Many messages have come concerning dying to self. Usually it pertains to preferring our brother or sister, putting their needs ahead of our own. But as we enter the realm of sonship, another emphasis takes precedence. There is a dying to self that enables us to keep a humble spirit before the Lord. A humble spirit means a brokenness to worship the Lord and believe His word regardless of circumstances. This is easier said than done. I don’t believe we have connected the dots when it comes to discouragement and the state of our spirits before God. Discouragement is a luxury of the self life. Disillusionment and frustration are a luxury of the self life as well. They give the adamic nature a reason to stop worshipping God, to stop contending for the fulfillment of His word. Discouragement is a focus on self. We do not have the right to discouragement in the Kingdom of God. We have the right to love God and worship Him with all of our hearts. Loving God and believing His word are expressions of faith. When our faith is subdued because of adverse circumstances and what we perceive as delays to His promises, we have reverted to the self life. Elijah did this after his great victory over the prophets of Baal (1st kings 18:17-46). Word got back to Jezebel and she sent word to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” Elijah then went a days journey into the wilderness and requested that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” Although the prophets of Baal had been slain, Jezebel remained alive, threatening Elijah’s life. Elijah saw this as an incomplete victory which stirred his own sense of inadequacy. Even after being a channel for the miracle of the fire falling from heaven, even after loosing the rain which hadn’t fallen except by the word of God through Elijah, Elijah’s faith ran out and he feared for his life at Jezebel’s hand. This shows us there is a distinction between the faith God generates in us for His works, and the innate trust He creates in our spirits towards Him in general. Elijah did not have the deeper trust in God. Discouragement took over in his spirit. There is so much we cannot know until it’s divinely revealed. Until that time, we must trust God that all is under His control and that He knows what He is doing.
When Elijah sat down and requested that he might die, the angel of the Lord came to him twice and commanded him to eat and drink. The first time Elijah ate and drank and laid down again. The second time he ate and drank he went in the strength of the bread and water 40 days and 40 nights to Horab, the mountain of God (1st kings 19:4-8). At Horab he lodged in a cave. The word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” Elijah’s perception of things was pretty bleak.
Here is the rest of the story:
11 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking 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 After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.
13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
15 The LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram;
16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
17 “It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.
18 “Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
Verses 15-18 are the ones we want to study. God commanded Elijah to anoint Hazael king over Aram, Jehu king over Israel, and Elisha as prophet in his place. Between the three God’s purposes would be realized. The Lord also spoke he would leave 7000 in Israel, all those who had not bowed the knee to Baal.
From these passages we see things were not as bleak had Elijah thought. The purposes of God were in play beyond what Elijah could see. So it is with us. If He has given us a word we are to stand on it and believe it. We must not be moved by the passing scene or the ways things look according to our human perception of things. As we are open and repentant, God will see it there is an infusion of divine faith and trust to our hearts. We are to be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.