By Steve Greene
We’ve been considering the four vital mistakes made by the Old Testament prophet Elijah shortly after being threatened by wicked Queen Jezebel.
Elijah’s first mistake was that he ran himself into the ground physically and emotionally. Elijah was totally spent.
Elijah’s second mistake was that he isolated himself from others. Sometimes, we all tend to shut people out. Unfortunately, we often shut people outright when we need them the most.
You will recall that Elijah left his servant behind at Beersheba. He basically told his trusted friend, “I don’t need you anymore,” and he went off on his own. (see 1 Kings 19:3)
Your tendency might be to keep it to yourself when you are hurting. Your mindset may be to just push through things on your own. You don’t want to let anyone in. You decide to go it alone, and that is such a bad idea.
We were created for community. God made us that way on purpose. We really do need each other. Life is better together. God did not create us to operate independently. Trust me, you don’t want to do what Elijah did by isolating himself and shutting out the most trusted people in his life.
Elijah’s third mistake was that he focused on the negative. In times of difficulty, we tend to focus on all of the negative things that are going on in our lives, don’t we? We say things like, “My life is so hard. I can’t get it all done. There’s just too much to do. I can’t stand these people. I don’t like my job. I don’t like where I’m going. I’m always going to suffer. I’m always going to struggle. I’ll always be broke. I’ll never be happy. I am always going to hurt.”
We focus on the negative. We feel like nobody understands. We have all been there at some point and to some degree.
The fourth mistake Elijah made was the most significant of all. He seems to have forgotten about God. Every step of the way through Elijah’s life, God had been faithful. Every moment, God was present. God’s power was so real. God’s powerful provision was visible every morning and every night. But even though God had been faithful in the past, in the moment of crisis, Elijah did what so many of us do — while facing his problems, he had forgotten his God.
Elijah knew God was near, and yet he fell apart. Rather than condemn him in that moment, God comes along and meets Elijah right where he was. We’ll pick up there next time.