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DOMINION OVER DISCOURAGEMENT (2)

Date: 
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
1 Kings 19: 1-18

And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers 1 Kings 19:4b

A snippet in the life of Prophet Elijah provides useful insight into exercising DOMINION over DISCOURAGEMENT: And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1Kgs.19:4b). This was Elijah’s response when his life came under threat from Jezebel (vv.1-2). This was the same Elijah who stood to boldly withstand and neutralise the prophets of Baal and prayed the drought to end with a deluge. How could this spiritual giant who had a direct contact with God, be discouraged? If this happened to Elijah, a great prophet of God, it can happen to any human being.

We cannot overcome anything unless we know it exists. Discouragement exists and is very real. At his most vulnerable moment, rather than face the threat, Elijah “arose and RAN for his life” (v.3). Discouragement is often a response to life’s challenges. There is hardly any human being that has not been discouraged in life, due for example to: academic or career delay, financial difficulties, health challenges, unmet expectations, a problematic marriage, or the death of a loved one. The danger is that if we don’t properly deal with the dart of discouragement, it will soon lead to sin or other negative emotions that can shift one away from God.

Defeating discouragement demands spending more time with God to receive comfort and strength: But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness… And he prayed…!” (v.4). Jesus also went into the wilderness, which denotes a place of fewer distractions (Lk.4:1). However, Elijah spent this time in a prayer of self-pity. Seeing no more purpose, he asked God to take his life. He thought it better for him to die in the hands of God than in Jezebel’s hands. For us Believers, spending time with God is a great opportunity and perfect time to let go of all our worries and fears and let God!

Taking care of our physical health is vital. Elijah rested, slept, ate, drank, and “went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God” (vv.5-8). Sometimes discouragement simply follows exhaustion or burn out! Elijah had worked so hard to manifest the power of God: He proclaimed and ended a drought, revived the widow’s son, dealt with the prophets of Baal, ran continuously for more than fifteen miles, and travelled to different places. He was undoubtedly tired. Yet, it seemed like no one cared about him or appreciated his effort. As human beings with physical limitations of flesh and blood, we periodically need to step back from our busy lives and get some physical rest and spiritual rejuvenation – well-deserved Sabbath!

Elijah responded in few wrong ways. First, he left his companions in Beersheba, Judah, where he could have stayed to enjoy the protection under Jehoshaphat’s righteous reign, plus the opportunity to stay connected with other channels of encouragement. Next, he spent his time wallowing in self-pity and suicidal thoughts. Many times, instead of overcoming discouragement, we do things that worsen the problem, looking for comfort in the wrong place: getting drunk, isolating self, taking illegal drugs, and worst of all, suicide!

Discouragement saps energy, making one weak, depressed, and inactive. Elijah, in his depression and deception of indispensability, thought that he was alone in serving God (vv.9-10). But God had 7000 faithful sodiers reserved (v.18). God is with us always and gives us family, friends, and loved ones as support base (Heb.13:5). God turned Elijah’s focus back to Himself: “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord…” (vv.11-12). In a world full of noisy distractions, it’s so easy to lose our focus on God. But by His still small voice we can get rid of all noise and darts of discouragement!  Instead of giving in to discouragement, it’s time to focus our hearts on the Source of our strength through prayer and the Word, and get back to doing God’s assignment (vv.13-17).

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Prayer: 
Lord, by Your still small voice, refocus our hearts to exercise DOMINION over DARTS of DISCOURAGEMENT, in Jesus name.
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