The Prophet Elijah after killing all the eight hundred false prophets of baal on one stone, became apparently very exhausted. It was at this moment of exhaustion that Jezebel went after him with the threat to take his life (1 kings 19:1-10). Elijah consequently had to run for his life.
After getting tired of running Elijah finally got to a place where he could rest. As he was resting an angel of the Lord came to wake him up. The Bible described what happened between him and the angel:
“Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.”
I Kings 19:5-8 NKJV
A broom tree is a symbol of God’s protection and rest. The Lord had taken Elijah to a perfect resting place, so that he could replenish his strength in preparation for the long journey to mount Horeb.
Are you tired of running around, or being continually overwhelmed by the demands of the ministry? It’s time for you to get some rest. Don’t push yourself too hard. God wants you to get some rest, so as to renew your strength.
You deserve some rest because you have been resisting the enemy too hard. The devil knows how dangerous you are to him. But you do need to get yourself ready now, because the enemy will only leave you to come out against you on another given opportunity.
So let God work for you while you are resting. There is so much ahead of you to do for the Lord after you must have fully rested. A good rest gives you the opportunity to be refreshed and replenished to do more things in the Kingdom of God.
Those who are not resting well had often found themselves becoming the “junk of all trades” in the ministry. They are the ones who will try out everything that everybody else is doing, but are lacking in direction for the real purpose and mission of Jesus in their ministries.
They may be fruitful in their calling because of the anointing over their lives for awhile. But they are actually unable to channel that anointing effectively for its purpose and mission in their lives. They are therefore not getting the results that they do deserve, because they have ceased to hear clearly from the Lord. This is due to the absence of a good rest from the work of God.
If you want your spiritual antenna to become sharpened, so as to be hearing the Lord more clearly; then your spirit, soul and body must be having a good rest. God wants to speak with you and you must be ready to hear from Him.
For Elijah it was not just a physical journey to mount Horeb. This was the same mountain of God where He had appeared to Israel, on the way to the promised land from Egypt. For Elijah it was really a spiritual journey. A spiritual journey to meet with the Lord. That’s why a good rest was very important for him, and the Lord brought him to that place of rest under the broom tree. And if Elijah had to get some rest away from the challenge of the ministry, you should be getting it also, because the Lord wants to talk directly with you during your time of rest.
If you are in need of direction from the Lord, especially in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, then you had better be resting well in the presence of the Lord. A good rest will make you more effective in prayer, and it should be giving you more time to spend in God’s word.
Don’t give up, just get some rest in the Lord
There are many Ministers of the gospel who are quitting their ministries, because they are exhausted and are not getting the time for rest. Instead of creating the time for rest they are throwing in the towel, and giving in to the tricks of the devil, as he is forcing them out of God’s will for their lives.
It’s so easy to be making mistakes when the mind is overwhelmed with the pressures and challenges of the ministry. That was what was going on with the Prophet Elijah also. But rather than making the mistake of confronting Jezebel on his own volition, Elijah knew that he needed to hear clearly from the Lord.
You will tend to be hearing and yielding to the voice of the people around you, instead of God’s voice when such moments confronts you also. Elijah was smart enough to had moved away from what the enemy wanted to use in defiling him. Instead of being defiled by Jezebel, Elijah ran towards God.
There are those in their purpose and mission in the ministry, who have been targeted by the devil with “mammon” (Matthew 6:24). You can’t serve God and mammon at the same time. But the devil has overwhelmed them with the concerns about the finances for their ministries during this pandemic. They are now about to quit completely.
But stop it right there. Quitters don’t win. You are a winner and not a quitter. God is on your side. Have faith in Him to see you through it. He has never failed and will never fail you.
Others are being enticed and seduced to be looking up to the help of men and their governments. But they have forgotten that whatever the government gives to them in supporting them during this pandemic, the same government will use to control their churches and ministries, with the aim of manipulating them to do what the government want. At the end their churches and ministries will end up being run by the governments, who will start using their laws and various guidelines to push them out of the will of God.
You are a servant of God and not of men or the government. You serve the Almighty God alone. It was the Lord who called you into the ministry and not the government. And God will take care of you.
That’s why you need that rest right now, so as to meet your Master. He will show you exactly what to do, so as to get yourself out of the mess that you are in. Your situation is not different from that of Elijah. He had to resist the voice of the king and the queen, so as to hear God’s voice. And you can do the same thing also.
