It all began with a woman. Well, doesnít it always?
Perhaps that is a little bit unfair, looking back on the events. It began long before Jezebel breathed her threats. Do you ever just look around you and what you see doesnít match up to the way you know things ought to be? For many of us, we just shrug our shoulders and walk on feeling a little heavier, and the light in our eyes loses its brightness.
Iím not like that. Perhaps I could be, if God left me alone! I had a vision. Not one of those great picture events, when God breaks in and you see something in the heavenlies. I just had a desire for the nation to return to God. The word ďdesireĒ seems to be too limp a word to describe how I felt and what it led to.
I was caught up in something that just consumed me. The challenge to the prophets of Baal was out of my lips almost before I thought about it. Did I have any hesitation that God would not light that sacrificial fire, even when I had doused it with water? Absolutely not! I was standing in such a powerful place where I knew that God could do anything at all. I was in the groove.
It makes my reaction to Jezebelís threats all the more bizarre. I had just seen lightening strike a bull and lap up all that water. I was unstoppable Ė or rather, God was. That just goes to show that when we are at the high point of our greatest victories, we are also at our most vulnerable.
Of course , it was like Iíd stuck my head above the parapet. She was executing all of the prophets that remained true to the One God. I never thought it would get so personal. I was waking up in the night almost feeling the point of her sharpened blade on my neck. I just canít explain how quickly I tumbled into depression. One minute I was standing on firm ground, with the world at my feet. The next moment, I was a quivering wreck just trying to put as much distance between Jezebel and me.
I had been reprimanding the world, telling people to stop sitting on the fenceÖand then what do I go and do? I fall off the fence myself.
If only I had been thinking straight! Was it some kind of spectacular burn out? If it was I did it big style!
I just ran. If you would have asked me where I was running to, I would not have been able to tell you. Deep inside, I knew where home was for me, but I didnít consciously make a decision to head that way.
You know, Iím not even sure who was the more surprised of us, when I turned up at Mount Horeb, the place where I knew I would find God. Is God ever surprised when we just turn up unannounced and un-summoned? I thought He might be angry or disappointed.
It just all came out in a kind of rush. I think in some way I was blaming God for everything that had happened. If He hadnít got me so stirred up about holiness, I would have not issued the challenge. I donít think it was just the bull that got the lightening bolt Ė I felt like I had been struck too in some way. If I hadnít felt so alone! I knew that Jezebel was hunting us all down. I didnít know then that there were seven thousand others that had not bowed the knee to Baal.
Jezebelís threat might have been the beginning of my dark days, but standing outside on the mountain waiting for God to pass by was the end of it. A powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered rock. I could have done with a bit of earth shattering power Ė but God wasnít in it. There was an earthquake and a fire. Perhaps I needed a bit of a shake up, or something to re-ignite me Ė but God wasnít in that either.
If I hadnít stood so still, just waiting for God, not making any demands on how he should reveal himself, I might have missed Him entirely. It was just the gentlest of whispers.
His gentle whisper contained so much more power and authority than Jezebelís angry shouts.
My turmoil ended. He restored my peace.
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