When the new wears off and normal comes into play, many lose their passion and fire.
As most of us have experienced over the years in our own lives, our passion for different things comes in and out almost as often as the sun rises and then sets hours later. I remember my siblings and I having thoughts of making big money shoveling driveways every first snow. Yet, halfway through with a mountain of snow still in my shovel, the enthusiasm and passion quickly faded and before long we gave up and were all back in our warm home.
In reading the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18-19, we see his passion and zeal for the God he worshiped and served. He had just been used by God to turn the hearts of Israel back to him. Through his obedience and faith, God had showed his power and might on Mount Carmel in front of Baal’s prophets and Jezebel’s chaplains, as well as the nation of Israel. Elijah’s boldness and eradication of the prophets and chaplains after God worked a great victory through him demonstrated his fire for God.
But then there is a drastic shift in the story as we see in 1 Kings 19:4 where Elijah is asking God to let him die. He says, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” He compares his life with those who had turned from God even after seeing God work mightily in their midst.
This mighty prophet of God goes from a mountaintop experience to the valley of discouragement. One moment he has a fiery passion for the things of God and the next he is nothing more than a smoking wick of a lamp.
The fire had gone out in his life and there was only a faint stench of smoke. Elijah even sinks to the depth of despair by running into the wilderness and hiding in a cave. What happened to this larger than life passionate prophet? What made him lose the fire of God? What made him hide in the pit of life? A cave is nothing more than a tomb waiting to be shut!
What has robbed you of your passion for the things of God! Remember back when you had your first encounter with God?
It was just like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus when Jesus joined them and talked with them. (Luke 24:13-32). They said “did not our hearts burn within us?” God starts his fire with in us! But then as we go through life we allow things to quench that fire! We lose our passion for the things of God.
Elijah allowed fear to come in when the evil queen Jezebel threatened his life. He began to isolated himself and have a pity party. He believed the lie that he was the only one serving God. He forgot what God had done in his life already. (1 Kings 19:1-10) Therefore, he ran from God to a desert place, into what he thought was a cave or safe place, but the enemy meant for it to become his tomb. God never left Elijah even when he was running but sustained him, empowered him, spoke to him and guided him all the way to victory!
As Matthew 12:20 says, God isn’t going to let your fire go completely out even if it’s just smoking. He will intervene and draw near to you. But will you respond to his whisper and let him rekindle your fire?