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Aug 13, 2023

Out Of The Darkness, Into His Glorious Light

Out Of The Darkness, Into His Glorious Light

Passage: 1 Kings 19:1-4

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: God’s Not Done with You

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: church, worship, faith, jesus, god, sermon, christian, bible, christ, hope, grace, sermons, elijah, spirituality, jesus christ, the bible, lord, christianity, transformation, bible study, god is good, self improvement, the secret, life transformation, bible stories, study the bible, bible teaching, trending, change your life, 2023, burnt hickory worship, burnt hickory baptist church live stream, how to change your life, motivational video, god's not done with you, gods not done with you

God loves you, and He wants to give you peace, power, deliverance and hope. As we study Elijah’s story today in scripture, we see a road map to despair paved with emptiness, opposition, fearfulness, and loneliness. But also, we see in the bible that God will always provide just what we need, right when we need it. Our role as Christ followers is to trust in God’s provision and listen to Him. God gives us assurance of His power, presence, and love, and that is what defeats despair. Are you dealing with the battle of darkness? Do you feel like Elijah sometimes – in the pit of despair? Do you need to trust in God’s provision? Do you have questions about Jesus? We’d love to connect with you, answer any questions you have, and take time to pray with you over what you are going through in life. Reach out today! Also, you can always take the next step in your faith journey by visiting

Well, good morning, church. It is an incredible day to be here. And we're so thankful that you guys are here. Hey, before we jump into the message, I just want to publicly just say thank you guys, all of you, for all of the birthday wishes on Thursday. I never knew turning 30 would be so incredible. And it was a good day. I'm just kidding. That didn't happen. But it is a good day. And thanks for all the messages. And then I also just want to kind of give some credit where credit is due. This morning we're kind of focusing a little bit on life groups and pushing people to kind of find that connection. But I just want to say that in our church, about 80% of the people that attend Burnt Hickory are connected into a small group here that we call life groups. They really are the lifeblood of this church. We love that you're in worship, but our goal is to get you connected into a community of people. And every one of those life groups is led by a volunteer here at this church. It's not a paid position. They volunteer their time. They study every week. They lead the group every week. They take care of people. And I just want to appreciate that group of people today. If you are a life group leader and I'm talking about from babies to that class where there is only glory is the next step, right? If you are a life group leader in any of those groups, we give this a favor today. Would you just stand and just allow us to appreciate you for a moment? If you're a life group leader here, there's got to be like two or three of you, right? You are one of those. Thank you, guys. Thank you. That is awesome, man, man. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for all that you do.

If you're not in a group, let me just say this. There's a QR code on the screen, and if you want to find a group, there is a place for you here at this church of connection and a place that is in your season of life. All right.

Well, let's jump into the word this morning. We are in week three of a series that we're just calling God's Not Done With You. With what we're doing is we're walking through some accounts, particularly in the Old Testament of lives, where God's stepped in in that moment, where it just felt like there was nothing to be done or there was no hope to be had, or God had kind of gone silent in these people's minds. And at this moment, God reminded them by doing something in their lives, of His faithfulness, of his love, or maybe even his mercy. And what we're doing through all of these is we're pulling some principles out of them to show all of us, no matter what season we're in or no matter what situation we're in, that if you are still breathing, God is not done with you. We've looked at Moses on week one and we said that your past does not have to define your future. Last week we looked at the story of Joseph and we said that no matter what situation you find yourself in today, no matter what your moment is right now, that God is working for His glory and your good and our role is to trust him.

