Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rehearse the Truth

Ahhhh. I had a great weekend!
My mother and I attended the Spaghetti for the Soul conference. This conference is a relatively new event put together by Kathy Troccoli and Ellie Lafaro. Actually, it was put together by God. Kathy and Ellie are His instruments and He uses them wonderfully. You can go here to check out Kathy's schedule and see if they are bringing the conference to a location near you. I highly recommend attending if at all possible.
Both Kathy and Ellie shared great teaching (and, of course, great singing!) and I could write several posts about the things I heard. There is one thing, however, which particularly resonated with me and it is that one thing I am choosing to write about today.

Kathy spoke about Elijah and his response to the threat Jezebel made on his life in 1 Kings 19:1-15. Prior to this time the prophets of God had been put to death by kings who did evil in the sight of the Lord. Elijah had just had all the prophets of Baal put to death and when King Ahab reported the news to Jezebel she sent a message to Elijah saying, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them." (19:2) On hearing this message Elijah was afraid and ran away.
In verse four it says he "went away a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, Lord,' he said.'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.'" Kathy asked a great question. "What did Elijah do with that day while he was journeying? What was he filling his mind with?"
I think we get a hint as to what Elijah was thinking that day by the response he gave to God later in the chapter. Twice when Elijah was hiding in a cave and God asked him what he was doing there he replied, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." (v.10 and 14) Elijah was rehearsing all the things which had gone wrong when he answered God, and I have a feeling those were the same thoughts filling his mind as he walked along the road that day.

Can you picture him?

Poor Elijah has just had a bounty put out on his head by an evil woman. She is even willing for her gods to deal with her ever so severely if she doesn't have him killed! And he's walking along thinking, Oh, what do I do? I have been totally sold out for God, but for what reason? His people aren't listening to me. They have rejected Him. They have ruined the altars which were set up for Him. They've killed all the prophets before me, for crying out loud! And I'm next in line!
If I had been mulling over those thoughts for a day's journey, at the end I think I'd be asking God to take my life, too.

That is why I loved Kathy's encouragement for us to rehearse the Truth. Elijah's circumstance (and ours, too) didn't reflect the Truth or God's power. This morning I read the events leading up to Jezebel's threat.
* During a drought in the land, God sent Elijah to a brook where he could get water and He sent ravens to bring Elijah food every morning and evening. (17:1-6)
* God provided an endless supply of flour and oil to a widow so she could provide Elijah with food every day. (17:7-16)
* God brought the widow's son back to life after he had died. (17:17-24)
* God showed Himself to be the One True God, and Baal to be false, when He sent fire from Heaven to burn up the altar Elijah had built, and which he had also drenched with water three times. (18:16-39)

What if, when Elijah heard Jezebel's message, he reminded himself of all the amazing things God had been doing. What if he responded to Jezebel's call for her gods to "deal with her ever so severely" by reminding her that God Almighty had just proved her gods were nothing? What if, instead of rehearsing the things which were going wrong, Elijah rehearsed the Truth?
* God is all powerful.
* God is perfectly faithful.
* God has always taken care of me.
* God will care for me in this situation, too.
Do you think Elijah would have found himself sitting under a tree asking God to take his life?

So, my friend, Kathy asked the question of those of us in the audience, and you know I have to ask you. When your circumstance is troublesome, what do you rehearse in your mind? Do you play the difficult situation over and over in your mind, looking at it from every scary angle? Or do you speak Truth to yourself and remind yourself of Who God Is?
We need to rehearse the Truth.
* Our circumstances will continue to change, but God never will.
* He is bigger than every problem we have and more powerful than every trial we face.
* God will never leave us nor forsake us.
* He loves us with an everlasting love.
* No situation will come upon us which God will not use for our good and His glory.
* He is holy and perfect, and we can fully trust Him.

I don't know what circumstance you are facing today, but I know what is True. I pray you will be encouraged as you rehearse the Truth.

post signature


Corrie said...

Hi Karen!
I'll have to look into this confrence. Sounds wonderful. What wise insight on Elijah. Thanks for sharing.
Hope you are having a great day!

Annie said...

I just read those verses recently. I loved the thoughts you shared from the conference Karen. I think it is hard to constantly dwell in the truth. That sounds silly huh? I feel like satan attacks and attacks and keeps finding areas to cause problems in to discourage. I really don't know what I would do without the knowledge of God's love and power. I have been driven to that point before, it's a bad place to be. I just pray that God continues to give me strength and hope.

Melissa said...

I have a terrible problem with this! I'm one of those worry warts, who thinks a problem to death, and thinks it some more. Thanks for the reminder to rehearse the truth - like the verse says, "whatsoever is…true…think on those things."

Unknown said...

Hey Karen, I just gave a "shout out" to your book in my post. I linked people to your website and to your blog! Not too many people check out my blog, so you won't be overwhelmed...I don't think. Thanks for writing such a great book!
Much love to you,
Rachel <><

Praise and Coffee said...

Awesome post Karen, thank you!

This story hits me so deeply on so many levels. I have walked through intimidation and it can be paralyzing. The determining factor for me (and all of us) is our focus. What are we fixing our eyes (and thoughts) on.

I love that the Lord is so patient with us in our doubt and fear! Imagine being GOD and having people question Your ability to come through in a situation...

Great post!
Looking forward to hearing you speak.


It's OK to be WEIRD! said...

This is very good, Karen. I could say more, but I've said most of it in my other comments - like "I needed to hear this" and "Thanks for sharing"... it all applies here too.