THE BLESSING OF SOLITUDE II – Open Heavens Devotional (Sunday October 2nd 2016) – By Pastor E. A. Adeboye
Memorise: Elias was a man subject a like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. James 5:17
Read: 1st Kings 19:9-18, (KJV)
9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
15 And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:
16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.
18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
Bible in one year: Ezekiel 28:1-30:19, Psalms 72
Other blessings of solitary living include divine authority, divine revelation and divine direction. In our memory verse for today, we read that Elijah was a man who possessed divine authority that controlled the weather. He commanded rain to cease and it was so; when he felt it was time to release the rain, he commanded it to start falling and it was so! The Bible says in 1st Kings 17:1:
“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”
This did not come by careless and flamboyant living. This authority came as a result of solitary living and a separated life. We can understand this by what God said to Elijah in 1st Kings 18:1:
“And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.”
It took instruction from God before Elijah could show himself to Ahab. He had been in solitary confinement ever since he made the proclamation of the drought. Some Christian ministers would want to be seen everywhere, at every public function and yet they want authority, they want divine revelation and direction. They dine and wine with the elites in the society and yet they want to exercise divine authority. It does not work like that. Elijah said, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand…” Children of God, pastors, where are you standing? Before God or in the crowd?
In the reading of today’s Bible text, it is amazing to know that not only spiritual but also physical encouragement came to Elijah during his solitary time with God. Through this divine physical provision, the Bible says that he travelled for forty days and forty nights without eating anything else. One lesson we must quickly grasp here is that God is interested in our physical and spiritual well-being. It is a pity that some Christians spiritualise so many things at the detriment of their physical well-being. Imagine God saying, “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.” This divine consideration came because Elijah took time to be alone with God. One other lesson we must learn is that still in his solitude. Elijah was visited by God and he was able to lodge his complaint against the society he was living in and consequently he was told what to do. We receive divine instruction when we are alone with God. Our misconceptions about life situations will receive clarification and better understanding when we are alone with God. The Bible says:
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” – Psalm 25:14
Unknown to Elijah that he was not the only prophet standing for God, he wanted to die. However, he was told what God Himself had preserved seven thousand prophets who had not corrupted themselves! What a revelation and a lesson. Never think you are the only one keeping the bound of holiness, there are others unknown to you. So don’t give in to the deceit of Satan. God will never change and He will never lower His standards. God bless you as you continue with God in holiness.