Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Life In THE CAVE - Fear

Since December 13th we have been looking at ministry life in THE CAVE (the place where ministry becomes misery) as seen in the life of the Old Testament Prophet named Elijah. We have seen three principles about THE CAVE:

THE CAVE can become reality even to the most successful of pastors and ministry leaders! (December 15th's posting)

THE CAVE can become even more possible after a great spiritual victory! (December 17th's posting)

Entering THE CAVE is often the result of one person who opposes us! (December 20th's posting).

But what is life like inside THE CAVE? Have you ever tried to describe chocolate to someone who has never tasted chocolate? Where would you even begin? The same is true in trying to describe life in THE CAVE. If you have never been there, you just can't understand. In Elijah's case in 1 Kings 19, there are four characteristics of life in THE CAVE. The first one is:


Due to the opposition of Jezebel, Elijah was filled with fear:

"And he was afraid and rose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba" (1 Kings 19:3).

His fear caused him to run to Beersheba which was the southernmost city in Judah. In other words, he didn't just run - he ran as far away as he could go. Fear now ruled his life and so it does with those who are in THE CAVE. There is the fear of losing your status as a successful pastor! There is the fear of losing your job and your salary! There is the fear of how this will affect your family!

And these fears can consume your thinking 24 hours a day. Your fear can cause you to become highly suspicious of everyone around you and force your mind to play over and over again all of the "worst case scenarios." Fear will affect your sleeping as you spend all night looking at the ceiling going through all of the "what ifs" surrounding your situation. Suddenly you become full of paranoia and mistrust as a result of fear.

An even worse, your fear results in your doing even less ministry. That was the case with Elijah. After the battle of Mt Carmel, there was never a more ripe time to see ministry expanded and the possibility of national revival in Israel take place. But where was Elijah? he was in THE CAVE filled with FEAR.

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