Inspired by “He Lives In Me” by Fully Justified
“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” 1 Kings 19:4 KJV
Things can change in 72 hours. Fire fell from heaven in response to Elijah’s prayer. Baal’s leadership had been destroyed in single day. Surely, the threat of a single woman, queen or not, couldn’t matter to a prophet like Elijah. Three days earlier, Elijah had been unstoppable. Now he huddled, pitifully under a nameless tree. It’s as if the triumph at Mt. Carmel had not happened at all. To be sure, Jezebel’s threat had credibility. If anyone could arrange Elijah’s assassination, she could. Seemingly alone against a nation, Elijah looked within and found the end of his rope. You and I know that Elijah should have looked to God. Looking up, the prophet would have seen a legion of angels, each with an endless coil of rope. Elijah could have met Jezebel’s threat with confidence and security. It’s easy to point out Elijah’s error, but when you’re in the toughest times of life, many times, we don’t think clearly.
I have had many difficult years of my life. It was during the most difficult times that God became quite silent in my life. As I continued to try to walk by faith and not by sight, I longed to hear the voice of my heavenly Father. I desperately needed to hear words of encouragement and hope, but instead sat in silence day after day, in my prayer closet. I’m embarrassed to admit it now, but I questioned everything from my own salvation to the very existence of God, during that time. God’s silence has a way of revealing the truth in our own heart.
At about mid-point in that year, I remember begging and pleading with God to say something to my troubled heart; something to calm my fears and restore hope to my hopeless situation. As I sat in desperation, a small, still voice finally spoke through the silence and said, “My grace is sufficient for you.” I wish I could tell you that my response was a positive one, but I would be lying if I told you that it was. Instead my response was, “That’s it! After all this time of silence, that’s all you have for me? ”I wanted God to speak words of encouragement and deliverance; words that would promise an immediate answer to my problem. But instead, God’s words seemed to imply that I would have to continue to walk in my difficult circumstances. That was definitely not what I wanted to hear at that time. I felt that I was at the end of my rope, unable to withstand any more hurt, heartache or pain. But God saw things from a different perspective.
It wasn’t until long after my hopeless situation ended that I realized what the rest of II Corinthians 12:9 had to say; “His power is made perfect in our weakness.” The words “made perfect”, in the Greek means to be fulfilled, so in other words, “His power is fulfilled in our weakness.” For you see, my hopeless situation continued for another 6-8 months after the Lord spoke those words to me, and it wasn’t until I concentrated on the second part of that verse, that I realized why the Lord chose to speak that portion of scripture to me at that specific time in my journey. I was literally at the end of my rope and unable to withstand one more moment, and it was the Lord’s grace (which is also His power) that carried me through to the end. When my weakness forced me to relinquish all control to Him, He gladly, picked me up and carried me through. I didn’t see it while I was in the midst of the fiery furnace, but once removed from it; my vision and recognition became clear. My strength will never be enough to sustain me; it will always be God’s grace that will see me through. His words to me during that time didn’t seem to be what I needed, but looking back, they were the perfect words at the perfect time. I learned a lot about his grace during that time. It proved to be something quite different than what I thought. His grace not only makes salvation available to us, but it’s also the powerful, sustaining force that carries us through this life. The sufficiency of his grace is available to you too!
You know that saying “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!” that is pretty popular and familiar? However, the more I thought about it, the more this concept didn’t sit right. Then it hit me! Maybe instead of tying a knot I should learn to let go instead. I don’t mean GIVE UP necessarily. I don’t know that I mean QUIT either. But sometimes, I think we get to the end of a rope and we are supposed to LET GO and MOVE FORWARD. Maybe it’s like a new chapter in a book. At the end of one chapter, you usually have to turn a page to get to the new chapter, right? Maybe when you get to the end of the rope, it means it’s in fact, THE END, and letting go allows you to move into the next phase.
So if you’ve ever been where I was, or maybe you’re at the end of your rope now, instead of holding on, try cutting the rope that ties you to this life and all the problems, hassles, stress, anxiety, routine, schedules and worries. There is nothing on this planet that you cannot live without except Jesus Christ. Do not let the fear that life as you know it will end stop you, but understand that life as you know it will end. No longer will you be drug through life by your job, money, people or the lack thereof, but God in His Infinite Power and Wisdom will carry you through this world into His Kingdom. You cannot help yourself or save yourself. Release those burdens that are weighing you down, stealing your joy and taking your peace. Self-sacrifice is the only way. Giving your whole life to Jesus Christ accompanied with the words, “I trust you” is vital. Stop wasting your time and energy trying to build a life in a dying world and cling to the One who holds eternity in His hands. Go ahead, cut the rope.
Fully Justified is a rock band based out of West Virginia. If you’d like to read the lyrics to this song or any of their songs, you can go to: http://www.reverbnation.com/fullyjustifiedband. For more information on Fully Justified you can also go to: https://www.facebook.com/FullyJustified
Want to read other devotionals written by Tim? Go to: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kindred-concerts-for-christ/kindreds-devotional-series/463516160364310