Well, this morning we are going to jump into another one of my favorites in Scripture. In fact, if you got a copy of Scripture turn really today to First Kings Chapter 19. First Kings Chapter 19. This morning, we're going to look at what I would just call one of my Bible superheroes this morning, and that is the Prophet Elijah. This morning, we're going to look at the Prophet Elijah. Now, out of all that we could talk about in Elijah's life this morning, what I want is to spend the most amount of time watching Elijah's internal battle, God's faithfulness and what I would just call or what we would just call despair or discouragement or even depression. And I want us to see this morning Elijah's deliverance, and I want us to see how God steps in, in his most desperate moment. And God does a work in Elijah's life. Because here's what I know about most of us, or almost all of us. There is going to be a time in your life where you just feel like giving up. There's going to be a time in your life where you feel like I will never get back to that spot. There's going to be a time in your life where you feel like, Is there a future for me or is there a hope for me or will I ever be able to recover? And what God is going to show us in this text today, He's going to show us that for his children over and over and over again, he's going to show us that he hasn't left us, that he hasn't forsaken us, that he is not done with us, and that he can deliver us. But I want to be really honest with you in it. When we hit these moments of despair, it is very, very difficult in a lot of cases to see through the despair and into the character of God. It is very difficult for me to see through the moment in my life or the season in my life, to grab hold of the eternal power of what God has to offer us.

So listen, I'm not approaching this flippantly. I'm not saying that you could just flip a switch and be all better, but what I want to show you today is God's character, God's faithfulness, and I'm going to ask you to filter whatever comes your way through that first. Now, this text today is is not only personal, because I love Elijah and I love how he is just an incredible man of God. But it's also just an incredible message because it's incredibly personal to Melissa and I. Now I know a lot of you guys are new to Burnt Hickory and you don't know our story, but Melissa is my wife. I got a picture over here. She's kind of a behind the scenes person, she'll hate this that I did it anyway. But as you can see, she's the pretty one on that side. I'm the other guy right there. Just in case you're wondering, Melissa and I's story kind of goes a little bit like this when she was 36 years old on October the 27, 2013, it was Sunday afternoon. The Falcons had just lost and I was getting ready to bring the boys back up here to choir.

And all of a sudden, Melissa just kind of slumps down into one of the couches and our family room. Now, at first I thought, Well, ma'am, maybe she's having a seizure, but she's not epileptic. This has never happened before. But then all of a sudden, when she did it, she kind of went into this blank like nothing. There was no movement. And then this kind of moment of something's not right. And God reminded me of an article that I had read in Runner's World magazines about the signs and symptoms of a stroke. And then all of a sudden I knew what was happening in Meliss's life. So I grabbed her up, and threw her in the truck. We headed to Kennestone Hospital at that moment because I knew I could beat the ambulance kind of coming to my house and to there. We walk in, they automatically just rush us into trauma. And then for the rest of that evening, myself and family and a couple of the pastors here just got to watch as this clot had escaped the top two chambers of her heart and was hitting her brain and was causing a ton of physical trauma in our life. Long story short, the first clot that escaped and hit her brain. It shut down the whole left hand side of her body. There was nothing. There was no arm function, no like function, no anything on that side of her body. In fact, a neurologist came in the next morning and was talking to us and told her, Hey, Miss Petty, you'll probably never walk again. And I just said, Well, then you can leave and we'll find a new guy that can talk to us. He walked out of the room. Long story short she couldn't. She had no ability to do that. She couldn't eat, couldn't talk, couldn't do any of those functions on that side of her body. But God began even in that moment, to point us in the right direction, and put people around us that we needed. And after about a three or four week stay in the hospital and inpatient rehab, she came home after learning to walk and talk, after learning to swallow and eat all of that. She came home, obviously with some physical deficiencies, but God remained faithful in it. About a month and a half later, I think she went in to have the problem in her heart fixed. We're going to put a little device and shut the chamber up so this doesn't happen again. And during that surgery, another clot escaped from that area and hit a different part of her brain, hitting a different part. Well, this part wasn't necessarily a physical left side, but this part, she lost all vision in this area. She lost all vision from the center line to the right. She was thrown into constant migraines, constant vertigo. And just this fatigue that never could be shaken from this stroke. It wasn't a doctor's fault, of course, when that happened. Right. She was thrown into this. So now after another stint of rehab again and physical therapy and occupational therapy, we find ourselves months later, after blacking out all the windows, after totally changing what our family looks like, we find ourselves in a situation of God, we don't know what life's going to look like. And during all of this the question was, will I ever, Melissa is asking, physically be the same? But here's what we learned really quickly. And the physical stuff was terrible and it still terrible in some of it, but it was the mental stuff that was surprisingly difficult. It was the despair that entered into who she was and what was beginning to press into her.

