God chooses to reveal Himself however He chooses to. In the Garden of Eden, He met Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. He spoke to Moses through a burning bush. He spoke to several people through dreams. To Mary and Joseph, he sent an angel to deliver a message. For us today, He speaks through the still small voice of the Holy Spirit’s promptings within us.
For Elijah, He had just had the mountain top experience of God sending fire to consume a water-soaked sacrifice, proving to all of Israel that He is God and Baal is nothing. He then rounded up all the prophets of Baal and executed them. When Queen Jezebel heard about it, she sent a messenger to Elijah to let him know she planed to have him killed by the next evening. Elijah allows his fear to take over and he forgets the powerful display of God’s might with the sacrifice and he runs and hides. He goes out to the wilderness and sits down under a broom tree and asks God to let him die. In this moment, Elijah is physically and emotionally exhausted and as a result his faith crumbles. He is in deep depression. He demonstrates apathy, emotional distancing, a cynical attitude and a desire to escape from it all. He also has a false sense of failure. Elijah is burnout. But God miraculously provides for Elijah. As Elijah slept under the broom tree, God sends and angel who tells Elijah to get up and eat. When he wakes up he finds a cake baked on coals and a jar of water. The ate and then laid down and went back to sleep. God sends he angel again with the same message. So Elijah gets up and eats and the Bible tells us that he went on the strength of that food for 40 days and 40 nights all the way to the mountain of God. God brings Elijah back to the place where the covenant had been give, the place where his personal faith would also be nourished. Elijah goes into a cave and spent the night there. During the night the “word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9) Elijah replied: “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” God tells Elijah to go out and stand on the mountain before Him and there God reveals Himself to Elijah. First, God reveals His greatness and power through wind, earthquake, fire – but in all of these God was not there – just his power. Then everything is quiet and God speaks it a still small voice.
If we are honest with ourselves, we’ve all been “under the broom tree” with Elijah. We have given all we have to serving God and it seems that all our efforts are in vain. We feel drained, broken, and have no idea what to do next. So we run from whatever God wants us to do and sit under the broom tree and have a pity party. Elijah learned that he was not the last prophet alive. God told him there were still 7000 people alive that had not bowed down to Baal that He could choose to work through.
If you are sitting under a broom tree today – God wants you to know that you are not alone. It’s time for you to get up and eat – get re-nourished spiritually. Maybe you need to return to the place where God first called you. Maybe you need to take a weekend away and get alone with God. Whatever you need to do to breathe life back into the ministry God has called you to do – God will meet you there. What will He reveal to you? It’s time to find out – arise and eat!
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Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.