We’ve been understudying the bible hero Elijah and gleaning lessons to enable us be more effective in our mission and achieve personal success. Elijah was a prophet of God who had done remarkable signs and wonders to turn his nation, Israel, to God. Despite the razzmatazz of Mt. Carmel, Israel remained unhinged from the idolatrous grip of Jezebel.
In despair, Elijah fled to the Mount Horeb to ask God to take his life. Essentially, he asked God, ‘What’s the point to calling fire from heaven if it does not cause any change in the nation?’
And God responded to his question.
“The Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go back the way you came and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazel King of Aram, also anoint Jehu son of Nimshi King over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet’. Jehu will put to death any who escapes the sword of Hazel, Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve, seven thousand in Israel-all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal, and also whose mouths have not kissed them.’” ~1 Kings 19:15-18
God responds to the right questions. Elijah’s question proved that he was no longer interested in the display of power that did not produce desired results. He was now more focused on the success of his mission. He simply showed God that he was mature enough for the next level of influence.
Of course, God actually had to check Elijah out first. When Elijah got to Mount Horeb, God did a few things.
First, a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And Elijah did not respond to that either.
After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. Elijah did not respond to the earthquake as well.
After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And Elijah did not respond to the fire.
Elijah was no longer enamoured by spiritual razzmatazz. He might have been before; now, however, I can imagine him saying, “I’m done with all that. That’s not what I’m interested in.”
He was probably wondering, “What’s the point?” And that’s a strategic question. It’s the right question. Personal success happens when you ask the right questions. God responds to you when you ask the right questions. Evaluate your performances today and, like Elijah, ask God the right questions.