And I share all of this with her permission, of course, but it was the part of her that she just never knew. Would it be the same? And listen, I can't tell you how many times thoughts or phrases have come out of her mouth like I'm damaged, I'm holding y'all back. I'll never be right. I have nothing to offer. I'm worthless. Even I'm alone. Or the phrase y'all would probably be better without me came out of her mind and came out of her heart. And I just can't tell you how much despair or depression just weighed into this moment. Physically, man, it was a struggle and it still is a struggle. Emotionally, though, that was the one that just kind of weighed on us like something we never knew what to walk through.

And here's the deal. All of this was happening when we had an incredible marriage. We had incredible kids that didn't give us any problems. We had a faith family here at this church that was behind us 100%. We had family in the area that was taking care of us 100%. All of our physical needs were met. But I'm telling you, there was a season of darkness and depression that we just did not know what to do with, and we needed God. Specifically, Melissa needed God to get his light back into her life. And he began to. He began to and he began to move in her and he began to shape her. Now, am I going to say there's never thoughts of those things that she doesn't struggle with now? No, I would never go that far because this is still part of our lives. But I would say this in the middle of all of that, God showed his faithfulness. And here's what I would say about a lot of us in this room. You know exactly what I'm talking about. You may have never gotten this far in yours on your road to despair, but you know exactly emotionally what I'm saying. And you are maybe even in it right now wondering, God, are you done with me? Are you done with me?

In fact, I want you to write this principle down before I talk about Elijah. Here it is. Here's the principle. It sets the tone for the morning. God loves you and God wants to give you peace and power and deliverance and hope. And listen closely. And God wants to use even you for His kingdom, no matter where you are right now. He wants to use you. And here's a cool part about this. Yeah, that's Melissa's story. But this is Elijah's story too. In fact, Elijah's story, we're picking it up here in First Kings 19, but in First Kings 18 is the climax of Elijah's story at Mt. Carmel, where he calls down fire from God is the only prophet of God. Amongst those 450 other prophets. And He confronts these prophets of Baal. We're going to talk about that in a minute. But we're going to start our texts today is right after that victory. Elijah has had this mountaintop experience and now he is in the valley of what I would just call despair. Here's what I know. It's exactly where a lot of us are in this room. So read these couple of verses, and I want to show you kind of what got him there. And then I want to show you what God did about it after he turned and he trusted him. First Kings 19, verse one says this Now Ahab, that's the weak king Just in case you're wondering now, Ahab told Jezebel, Jezebel is evil. We're going to talk about her. She's a queen now. Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done and how he killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent Messenger a messenger to Elijah to say, May the gods deal with me and be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow, she says that I don't make your life like one of them.

In other words, you killed all of them. And now I'm coming after you to do the same. Verse three. And Elijah was afraid, and he ran for his life. And when he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there. And while he himself, he went a day's journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom brush and set a broom bush. And he sat down under it, and he prayed that he might die. Listen to the quote I have had enough, Lord, he said, Take my life. I am no better than my ancestors. Now I'm going to read that. I can just hear the questions like mad he ran. Now why is he so whiny? Mad? He just wants to roll over and die. I thought you said this guy Elijah was one of your favorite super heroes in all the Bible, to which I would say he is. And part of why he is right here. And it's the fact that this incredible man of God, servant of God, long time prophet of God, is having a moment in his life that he is struggling and he has to figure out how his relationship with God is going to link back up together and him move forward and the light and love of God. And Elijah has shown us that no matter where we are, that we can recover. Now, I love Elijah. I don't know how much you know about him, but let me kind of bring you into the scene just a minute of who this guy is. We're looking at that in despair. Elijah was a prophet of God, a prophet of God. He actually spoke for God. Now, if you read Elijah's story, you'll see that the tagline that is always kind of given to him was this tagline at the Word of the Lord. In other words, everything that Elijah said, everything that Elijah seemed to do was always tagged with at the Word of the Lord. It was associated with God saying this, and now he is God's voice. That's what a prophet means.

