Define Christian – Answer Doubt With Faith

Define Christian – Answer Doubt With Faith is the final message in our sermon series about what God says a Christian is.  There are many different ways doubt can attack the Christian.  This week, looking at the prophet Elijah, we saw how he felt all alone.

Before we jump into 1 Kings I wanted to point you to school.  Yes, it’s back to school week for most colleges.  At Chapel Hill, for those of you online, that Carolina or the Tar Heels, there are 19,743 undergrad students. A young man shows up for his first day of class.  Last year there were 5,340 Freshman who showed up for class at Chapel Hill.  In that sea of people no one is alone, but for our young friend who is new to the city and campus, he’s lonely.

Being alone isn’t all bad either.  There was a man who finally had a day to go out hunting.  He and his dog headed out.  He was hoping that he wouldn’t see anyone.  He wanted to be alone.  There was a woman who was pretty busy, but she finally had half a day to go to the park down the street, sit under a tree, and read her new book.  She wanted to be alone too.  Even though both of these are alone, neither of them are lonely. Being alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Jesus needed time to be alone in prayer with his heaven father a number of times.  We saw that today in our gospel lesson.  When we feel alone – when we’re lonely, we can get ourselves into trouble.

Elijah’s had just had the best day of his life.  Fire from heaven!  The prophets of Baal lost!  Through him God had shown his power to his people and they would have to – how could they not – turn back to the true God.  Today we don’t see duals between religions.  I’ve never seen fire fall from the sky, yet I’ve had really great days.  The days, moments that my children were born.  School’s starting up – maybe you aced the test or even passing the course! – graduating from college and then the seminary – the culmination of my education was definitely a high point.  I’m willing to bet that many of you have had really good days before – employee of the month maybe.  Owning a car for the first time and maybe a home can be an accomplishment.  Maybe you landed a big sale or your team won the game.  Life can be good.  Elijah knew it, and at some point I bet so have you – the Lord, He is God!  The Lord, He is God!

Elijah left the mountain in triumph.  Yet soon after that, a message came to him from the queen saying that he was as good as dead.  You might think that our prophet of God would laugh at such a threat, but he didn’t.  You see even though the people shouted praise to God on the mountain, their hearts weren’t ready to give up Baal.  They didn’t get rid of the wicked king and queen.  Elijah’s life was in very real jeopardy.  He was afraid.  He was exhausted.  He felt very alone.  14He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

Elijah went to the one place he could.  He went to his heavenly Father with his emptiness.  There God revealed himself in an unexpected way.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from 1 Kings 19 – the final series Define Christian – Answer Doubt with Faith.