Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

When Things Seem Just the Same

by Dean Gardner

23 January 2022

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Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba.
1 Kings 19:1-3, ESV

In his pastoral letter to scattered believers, James, the half-brother of Jesus described Elijah as someone ‘as human as we are’ (James 5:17 NLT). I’m not sure he could have said that if the only record of Elijah’s life were his mighty prayers of faith. Perhaps when he wrote those words James was thinking of the account of Elijah’s lowest moment in 1 Kings 19, alone in the desert beneath a broom tree.

I have always been moved by the account of God’s gentle dealings with Elijah when he fled for his life at Jezebel’s promise to find and kill him. The reality is that, even moving under God’s anointing, can take a physical and emotional toll on His servants. But perhaps the greatest factor in Elijah’s inner collapse was that, after the defeat of the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel and the apparent turning of the hearts of the people back to the Lord, evil still seemed as much in control through wicked Jezebel. Nothing seemed to have changed.

After we moved back to the East of England three years ago, Gemma and I discovered that the small back street where our home is situated was a favourite place for drug dealing, sometimes outside our front door. Through prayer, security cameras and the work of the local drug squad we saw the activity stopped and for a time experienced freedom from the oppressive spiritual darkness it brought to our street.

Suddenly, though, the activity resumed, and we went through the process above until it stopped again. That cycle has repeated itself several times now. I have found the re-occurrence of the situation, just when it seems to have been stopped, particularly distressing at times, even to the point of wanting to sell our home and move away.

In those times it’s been the Lord’s gentle reminder that He led us to our home and still has work for us to do here that has steadied me to trust Him afresh.

Perhaps for someone reading this Seed today, you too are seeing a difficult or long-standing situation that began to change in answer to prayer, suddenly go into reverse and now seem just the same as before. In your discouragement you may even, like Elijah, feel that you can’t take any more. But despite appearances, Elijah’s victory on Mount Carmel wasn’t in vain. Jezebel was eventually dethroned, and God’s Word encourages you that your service and prayers in His name aren’t in vain either (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Dean Gardner worked part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office for four and a half years until October 2018 and is now part of the Associate teaching and ministry team. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Gemma. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.


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