But not only was Elijah a prophet, he was a compassionate prophet. That means that he wasn't one of the provinces that was just rude and obnoxious and just spoke the truth and moved on. If you look at Elijah's miracles, most of them revolved around healing people. He even raised a little girl from the dead. He fed the widow. You just see compassion and his love in his life. On top of that, he was a bold confronter. He was a bold confronter. He was a bold witness for God. And if you remember, I said in chapter 18, it's probably the most famous kind of moment in Elijah's life where he's standing on top of Mt. Carmel. Now, listen, if you will, man, if you want to, you can jump on with us in March, we're going back to the Holy Land. And one of my favorite non Jesus places in the Holy Land is when we get to stand on Mt. Carmel, overlooking the Armageddon Valley. And we are in the place that Elijah calls down fire. And you begin to feel your smallness and God's bigness at this place. But God in credibly shows himself and reigns down fire confronting these 450 prophets. And Elijah is the only one left to show God's power. And this angered everybody. But he stood when nobody would stand. So he speaks for God. He is compassionate. He stands when nobody else stands.

But then also it's often shown to us in the Bible that he not only speaks for God, but he speaks to God. Elijah is known as a prayer. You can see in a lot of his conversations and a lot of the pictures of his ministry is Elijah speaking to God. In fact, he gets a shout out in the New Testament. Watch what James says about him. The stepbrother Jesus. He says this in verse James 5:17. He says, Elijah was a human being even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it wouldn't rain and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Now that's a prayer life. Again he prayed and the heavens gave rain and the earth produced its crops. I mean, this guy is an example of faith for all of God's people. He spoke for God. He spoke to God. He was compassionate, but he wasn't afraid to be bold when he needed to. He knew the Lord. Everything he did was at the Word of the Lord. He's just had this huge victory on top of Mt. Carmel for God. And He has it all together, right? No, he doesn't. In fact, what have we just read? You know what this text shows us this morning? It just shows us that nobody's bulletproof, that nobody is beyond being hurt and harmed and nobody is beyond going through what I would just call a discouraged moment or season of despair. But what happened?

What got Elijah from the mountaintop to the valley of despair? And then what happened when God stepped in and got him out of it? That's how I want to spend my next 21 minutes and 37 seconds. All right, Ready? Here we go. All right. Let me show you a couple of things about Elijah's life. Elijah's life. Number one, it teaches us to recognize and understand the battle of darkness. When you look at all of Elijah's life, in the first part of his life that we just read, the first thing that shows us is that there is a battle for your soul. There's a battle for your soul. In fact, believers, I just want you to kind of hold on to this for a minute. There is a cosmic battle going on for your soul and for your life. And on this side of it, there's one side, there's God. And he wants to give you life and he wants to give it to you abundantly. And that's why he places his statutes, his principles, and his ways into our lives. They're not to bind you up. They are to free you up into his kingdom. But on this side, there is a level of darkness. There is Satan. And what he wants to do is he wants you to go on your own so he can steal, kill and destroy. He wants you to know that you are in charge of your future, that you are the king of your life. And his only purpose is to steal your life from you. And he is good at it.

He's been doing it since the beginning of time. When he got kicked out of heaven. He's been doing it on this earth since Genesis chapter three. When we see Adam and Eve dealing with him and we see right here that Satan wants to lead you into despair. And in fact, we get to see this happen in Elijah's life. But my goal is if I can show it to you in Elijah's life, maybe you can begin to see how it's happening in your life and you can hit the pause button early. Let me show you what I would just call Elijah's roadmap to despair this morning. His roadmap. You know, the first thing that happened in his life that I would just kind of stamp it as emptiness began to settle in. An emptiness. Elijah had poured out all that he could. In the 18th chapter, when God rained down from Heaven. In Chapter 18, he had so much faith. But watch what it says in verse 19. It says, Now Ahab. Chapter 19:1. It says now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done. Now, this is a big ole everything. This is where Elijah stood. He was the only prophet. He was a one man show. God moved in this moment. But now, after God moves, Elijah doesn't know what's next. And let me just tell you that Satan uses these moments so often when we feel like, God, I just stood for you so strongly. But now I just feel like I'm left out here at this moment. I don't know what to do. You see, Elijah knows God moved, but now Elijah knows that Ahab and Jezebel are kicked, and are really just ticked off at him. And he's looking at God. He's going, God, if that didn't do it, I don't know what's going to do it. Therefore, I don't know what's next for me. I don't know what's next. You know what he's doing? He's doubting his purpose. And when we begin to doubt our purpose in God, it begins to leave us with this emptiness inside of us. Of God. I tried to stand for you, God. I did what I could do. God, I was the only one standing. And now I'm still left here feeling empty like I didn't do enough. Elijah, in this moment is really feeling like, Can I even make a difference? Starts with emptiness. But then he moves to number two, what I would just call opposition. Opposition. Chapter 18 is filled with opposition. In fact, there's 450 of them around and God handled it. But now look at the opposition in chapter 19. Look at verse two. Here's what it says. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely. If this, by this time tomorrow, do not make your life like one of them.

