Reading time: less than 3 minutes.
I’ve always felt a lot of pressure whenever I hear the phrase, “have a personal relationship with Jesus.” It’s like the build-up to asking a date to go to the prom. If this is all up to me, I’m in big trouble.
I understand that my spiritual life, my walk of faith with Jesus, needs my attention and discipline. Jim Bakker nailed it when he said, “We were so busy doing the Lord’s work that we forgot about the Lord.”
But if I want my first thought in the morning and my last in the evening to be of Jesus, I’ll need some help. I’ll need His help.
Spiritual wellbeing is ultimately about receptivity. It’s not in my nature to know God, in my old nature that is. It’s only by my new nature by faith and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that I can have a grace relationship with Jesus. These have been given, and by His grace, received (Thank you, Lord!) Living in that grace day by day is also a gift to be received.
Elijah learned that lesson the hard way. He came off the unparalleled victory on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18) and went right into a deep, disturbing and potentially damaging depression (1 Kings 19). When I read this chapter it’s not Elijah’s cry of despair for his own life that surprises me: “I’ve had enough, Lord. Take my life.”
What really gets me is his cry of aloneness. “I am the only one left.”
The Power of WE, as Dave Ludwig describes it so well, is the constant assurance that you and I are never alone. A healthy spiritual life is receptive to the presence of Christ in every situation.
In 1 Kings 19, the Lord in His perfect wisdom and amazing grace made that clear to Elijah in two ways.
First, He spoke.
It wasn’t in the wind or the earthquake or the fire. God spoke to Elijah in the still, small voice and said, “You’re not alone, Elijah. I was with you on Mt. Carmel and I’m with you as you eat and sleep and rest in preparation for your next adventure of ministry.”
Spiritual receptivity is the faith that believes God still comes in His Word. Receptivity is the discipline that puts faith into action by opening the Scripture daily, expectantly, believing the the Word that once became flesh to dwell among us still comes in a real and powerful way when I open the Scriptures.
Elijah was brought pretty low before he heard God’s voice again. I find myself more receptive when I properly prepare for my devotional reading, getting real small before the Lord either by reflection on His law or by reflection on His amazing gospel. I try to read as if Jesus Himself were sitting by me speaking His Word. That’s a personal relationship. He’s making us into a WE, and it’s a good place to be.
Do you remember the Lord’s second comfort to Elijah? He told him, “You’re not alone. There are 7,000 others who haven’t followed Baal.”
God has given me another WE in my spiritual life: the community of saints.
Whatever you’re facing today, you’re not alone.
Thanks for reading.
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