijah two more times what was he doing hiding in the mountain, and Elijah answered the question in the same manner all three times. Elijah honestly didn't see the point of going on. He was afraid and full of anxiety. But some of his anxiety was based in an imaginary fear. As the conversation unfolds, God tells Elijah that what he thinks is true isn't true at all.
Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
(1 Kings 19:18 NIV)
Elijah was not the last prophet standing as he assumed. God confirmed that part of his anxiety was based in an incorrect assumption.... an untruthful imaginary belief that ran around in Elijah's head. And as far as Elijah's fear of Jezebel taking his life, it turned out that was uncalled for as well. Jezebel's threat turned out to be an idle one.
No one ever laid a finger on Elijah, let alone killed him. Instead, God ended up swooping Elijah up to heaven because he felt the calling on his life was too much for him. Elisha reigned in Elijah's stead with double the anointing power.
So, essentially part of Elijah's fear was made up... imaginary. That's why God asked him "What are you doing here?" three times. Because to God, Elijah's fear-induced answer made no sense. To God, there was nothing Elijah had to fear. To God, Elijah didn't have a genuine reason to cease doing the work He appointed him to do.
But to Elijah, he had every reason to fear. To Elijah, there was no point in going on. To Elijah, dying was surely better than living. Yet, Elijah was wrong. His fear was based in a false belief and an idle threat. That's not to say a death threat from the queen wasn't something to fear. But it shouldn't have been enough to cripple Elijah from going forth in his calling.
Now, again, as I stated before, Elijah was a bad man. An honorable man of God who had the honor of avoiding death. He was given a personal chariot to glory. His anointing was unmatched. So, if a false imagination and an idle threat hindered Elijah from doing God's work, how much more do you suppose this can happen to you and me?
Some of our fears are completely uncalled for because they are just imaginations. False imaginations running around in our heads rent free. We can make up scenarios and situations in our heads that are a far stretch from the truth. Our imagination can run away with our hearts and fill it with fear, and it could all be based in a lie we told ourselves. And that fear can keep us from our calling.
Let's pray against that! Let's cast down every imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God or our calling. Lord, I ask that any lie that our imagination or even the devil placed in our hearts be uprooted immediately. I pray that the truth is revealed and that we do not allow a false belief to hinder us from our calling.
I also pray that if the fear is based in truth, that we can stand so incredibly strong in You that the fear is cancelled out. Jezebel's threat was a real one, but it never came to pass. Lord, I pray that every threat that the enemy has planned against us becomes idle, in the mighty name of Jesus.
We know that per 2 Timothy 3 that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, correction, and instruction. I pray that this referenced text from Elijah profits our dedication to remain steadfast in God even when things look terrible to us. Don't let the next child of God walk in your calling as Elisha walked in Elijah's. Walk in your own calling and may God remove all untrue imaginations and gird us up in the face of any potential threats.
Reader, that is all I have for you today. Be blessed! I'll see you at the same place and time next week if the Lord says the same.
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