Now, one would think that after killing 450 evil prophets, it would kind of shut this Lady Jezebel down. You would think that, right? But it doesn't. In fact, it just fires her up a little bit more. If you know anything about Jezebel, she is a raging, deceitful, powerful lady that always gets her way, that is always seems to be a tool of Satan and she is wicked. So much so I'm not sure I've ever met anyone named Jezebel. I'm just not sure. In fact, that's your name. We can talk afterwards, but I don't know if I've ever met anybody named that. So yeah, there's this physical opposition, but even more so than that, there's just a spiritual opposition. It really comes from the fact that Jezebel is a tool of Satan and she is coming at him and Satan does not want Israel to turn back to God. And he's activated his spiritual forces.

But listen, that's exactly what Satan does in our lives when we have a victory for him, when we stand. I can guarantee you this believer, when you stand for Jesus, opposition is coming your way. It is always going to. But. But what is his road to despair start with? It starts with this idea of just kind of me being out there on my own empty. But now he's looking at opposition and then it moves to number three, what I would just call fearfulness. Fearfulness. Look at what the Bible says in verse three. It says Elijah was afraid and he ran for his life. Now, it doesn't mean a whole lot to you if you don't know the geography of the situation. But when Elijah heard what was happening and Jezebel's threat to him, Elijah picked up his stuff and he literally ran 100 miles, a hundred miles. You can look at it on the map. You want to talk about fear? Now, look, there's been some scary times in my life, but I've never been scared enough to run 100 miles. In fact, I might just finally just turn around and be like, You don't need to do what you need to do. I'm not going any farther. Right? But he runs 100 miles. But when I read this earlier in my life, I was like, Why would a man they just killed 450 prophets under the power of God run from one lady? Why? But then I became a student pastor and I saw what happens when Mama Bear comes out, right? I learned that. And then on top of that, I got married. And then I'm going to leave that one right there.

But anyway, well, how did Elijah go from this mighty warrior to this person that is fleeing? I can tell you how it's the same way we do. He forgot who was on his side. He forgot. He forgot who was on his side in all that he saw what was not on his side. Church, when we forget who God is and we forget that God is with us and we forget that God is for us, we will always live in fear and we will slip into this despair that everything out there is coming against me. And when we begin to only see the earth and experience things through the Earth, we will be afraid.But when fear begins to settle in, we've got to remind ourselves, number one above all other things, that it's not about my skills, it's not about my talents. It is about the fact that I am a child of the king and he is a mighty warrior. But what's Elijah doing? He's slipping into despair. He's afraid for his life. What is he doing? He's running in Lust and Jezebel's not even chasing him. This is just a threat of this lady chasing him. He's running. So what does he do? He runs to the middle of nowhere, which is the fourth stop on his road to despair, which I would just call loneliness. Loneliness. Or you could call it isolation if you want to.

It's the same thing, And listen if you find yourself in a moment where you're looking around and you've got nobody, you know this is where you are leading. So what happens in Elijah's life? He runs away from everybody. But then in verse three, it gets even worse. Watch what it says. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there. Now don't think of a servant like he has to drag him around. This would have been his best friend. He knew everything about him, spent all kinds of time with him. But watch this. He left his servant there while he himself, that's Elijah, he went another day's journey into the wilderness. So Elijah now is in a spot that a lot of us have ended up in. He is all on his own. All he has is his thoughts. There is no counsel, there's no other opinion, there's no help, there's no support, there's no objective views. It is just him and his dangerous mind. Have you ever been there before? That's where Elijah is. And it's at times like this when our first response is to isolate that we need people the most to correct us, to encourage us to look at us and go, You're not yourself right now.

