Week of May 7
When God Moves You
Has God ever placed you in a job, a location or a situation you never would have chosen for yourself? Today we see how God operates on many fronts to accomplish His purposes and to bless us as well. 1 Kings 17
One day while Elijah was enjoying the restful protection of the Lord at the bottom of the Kerith Ravine, the brook dried up and his time of being fed by ravens ended. The Lord told him to go to Zarephath where a widow would feed him.
This new direction from the Lord was strange on many levels. First, Zarephath was hard hit by famine. Second, it was in the heart of Baal-worship territory and only seven miles from Jezebel’s home. Even the name Zarephath meant “smelt,” as the city had a reputation for being a smelly, polluted place where iron was smelted. Elijah must have wondered why he was being asked to leave his comfortable hideout and cross seventy miles of desert to walk into unpleasant and dangerous territory.
But Elijah knew that if God had given him the order that He would provide all he needed. Verse 10 says simply, “And so he went to Zarephath…”
Things looked even bleaker when Elijah arrived. He found a widow out gathering sticks to make a final meal before she and her son died of starvation. All she had left was one small serving of oil and flour. However, God told Elijah that she would feed him. Imagine how hard it must have been for Elijah to ask the woman to make a cake of bread for him before she made one for her family. Regardless, it was God’s command and Elijah obeyed. Elijah tells her, “For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land’" (1 King 7:14).
That is exactly what happened. The flour and oil were constantly replenished through God’s provision and the woman’s family was fed throughout the famine.
Has God ever put a mission or a task on your heart that you felt was too overwhelming, dangerous or costly in some way? Have you ever felt that as one person you could not make a difference? Elijah turned the tide in his nation though he was only one person with limited resources. The widow made a difference by making her last cake for God’s man and not for herself. God puts unique service on the hearts of His people and blesses that obedience as they submit to His sovereign will.
Often, God’s strategies make no sense to us because, unlike him, we have limited vision. When God took Elijah into the heart of enemy territory, God knew that was the last place King Ahab’s soldiers would look for him. God also knew that going to Zarephath would save Elijah from starvation though common sense said there was famine. More importantly, God showed Elijah that He cared about the Baal-worshipping widow and her family. God often has multiple objectives as He operates on many fronts simultaneously. If we follow His lead, we will be blessed and may become instruments of blessing for others.
Has God ever prompted you to do something that made no sense at the time but that was His sovereign will? What was the result?
Is God asking you now to move out of your comfort zone with people, your career, or your finances? Is He moving your heart to explore new territory in ministry or in your relationship with Him? Pray about what God is leading you to do now.
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Today, we live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to biblical values. It takes great courage and faith to live as a follower of Christ in a world characterized by moral depravity, injustice, idolatry, and more…but it is possible!
Dr. Michael Youssef invites you to take a walk through the book of Daniel with him. In Leading The Way Through Daniel, the first volume of the Leading The Way Through the Bible commentary series, you will discover how a man of God lived a godly life in a godless culture.
Like Daniel, we are living by faith in a faithless culture. Leading The Way Through Daniel equips you to stand for God’s truth despite great opposition. This timely devotional book is ideal for personal or group use.