Have you ever found yourself struggling with who God is because of the hardships you’ve faced? Have you ever found yourself struggling with who you are because of your inabilities to deal with what you are up against, or because of the things you have dealt with in your past or even because of what you are facing right now? Have you ever struggled with identifying who God says you are because others around you call you according to what they feel about you, or what you have done in the past? In 1 Kings 18, Elijah, a prophet of the Lord, can relate to being called things by people that were not from God. He prayed according to the word of the Lord that it would not rain in the land of Israel for three years, and it did not. This caused the king of Israel to despise him, and call him according to how he felt.
And Ahab went to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals”.
1 Kings 18:16-18
This passage reminded me of one thing: It’s not about what people call you, but it’s about what you answer to. Elijah was called a troubler by the king because he did what the Lord desired. He did not please the king, but he pleased God. Elijah knew who he was regardless of what people felt about him. He did what the Lord told him to do, and because of this he was seen in a dim light. Has this ever happened to you? You do what God desires, and then people start talking about you because it didn’t make them happy. It has happened to me many times, but after reading this chapter I found great joy in remembering that when I do what God desires of me, my enemies cannot touch me. They can say what they want, but they aren’t able to kill me. They searched for Elijah all over after he prayed for the rain to stop, but God hid him from the hands of his enemy.
And Obadiah said, “As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you. And when they would say, ‘He is not here,’ he would take an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you”.
1 Kings 18:9-10
Did you know that harm is unable to come to God’s people unless it is His will to allow it? David, the greatest king of the nation of Israel, knew this truth. In the days of King Saul, the king before David, there were always people coming after him to kill him, and it was at the hand of King Saul, whom David loved dearly. Saul knew that David had great favor before the people, but more importantly he had great favor before God. Because of this, King Saul grew jealous of him. But because of his close relationship with God, David knew that God would keep him at all costs. In Psalm 27:3-5 David wrote,
“Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock”.
Not only did he know that God would keep him, but he knew who God was.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
I once heard Minister Kenya Johnson say, “Who do you say God is? Is what you say according to how you feel about the trials you have faced, or is it according to who the Bible says God is? Situations can make us feel one way about God, but God’s word tells us the truth”. This is such a powerful statement to me. Going through life’s trials and issues can make us feel weak, alone, ashamed and powerless. It can make us feel abandoned by God, left to fight these battles alone. But this is just a feeling, not the truth. God’s word promises that He will never leave us nor will He ever forsake us. It says that He will provide the army we need for the battle, and He will fight for us because the battle is not ours, but it’s His. We don’t have to be ashamed of our mistakes or shortcomings because Romans 10:11 tells us,
“Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Everything we face, every issue we have, every stronghold that tries to hold us down, Christ died for it and rose on the third day to rule over it. He died to overcome the trials of life that we would face in this life, so that it would not keep us from accomplishing all that God desires us to do. In every situation that we face, the more we draw into God and learn who He is, the more He will open up to us about who we are. We are only able to face what people say, and do against us when we know who God truly is, and what He says about us. He is the God that made Heaven and Earth. He is the God that created all things living, including us, and said that we were all good. Even in our loneliest of times He is still right beside us cheering us on to keep standing, to keep enduring, and to keep running to the finish line. And one of the greatest things about God is that He NEVER takes back what He has promises to His people. In Numbers 23:19 it says,
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill.”
This is so amazing to me because people have turned their backs on me, and have hurt me to my core. I have messed up and people have stopped talking to me, yet God has NEVER turned His back on me because His promise is that He will never leave me nor forsake me. That means that He will never love me and leave me. That means He will never tell me yes, and then never do it. That means He will never make me feel unwanted or less than because I messed up. This isn’t just for me, but it is for all of those who love Him and come to Him. What manner of love is this that He would love an imperfect people, so unconditionally the way that He does? It is a special kind of love. A Father’s love that cannot be broken or taken away. This is a love that we are all in need of.
Do you know who God is? Who is He to you? Does it match who the Bible says He is, or are you going off of feelings and situations that did not turn out the way you thought it should have? God is not in the business of making things happen the way we want, but instead He makes them happen in the way we need. Do not allow life or people to cause you to see God wrong. His love for you is real, and it will never leave you empty. Everything that God desires of us won’t always be easy. It won’t always make us the “people’s choice”, but it will always make us God’s choice. It’s time for us as God’s people to place Him as the highest priority, and live a life that is pleasing to Him. Apostle Paul said it best as the way we should feel as followers of Jesus Christ,
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Let Christ lead you. Let Him Love you. Let Him define you. Remember, it’s not about what they call you, but it’s about what you are willing to answer to. You learn who you are, when you learn who Christ is and why the Father created you. Only then will you be able to properly walk in the ways the Father desires.
I love you guys, and I am continuously praying for you!!