What's going on? In fact, the Bible is extremely clear when it says that it is not good for man to be alone. Now, the primary reason it says that obviously is God creating a wife for Adam. But man, that transferable principle is that God has created all of us to live in community, to live inside the body of Christ, to function inside the body of Christ, and for us to be linked to Him and linked to other believers that share our same covenant promises that we can walk together. In fact, write this principle down. The church is the tool that God has given us to fight isolation, It's the tool of it. What does that mean? That means church is not an activity. It means church is not just a function. The church is not something you just grace us with your presence twice a month and sit through worship. It's a body of believers that walk together in his love for his glory, that hold each other up. That's what it is. Let me ask you something. Are you connected to the body or do you just bop in and out of here waiting for the invitation to start to beat traffic out so nobody talks to you? He's saying that the church is God's ability to come behind people and to say, Man, I want to see you connected. Satan loves isolation, man he loves it because he gets our thoughts.

He moves to the next step. Number five though. And he moves to what I would just call exhaustion. He mentions what I just call exhaustion. Do you recognize any of these in your life? Now, this is more than just he needs a Sunday afternoon nap, right? He moves into exhaustion. Or you could say weariness. This is more than just taking the afternoon off. Right? Or go on a vacation. He's just seen God move. He's disappointed because he thought he would feel more in it. He's run 100 miles because he's scared. He leaves his servant. He's hungry. He's in anguished. He has no way to replenish himself. He is in trouble and he is on a path of destruction. Let me just say this. If you recognize these things on the screen as parts of your life right now, let me just say this. You are on a path that Elijah's on to destruction. You've got to pause and you've got to ask for help. BBecause if you don't, you will end up in number six. What Elijah did, and that is just what I would call hopelessness. It's just hopelessness or what you can say is just a dark view or no view of the future. Watch what it says in verse four, what's where Elijah is and his life. It says, He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. I have had enough, Lord, he said, Take my life.

You know what that is? That's a spiritual way of Elijah just saying, Hey, listen, I give up. That's the spiritual way of Elijah, just looking at God and going, I have nothing to offer. Now, some commentators would go as far here it is to say that Elijah was suicidal, but I don't see that we can debate that over coffee. All you want to, because Elijah is not saying I will take my life. That's a big difference from God take my life. That's a big difference of, I've got nothing. I see no hope. I see no future. God, you get me out of this thing. I know with you there's glory. There's joy. But that's not what he's saying. He's saying, God, I can't. I need you. I need you to get me out of here. Because what does it say in verse four? It just said he sat down and he did what? He didn't say this to himself. He spoke to the person that can do something about it. And that's God. He spoke to the one who loves him and that's God. What is he saying? He's saying, I can't do it. And it's such a scary statement here. But you got to remember who he's saying it to. And really and truly believers. Listen to me. It's at this place that he gets a view of God that he never had before. Did you know sometimes the best place God can ever put you is flat on your back because all you can do at that point is look up.

That's where Elijah is. He's in this moment. Now he's speaking to God, but he's in pain. He's saying, I can't do it anymore. He has finally recognized this despair that has crept into his life. But I need to ask you, do you recognize it because God doesn't want to leave you there. Here's what God wants to do. And this is number two lesson from Elijah's life. He wants to teach us not to forget that God always provides just what we need right when we need it, and our role is just to trust it. It's just to trust it. That's what God wants to do with us. He wants to get us off our backs and He wants to show us who he is. Now, Elijah's at the end of his rope, still? Right? He's hopeless. So what happens? Look at verse five. It says this. Then he laid down under a bush and went to sleep. Now it's kind of funny because he's like, I just want to die. And he takes a nap, right? He is. I love it. We've all been there, right? He lays down under the bush and he falls asleep. And at once an angel touched him and said, get up and eat. He looked around and there by his head was some baked bread over some hot coals and a jar of water. He ate and he drank and he lay down again and the angel of the Lord came back to him a second time and touched him and said, get up and eat for the journey it's too much for you. Man, that's what God is telling me. This is too much. You can't do this on your own.

