Devotional for Thursday July 2nd

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Fresh wind, fresh fire”
Our Bible verse for today: “Then Elijah became afraid and immediately ran for his life. When he came to Beer-sheba that belonged to Judah, he left his servant there, but he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He said, “I have had enough! Lord, take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers. Then he lay down and slept under a broom tree. Suddenly, an angel touched him. The angel told him, “Get up and eat.” 1 Kings 19:3-5 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Sometimes you just need a nap.”
I have always secretly envied school teachers. They get two months off from work every summer. Granted, they need it, but still, two months off every year sounds pretty appealing. My oldest son was an elementary school teacher in inner-city Los Angeles for more than twenty years. It was tough duty and by the time the school year ended he was ready for some extended downtime.
Elijah was a mighty prophet of God. He worked long and hard for years and years under very difficult and challenging circumstances. To make matters worse, the King and the Queen hated him and were out to get him. In 1 Kings chapter 18 we read of a time when Elijah engaged in a tremendous spiritual confrontation with a horde of priests of the pagan god Baal, who were there on behalf of the evil king Ahab. For Elijah it was 450 against 1 and the great struggle went on for an entire day. Finally, it ended with God moving in a mighty way on behalf of Elijah, and the 450 priests of Baal were executed. Elijah had won an astounding victory!
But Queen Jezebel was furious and sent word that she was sending soldiers to capture and kill him. So, Elijah ran away in fear. He fled to the wilderness, hid in a cave, and, as we read in 1 Kings 19:3-5, he plopped down on the ground and declared “I’ve had enough!” Then he told God he wanted to die. (I think that may be how my school teacher friends feel at the end of the school year!)
What happened to Elijah? How did he go from being the powerful prophet of God in chapter 18 (the one who singlehandedly defeated 450 priests of Baal), to the cowering and whiny man we see in the cave in chapter 19? He was exhausted! He was physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually spent. And he needed rest.
If you read the rest of the account, you’ll find that an angel of God came to Elijah and ministered to him as he rested and recuperated. Then, after a good rest, Elijah was recharged and ready to get back at it. He had fresh wind in his sails and fresh fire in his soul. Proving once again that sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to take a nap!
At the end of chapter 18 Elijah was no longer any good to anyone. He had given all he had to give and until he took some time to recharge, he wouldn’t be very effective at anything else. The same is true for you. If you’re feeling exhausted and drained, I encourage you give yourself a break and get some rest. Sometimes you just need a nap.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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