Judging by the response to my last post, I can see that many of you have, to some extent, been feeling what I’ve been feeling lately. Anyone who says that they’ve never gone through these seasons of spiritual weariness, or that it is somehow wrong or sinful, has either not read the Word of God, or they are attempting to project a certain image of superiority and invincibility that is merely an illusion.
Throughout the Word I read of men whose sandals I am not worthy to carry, who in my eyes are true spiritual giants of the faith, and at certain points in their walk, in certain seasons of their lives, they do something that at first seems contrary to the image I had of them in my mind’s eye. I see once invincible, bold, courageous, fearless men, men who stood alone against hundreds, men who would not retreat even from before kings and queens, agonize in the wilderness, hopeless and afraid, beseeching God to take their lives.
From David who fled from before his own son Absalom, the selfsame David who stood before Goliath fearless and undeterred with a slingshot and a stone, to Elijah who having stood alone against four hundred and fifty of Baal’s prophets, won a great victory, and made the Brook Kishon run red with their blood, who we then find in the wilderness desiring to die.
What I constantly have to remind myself when I come upon a passage that is uncharacteristic of these men, these great giants of the faith, is that in the end they were just men. They were men given to the same concerns, fears, apprehensions, and insecurities as we are today, and that which made them great, that which made them invincible and brave and strong in our eyes had nothing to do with them but it had everything to do with the power of God residing in them.
It is the power of God that makes us bold, it is the power of God that makes us strong, it is the power of God that makes us fearless, and in those moments when we are ourselves, when the power of God is dormant, when we are not standing against the prophets of Baal, when we are not confronting the darkness, but are merely trying not to burn the eggs in the frying pan, our fears and insecurities resurface if only briefly.
Once in awhile our humanity must be evident to ourselves that we would learn never to trust in ourselves. I believe this is one of the reasons God allows those moments in our lives, those moments when we’ve just come off a great spiritual victory, when we saw the power of God made manifest in us and through us, then suddenly, we are ourselves again. If we are honest with ourselves, it is in these instances that we realize it’s not us preaching the great sermon, it’s not us writing the great teaching, it’s not us casting out devils, it is the power of God in us, and we are wholly and completely dependent upon it, and absent of it, we are those stuttering, shy, introverted, fearful creatures we’ve always known ourselves to be.
There was no hesitation on the part of Elijah as he stood before the people of Israel, as he rebuilt the altar, and called fire down from heaven, there was no moment of doubt our uncertainty as he took the prophets of Baal and executed them, it was when he was home, after all these things, that he grew fearful upon receiving a message from Jezebel that within the day he would be as dead as the prophets of Baal he had killed. And so, Elijah ran first to Beersheba, then into the wilderness, praying for God to take his life.
It was there, in the wilderness that the angel of the Lord came and fed him, and from there Elijah went to Horeb, the mountain of God, where God would speak to him and strengthen him. Elijah believed he was alone, one solitary servant, one sole survivor, until God made it very clear that grim as the situation might have seemed, sparse as the true servants of God might have appeared, there were still those who had not defiled themselves, there were still those who clung to God faithfully.
Elijah discovered he was not alone, but rather there were seven thousand in Israel, whose knees had not bowed to Baal, and whose lips had not kissed him. Yes, God keeps a very accurate accounting!
If the response to my last post tells me anything, it is that I am not alone, and this is the selfsame truth that you must take to heart. You are not alone! God still has servants throughout, God still has those that have not bowed to the idols of this world, and whose lips have not kissed wickedness.
Unpleasant as it might be, the dark night of the soul is unavoidable, but it benefits us in ways that we cannot imagine. In Elijah’s moment of distress, God spoke to him; in Christ’s time in the garden, weeping tears of blood, an angel came to strengthen Him. No, we are not alone, by any means, we have brothers and sisters in Christ, some we might not even know exist, who can encourage us and pray for us, but most of all we have a heavenly Father who sees us, and knows us, and is there to see us through our seasons of weariness, afflictions and hardships.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.