“Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” For this is what the high and exalted One says, he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. [Isaiah 57:14-15] Our God is the God of the mountains and He is the God of the valleys. Today we find Elijah in a cave. Yesterday we read about fire coming down from heaven, the 450 prophets fall down and confess that the Lord is God, rain returns to the land after a period of 3 and a half years of drought, Elijah outruns the king's chariot...if you and I were Elijah we would be on cloud 777. But today, everything seems to change. Jezebel makes a threat to kill him and he hides and ends up in a cave.
Right about now we should hear all the religious people taking a shot at Elijah. It’s easy to be a critic. It’s easy to fill the shoes of the one who has everyone else’s answer. But to be honest Elijah's cave brings hope to all mankind.
Today there is a generation, a people, a remnant that has found themselves in the same place of Elijah. Fear has been given the reins of their lives. Discouragement has become their song. It’s numbed their hearts towards Christ, it has deafened ears, it’s blinded their eyes, it has captured the victorious, It’s shattered all hope, it’s robbed them of all life. It’s the kind of fear that detours the faithful. It paralyzes the elect. It paves the way to destruction, locking all doors to freedom... We see a generation lying in their caves. They long for redemption. They remember the fire coming down from heaven. They remember the sound of heavy rain. They remember His faithfulness and provision amidst the famine, the miraculous ways he fed them from heaven. They remembered the ways they were used of God. They remember the joy they had when the Lord resurrected the things they interceded and wept over. Yet they’ve found themselves in the cave. It's the place things go to die.
Then we hear the Lord ask, “What are you doing here?”
Pride overtakes us and blame becomes our anthem. “I’ve been so faithful to you, I did everything you said and yet I’m all alone, no one else serves you like I do...they did this to me, it’s all their fault, they are going to kill me, that’s why I’m here....”
The Lord tells Elijah to get out of the cave, stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord for He was going to pass by...If we remember correctly this wasn’t just any ordinary mountain. This was the mountain the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush. This was the mountain where the presence of God descended like a cloud as the sound of heaven's trumpet grew louder and louder which brought terror to all of Israel as Moses went up fasting for forty days and received the 10 commandments that God chiseled out of stone. This was the mountain where the Lord passed by Moses and allowed him to see Him from behind...where water came out of the rock.....there is a lot of history with this mountain. People had extraordinary encounters with God on this mountain and God tells Elijah that He’s about to pass by. CRAZY.
Elijah comes out and sees a powerful wind shattering rocks, an earthquake, a fire... but the Lord wasn’t in any of those great powerful experiences. None of that phased Elijah. None of that broke through to him. The truth is we can come at a place in our lives where we can hear sermon after sermon, experience after experience, and yet the most powerful moments in our lives is when the Lord just whispers to our hearts. The truth is the Lord was only in the whisper. It’s in those moments where something breaks in us. We can read books about the love of God but nothing will awaken you like the whisper of the Lord of all, telling you how much He delights in you.
The cave you end up at can become your grave or it can become your place of resurrection.
This is a word for all who will listen. It’s a call to stand and wait. Do not be moved by the wind, the shaking of the earth or fire. Today the Lord is doing a new thing. He is taking you to deeper places of intimacy, greater realms of unity. It may not look as it did before. He may not be speaking in the same way He always has. You may not find him when you try to seek him in your religious routines. In fact He must break us of all routines, all religiousness. We must be pruned, we must be cleansed continually by His precious blood to inherit eternal life. No one who took a shower a month ago is still clean. All of us would laugh at that. The same is true of the christian that thinks one encounter, one revelation, one prayer made them complete as a disciple and follower of Christ. He must continually lead us and make us new.
Today God wants to turn your cave into a resurrection place, where His power may be seen clearer, where His message is proclaimed louder, where your relationship and union with Him is stronger and deeper. Where your gold becomes purer...
Lord awaken us today with your whisper. Let your church arise out of their caves for you are a God who is with us. Wether in our mountains or our valleys you are the God who is with us and sustains us. Bring hope to the hopeless today. Revive the spirit of the lowly and contrite. Thank you Lord for your presence and your word. Awaken us today! Amen