Elijah had been mightily used by God to begin turning the people back to God. The prophets of Baal had been defeated by a miraculous demonstration of God’s power. It was a pivotal moment, but instead of pressing in, Elijah runs away after receiving a message from Queen Jezebel threatening his life.
After a 40 day miraculous, God-fortified journey, Elijah arrives at Horeb, the mountain of God, for a heart-to-heart with God. What caught my attention was that, in the conversation, God asks Elijah exactly the same question twice. “What are you doing here Elijah?” When God asks a question it isn’t because He doesn’t know the answer, but because He wants us to admit the truth about a situation.
Elijah’s first answer is about self-justification. The ‘it’s not my fault’ response. When asked the same question later on, after God demonstrates His gentleness through a ‘still small voice’, Elijah’s response is almost exactly the same. Elijah didn’t honestly face the truth about what he’d done. He attempted to justify himself or ‘pass the buck’.
The response God was looking for was an honest answer. “I’m so sorry. I was filled with fear and failed to trust You completely. Please forgive me!” But, in situations where we’ve failed we can often revert to the Adam and Eve approach. We cover our nakedness with fig leaves (self justification), hide from facing God, and finally shift the blame. God was looking for honesty, which can only come from facing the truth about what we’ve done.
The Holy Spirit will challenge us to be honest with ourselves and God about our actions. It’s our choice whether we respond or hide from the truth. There are consequences. Facing the truth takes us on the path to restoration and wholeness. Deceit isolates us from God and hinders His ability to use us. Honesty and truth draws us back to Him. Deceit and self-justification pushes Him away.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I ask You to show me the truth about my actions and behaviour. Help me to stop living in deceit and self-justification or blame-shifting. I need to face the truth, because I want to walk with You, and not allow past failures to continue to affect my present and my future. In Your precious name, Amen.
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