There are also those during this pandemic to whom God had been speaking, in the midst of their concerns. But the voices of the people around them are preventing them, from paying particular attention to God’s voice. It’s time for you to be separated from the crowd, so as to be listening for God in the midst of the situations around you.
Stop worrying and trying to fix the problems that you do know, can’t be fixed with the wisdom of this world. It will only get you into more troubles, and eventually take your eyes off the purpose and mission of God for you in the ministry.
The devil’s goal is to wedge you in and out of the will of God. He will use the wisdom of this world that he controls, to take you away from God’s will for your life. You will eventually come to discover how the wisdom of this world has taken you, out of the purpose and mission of Jesus to you. At that time it will be too late for you. Be very careful not to fall into the trap of the enemy.
That’s why some are no more able to be praying for the sick during their church meetings. Sinners are not getting saved. And the captives are not being delivered. All these are the plans of the devil to stop them.
So take a break, and let God work it out for you, while you are resting. A lot of Ministers of the gospel have often burned out of the ministry, because they are not taking the rest that God wants them to be taking.
Elijah was in the same situation at this time. It’s easy for the devil to sneak in with his deceptions, due to your inability to replenish yourself by resting.
The moment of victory is the moment when we must always be very watchful. The devil does not want you to keep that victory. Elijah knew this and decided to separate himself from the crowd, so as to be able to rest. He knew that he could not face Jezebel without hearing clearly from the Lord. That purpose was eventually accomplished by him on mount Horeb (1 kings 19:15-18).
Be prepared to confront the devil with new strength
We should not forget also that it was at the very end of the fasting and praying that the devil came to tempt Jesus. He waited until He had successfully completed the fast before showing up.
Just as Elijah had to confront Jezebel after destroying the false prophets, which was a huge victory for Israel; Jesus had to face the devil also after successfully completing his fasting. After every spiritual success that you get the devil will always show up. He wants to take the success away from you. But that short moment of rest prepares you for the next confrontation with him.
Fasting does not change anything but you alone. It’s meant to transform your attitude towards the problem that is confronting you. After you have finished fasting and praying you will still have to use your spiritual authority in Christ Jesus over the situation. Fasting is meant to help you from allowing the flesh to overrule your spirit man in your decision making process.
After Jesus had finished fasting, the devil knew that He needed natural food to replenish and nourish his body. So the first thing that was used in tempting Jesus was food. If he could come out to tempt Jesus with food, he can and will do the same thing with you, whenever you need to be refreshed in God’s presence.
The devil will tempt you with evil. It does not matter how holy or righteous you are. The devil is after you for real. His aim is to mess you up with anything that he can easily use against you. He is seeking an opportunity to target you and destroy you.
But the Bible says:
“Don’t give the slanderous accuser, the Devil, an opportunity to manipulate you!”
Ephesians 4:27 TPT
Elijah needed that moment of refreshing with the Lord. The angel came to him with prepared food to eat, because he still had a long journey ahead of him to have an encounter with the Lord.
The journey from Israel to mount Horeb is a long and difficult one through the desert. It took him forty days to get there. That’s a journey by foot from the nation of Israel today to Saudi Arabia.
But it is important to note here that Elijah went on the journey with just one meal, that he took twice for the journey.
This is what I call the real superfood. If you can do with that kind of food from the angel of the Lord, to refresh and re nourish your body for strength – that’s the real superfood. The Lord prepared superfood for Elijah so as to journey in meeting with Him.
Jesus overcame the temptation of the devil. He knew that God’s word is always the best food for the spirit, soul and body. And in that moment of satanic desperation to tempt Him, Jesus offered the devil a taste of it:
“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Matthew 4:4 NKJV
Did the devil take the spiritual food that Jesus offered him? Of course he did. He believed and knew that what Jesus told him was scriptural, but he never went away immediately. He went after Jesus for a second and third time. And by the third time Jesus finally made him to realize who was in charge. And he had to leave for another day. When we are resisting the devil he will flee away.
The time of exhaustion is always the moment when the devil will try to tempt you. It’s time for you to rest in God’s presence with prayer and His word in your heart and on your lips.
You have been doing a lot of damage to the devil. The battle ahead of you is going to be fiercer and tougher than before. A good rest to spiritually replenish yourself is what you need now, in preparation for the next level that you are ascending into. Welcome to your new level in Christ Jesus.