Verse eight. So we got up, he ate and he drank. He was strengthened by the food and he traveled for 40 days and 40 nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. That's Mount Sinai. Does that bring back two weeks ago with Moses? It's the same spot. Watch this. And there he went into a cave and he spent the night in the word of the Lord, came to him and said, What are you doing here, Elijah? He replied, I've been very zealous for the Lord Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant. They've torn down your altar, they've put your profits to death with the sword.And Elijah says this, and I am the only one left. And now they are trying to kill me. In this one little paragraph, God shows us three things that He does. If in times of need we will pause and we will cry out to him. Number one, God sends help, God sends help. And he's the only one that can get us out of the despair that he's in right here. What happens? Elijah falls down. He's exhausted. God knows where he is. Why? Because no matter how far you have run, God knows where you are. And God sends an angel. Now, this particular angel seems to be sent for incredible reasons to feed and to help him rest. I think that's a great angel to have on your side, right?

And in this moment, there's no rebuke, there's no getting your life together Elijah. In verse five, the angel just gives him a hot meal and tucks him in for a nap. That's what happens, right? In verse seven, he does it again. He gives them a meal. He sends him off to the mountain of God with his supernatural help. Listen to me. When you hit the point in your life where you realize that you are not the one to get yourself out of despair, but God can. God will always respond to your cry for help. He will. But number two, He doesn't stop there. God also listens. God sends help. And then what does he do? God listens.

Once again, this is not a sit down, Elijah and learn something, rebuke time. Watch what happens in verse nine. There he went into a cave and he spent the night and the word of the Lord came to him saying, What are you doing here, Elijah? God doesn't rebuke him. God asks the question to hear from Elijah. Now I say this a lot because God never asks a question for his own good. He only asks questions for our good, right. Got to ask this question so that Elijah could express his heart, express his feelings, and then he could begin to listen to him in an even greater way. God wants us to do the same. Believer's, listen to me. God wants to hear your stuff. You're not going to say something he doesn't already know. You're not going to say something that surprises him. You're not going to say something that throws him off his game. He wants to hear from his children. So put your heart out to him. He can take it. So God listens. But number three gets even better. Watch this. God gives assurance of His power, presence and love. You know, the number one thing we need when we're falling into despair is the assurance that God is with us. It's the assurance that His power and his presence and his love begins to press into us. Watch what happens in verse 11. It says this: The Lord said, Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord. That's the number one thing that all of us need in our lives, and it's the presence of the Lord being spoken into us. Watch this. Go out and stand out in the mountain, on the mountain, in the presence of the Lord for the Lord is about to pass by. Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart. Now that's a wind. I mean, we had a little wind yesterday, but that's a wind, right? And it shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after fire came, circle this, a gentle whisper. Listen to me. The massive acts that we just saw right there, the shattering of the rocks, the wind, the fire, man those things show God's power. But where was God's voice and where was God's comfort? It was in the whisper. It was in the whisper.

Believers, listen to me. The voice of God is usually in the whisper for us. Sometimes that whisper is a text that we read from Scripture in our daily moment. Sometimes that Scripture is like, That's what somebody reads over me like myself. Reading this over you today, sometimes that whisper is a worship moment over your life. It was the whisper that brought him out of the cave into the presence of God. So many times we expect the voice of God to be in the bigness. But God in His love, softly speaks to Elijah. Why? Because Elijah had already seen him in the fire, right? He had called that down. Elijah had already seen him bust up the rocks. Elijah had already seen this mighty moment of power. But God wanted to one more time assure him that I am with you even in the quiet moments of your mundane life. God took care of him physically, didn't he? What did he do? He fed him and he gave him a nap. Sometimes you don't pray in your life. You just need a good meal and a good nap. Right? God took care of him emotionally. How? By letting Elijah vent a little bit. Like letting him reply with his request and showing him that his emotions are not to rule him. God took care of him spiritually. How? By showing him even more about himself.

