The Delusion of Isolation

1 Kings 19:1–19

Often we are most tempted to give up and give in when we believe everyone else already has.  We must remember that God always reserves a remnant of believers to follow him.  You are not alone!

Tom Hanks is a gifted actor.  I have seen him play a diverse type of characters over the years, and in every role he turns in an impressive performance.  One of my favorite examples of his acting skills is the movie Castaway.  By the way, I cant believe that it is a 19 year old movie!  For over an hour Tom Hanks is alone with no other actors.  He portrays a Fed Ex man whose plane went down in the Caribbean.  He was able to get to a deserted island and he was forced to survive for 4 years before we was eventually rescued.  The movie shows how man was not meant to be alone.   The agony of loneliness was vividly portrayed by this masterful actor.

Loneliness is one of the greatest tools in the Devil’s arsenal.  With this weapon he causes many strong men to become weak, afraid, faint, even to the point of death.

Last week we saw that folks become discouraged when they confuse Karma with Grace.  They get bitter at God when they mistakenly think that He has mistreated them by not giving them what they deserved.  We discovered that Grace actually deliver us from what we deserve and gives us what we don’t deserve.

This week as we continue our series on Failing Faith, we will look at another tool Satan uses to destroy believers. As we consider the tactics of our enemy, we must remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  As believers, we can never be alone.  So the only thing Satan can do is to try to deceive us with the illusion of isolation.

Elijah had just gone through an epic spiritual battle.  The people of Israel were being seduced by the false god, BAAL.  The prophet prayed that it would not rain for three and a half years.  He had a show down asking for the real God to rain down fire on the altar they prepared.  Baal failed, Jehovah God did not!  The scorched soot stained spot on the ground stood as a testimony that the real God answered with fire!  After that the drought ended.  450 prophets of Baal were killed.  Rain came!  Victory was sweet…. but there was a counter attack.   Elijah was made blinded by the delusion of isolation.

I Feel All Alone and Ashamed – I Failed to Make A Difference.

1 Kings 19:4 KJV 1900

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

•    After great spiritual victory we are often vulnerable to the greatest spiritual attack.

•    Elijah expected a nation wide revival after such a great demonstration of God’s power… instead the queen had vowed to destroy him in 24 hours. 

•    After 3 1/2 years of struggle and after the showdown with the prophets of Baal, he thought it must be over… but apparently it was not.

•    Elijah ran to Beersheba in the extreme southern part of Judah… about 103 miles.

•    He was disappointed, exhausted, and spent.

•    In a moment of human weakness he longed for death.

•    He did not dare take his own life.

•    He did tell God he had had enough.

•    That all came from a belief that he was no better than his fathers… he was no more effective in ridding the land of Baal idolatry than they were.  Since he was a failure, there was no reason to continue.

•    An angel came to feed him and prepare him for a journey.  200 miles to the same Mount where Moses met God.

•    There was still more for Elijah to do.

God still sends His messengers today – pastors… leaders.. friends

•    Take your rest

•    Take your food

•    There is still a journey ahead of you…. God is not done with you.

I Feel All Alone and Afraid- Everyone is Against Me

1 Kings 19:9 KJV 1900

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Kings 19:10 KJV 1900

And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

•    Elijah was directed to the mount of God, not to the cave or fear and isolation.

•    This time God’s voice came, not just His messenger.

•    The revelation was a question:  “What are you doing here?”

•    I have been jealous for God

•    Israel has turned from Your covenant

•    Israel has thrown down your altars

•    The prophets have been killed

•    I am the only one left.

Are you in a cave of isolation rather than meeting with God?

•    You feel like you are the only believer truly standing

•    Our church is the only one without compromise.

•    When directed to the place to meet God (church) you are curled up isolated in your mind and heart, not talking to anyone or open to any intervention….God gives you the same command as He gave Elijah… stand upon the mount before the Lord.

King James Version Chapter 19

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.

I Feel Alone and I am Wrong- I AM NOT ALONE

•    God can reveal Himself in many different ways, but He is tenderest when we need that the most.

And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind:

•    Sometimes God is seen in the midst of storms and tempest… not this time

King James Version Chapter 19

and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake

•    Sometimes God is seen in the midst of instability and crumbling foundations… but not this time

King James Version Chapter 19

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire:

•    Sometimes God is seen in fiery trials that burn the impurities out of our lives… but not this time.

...and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave.

•    God, in His tenderness knows that his exhausted and bewildered servant that thinks he is alone needs a still small voice.  When you hear it… come to the opening of the cave…there is something life changing about to happen!

King James Version Chapter 19

What doest thou here, Elijah?

•    God asked the convicting question again in a still small voice.  The truth cut through… you are in the wrong place.  I’ve still got stuff for you to do.

•    In verses  15-17 Elijah recieved instruction.  You are not be be ashamed… I have work for you

•    You do not have to be afraid … I have work for you to do.

•    You do not have to feel like you are alone… You are not!

1 Kings 19:18 KJV 1900

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

Conclusion:

Oh believer friend.  Have you slipped into deep dark depression thinking that you have failed to make a difference and that there is no reason to continue?  Listen to God’s messenger, you need strength… eat, rest and get ready for the journey God has for you.  Are you hiding in a cave isolated and afraid?  Listen to the voice of God that calls you into His presence.  You have heard God in the wind before and He has calmed your storms.  You have heard God in the earthquake before and He has brought stability.  You have heard God in the fire before and He has refined you.  But today He comes to you at this very moment in a still small voice.

“What are you still doing here?  I have work for you.  Your isolation is just a delusion.  You are not alone!

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