The Agony of Victory [Part 2]
Are you ready for some good news?
God isn’t finished with you yet!
Today’s text: “And [Elijah] asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life…. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”” - (1 Kings 19:4, 7, ESV)
After Elijah’s remarkable defeat of 450 prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel, you’d have thought he would be soaring with confidence. But instead of feeling invincible, he felt vulnerable. When one woman, the pagan queen Jezebel, threatened him, Elijah fell into despair and asked the Lord to take his life.
How could such a great man of God call down fire on a soaking wet altar, mock the impotence of Baal, and crush the pagan prophets one day and whimper in the desert the next under the threat of one woman?
Sometimes the greatest voice of shame comes not when we are in the valley but on the mountaintop. Sometimes the voice of shame comes with a diabolical whisper: “Look at you, you’ve done all you can do and it’s still not enough. You might as well give up now. You’ll never be able to be good enough. See, your best was not enough.”
An angel visited Elijah in his valley of the shadow of death and mandated nourishment. “Arise and eat.” What the angel said next has been nourishment to me from the first day I read the words, “… for the journey is too great for you.”
To say “the journey is too great for you” is to imply: “it’s too great for you, but not for God.”
But, more importantly, if you hear God tell you that the journey is too great for you, it means that there is still a journey. God isn’t finished with you yet.
The key to overcoming the voice of shame on the mountaintop is to embrace the journey ahead. The cliché is right – life isn’t a destination; it’s a journey. The successes that you enjoy along the way are wonderful gifts from God, but it is the journey that matters. You’re still going somewhere. And that’s the Gospel!
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