And he's looking at Elijah going, I am working. And just because I'm not working how you think I need to work, doesn't mean that I'm not working. And what does God do to Elijah after this? Elijah doesn't just stay in the cave. He doesn't camp out on the mountain as a hermit, saying, I'm damaged. Good. Elijah stands up, God stands him up, and God sends him back into the mission. You know, some of the best things that some of us that are living our lives in despair can do right now is to stand back up and get back into the mission of God. What did he do in Elijah's life? Elijah ends up after this appointing two kings. Elijah ends up meeting a young little prophet named Elisha. That's confusing. Any time you're preaching the Bible, right? Elijah ends up hearing from God that Ahab and Jezebel are going to be taken care of. And then finally God tells Elijah that, Hey, remember when you said you were the only one? There's 7000 more over there in Jerusalem than still know me and still love me. And then eventually and Second Kings Chapter 11, Chapter two, verse 11 God sees Elijah's faithfulness and comes down and takes Him to heaven in a chariot of fire.

Listen, God wasn't done with him and He's not done with you. No matter how far in despair you
are. Elijah was right at the point of no return. But God knew. And he called out to God. God healed him. And God sent him back on the mission. But let me ask you something. Where are you? Right now? Where are you? That list of six stops on the road to despair. Does that just absolutely mirror where your life is right now? Because if it does. I got good news for you today. God's not done with you. Does that list just absolutely make you just kind of begin to go, I don't know where to go? Hey, that's good news. You know why? Because you can go to the one that loves you. And his name is Jesus. Let me ask you something today, for those of you that are believers in the room, let me ask you something. You feel like you're living in Elijah season right now? You feel like you're kind of looking at this life like, Man, maybe God's is done with me right now. Can I tell you something? He's not, turn back to Him. watch what he does. Turn your life over to him. Watch what he does. Watch how he sends help. Watch how he hears you. Watch how he rains down on you his mercy, his grace and his love. For those of you that you're really not sure where you are on this spiritual plight. Let me ask you this. What's keeping you from giving your life to Jesus today? I can tell you this. That road map to despair. Without Jesus, it has no ending. It has no ending. I was in Classic service a few minutes ago hosting the first part of the service, and they sang the song It Is Well With My Soul. And man, I can just hear Elijah from Heaven saying yes, it is. But here's the question. What about yours? You need to give your life to Jesus today? Do you need somebody to pray over you today? In just a second, we're going to sing. I'm going to be over here by the Next Steps Banner. I've got some other guys that are going to be over here, some other ladies that are going to be with me over here.

And maybe you're at a point where you just don't even know which end is up. Would you do us the favor this morning and just allow us to pray over you this morning? To pray with you this morning, maybe even to team you up with some people in your life that can walk with you over these next few days. Maybe you need to give your life to Jesus today. Man, it would. Man, it would make my birthday weekend today, my 30th birthday weekend for one of you guys just to walk up to me over here and go Matt, I just need Jesus today. And let us walk with you.

Lord Jesus, in these next couple of minutes, Lord, God, we just ask for your power, your presence, your assurance and your Holy Spirit, Lord, to reign. And God, we thank you for this moment. We thank you for Elijah's life, and it's in your name we pray, Jesus.

Amen. Amen.

Let's stand and sing together.

Follow Along with the Message

Out of the Darkness, Into His Glorious Light (Elijah)

August 13, 2023

PRINCIPLE: God loves ! And God wants to give you peace, power, deliverance, hope, and use you for His Kingdom.

1 Kings 19:1–4
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
James 5:17–18
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

Elijah’s Life Teaches Us to…

1. Recognize and understand the of darkness.

Elijah’s Roadmap to Despair:


1 Kings 19:1
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done…


1 Kings 19:2
So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”


1 Kings 19:3
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.


1 Kings 19:3–4
…When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness.

PRINCIPLE: The Church is the that God has given to fight isolation.



1 Kings 19:4
…He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life.”

2. Not forget that God always just what we need, right when we need it. Our role is to trust it.

1 Kings 19:5–10
5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 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?” 10 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.”

In Times of Need, God Does 3 Things:

1. God help.

2. God .

1 Kings 19:9
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?”

3. God gives of His power, presence, and love.

1 Kings 19:11–12
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

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