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perfect performance

August 26, 2013

After King Ahab fled back to the palace in the pouring rain he told his wife how Elijah had killed her prophets of Baal. She immediately sent a threatening message to Elijah. “Elijah was afraid and fled for his life; he took his servant and went to Beersheba in Judah. Leaving the servant there, Elijah walked a whole day into the wilderness. He stopped and sat down in the shade of a tree and wished he would die. “It’s too much, Lord,” he prayed. “Take away my life; I might as well be dead!”

He lay down under the tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said, ‘Wake up and eat.’ He looked around and saw a loaf of bread and a jar of water near his head. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The Lord’s angel returned and woke him up a second time, saying, ‘Get up and eat, or the trip will be too much for you.’ Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days…” *

From reading this passage in numerous translations I don’t get the idea that Elijah ever stopped and asked God where he should go or what he should do. Each place I read it indicates that Elijah ran in fear, which is understandable. Even though he may not have been in the center of God’s will, our loving God still provided for His prophet.

Elijah’s God is the same today as He was then, and will be the same tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). Our Father doesn’t expect perfect performance from us. He knows our faults yet loves us anyway. Elijah’s Creator knew this man’s heart was still to follow His direction. In His mercy and grace He still provided for this terrified man who had his ears temporarily closed to God’s voice.

Since He’s the same today as He was then, He doesn’t expect perfect performance from us either. He’s not an angry drill instructor trying to whip us into shape with a lightning bolt in His raised arm, ready to strike us with one wrong move. Instead, He’s a loving Father Who gently guides us as we let Him. He allows us to run off on rabbit trails in our life, but always calls us back to His path for us.  (Of course, that also means it’s our choice to come back to where He is.)  His heart is for us, not against us.

Although it’s good to know about God, it’s best to get to know Him. The longer I walk with Him, the more I get to know Him. And the more I know Him, the more I sense His tender, loving heart. And the more I sense His tender, loving heart, the more I fall in love with Him.

* 1 Kings 19:2-8, GNT

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