Whisper in the Wilderness | Recalibration
When we read about the story in the Bible of Elijah and Jezebel in 1 Kings 19, we most often look at it as an epic moment of weakness where Elijah succumbs to fear and finds himself depressed and ready to die under a tree. We assume that the lesson here is to “never let fear and intimidation isolate us” or “fight against it, push through it.” But if we look at the story through God’s perspective, we begin to see a unique and very necessary plot line, unfold.
As we read in 1 Kings, Elijah has just received a death threat from Jezebel that sent him running for the wilderness. I’m sure Jezebel thought it was the epic defeat of the mighty prophet!
But from God’s perspective, it wasn’t so much a detour from the plan as it was a pit stop to prepare him for what was next. Let’s look quickly at what happened to Elijah under the tree.
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
1 Kings 19:1 - 5
In this passage we see Elijah ready to give up, succumbing to the spirit of slumber. Think about it–this was a powerful man of God who just watched the Lord come down from Heaven with fire to consume his enemies–why would one word from Jezebel send him running? Well, he had been in an intense battle with Jezebel who was in power indirectly through the manipulation of King Ahab and he was worn down. In this state, the Lord knew that the upcoming journey was going to be too much for him. He needed a pit stop, a fresh encounter, and this wilderness was the perfect place. It was the perfect set up for this moment that would re-direct, re-set and re-calibrate him.
"All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
1 Kings 19:5 - 8
Many in the body–the prophets and watchmen–are battling these same symptoms (fear, intimidation, isolation) and when we do, we often beat ourselves up about it. We say things like… “Don’t give in to the fear and intimidation. Don’t isolate. Don’t do what Elijah did.” But we, like Elijah are 100% human. God is aware of this fact and is quite comfortable with it. He knows that every once in a while, we need a pit stop to be recalibrated so that we can be catapulted forward. He knows that we all need a wilderness and a whisper.
9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He 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.”
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He 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.”
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anointJehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
1 Kings 19:9 - 18
Surely the Lord was in this place of exile! There was new strength and a new assignment that was delivered in this pit stop, in this place of recalibration. And oddly enough, it involved going back the very same way Elijah came; going back to the very same situation that drove him out; the very same situation that left him saying (paraphrased), “I’m the only prophet left and I’m stuck dealing with the same rebellious Israelites.” But the difference this time was that he heard the whisper of the Lord.
He could now be directed not by acts of great power, but by the small whispers. He could be as confident in the whisper as he was in the demonstrations of God’s power. Remember, Elijah knew God by His acts of mighty power, but what recalibrated Him was when he heard His whisper. He SAW God in His power (fire, wind, earthquake), but what caused him to step out in his anointing (wrapping his cloak around his face) was when he HEARD him come close and whisper. This would be the nourishment he needed to give him strength for the journey.
After this recalibration where his hearing was fine-tuned, Elijah was empowered to walk back into the same culture, environment, threats, with a fresh fire, fresh assignment and fresh confidence.
This is a picture of where many in the Body of Christ are at. If you are facing the feelings of fear and intimidation, find yourself sitting under a tree pleading with God to take you from your assignment, from your battle, from your life – know that you are being set up for a recalibration.
He wants to encounter you not with power, but with His gentle whisper that speaks of closeness and a deepening relationship. It pushes past the need to only see things shift in the natural or getting direction on a dream to receiving a revelation about the character of God. This will ground you, hold you and propel you forward. We don’t learn to trust God through His mighty acts of power (fire, wind, earthquakes), but by the revelation of the depth of His nature that is experienced through relationship – the whisper.
If this witnesses to you and you’re in the wilderness, trust that He’s recalibrating you. Listen for the whisper.
Activation for our nation
Continue to break agreement and repent of the spirit of slumber over yourself and our nation. On a personal level, do things in the natural to combat that tired feeling so that you are able to engage in your assignment for our nation in this season – exercise, eat well, do things that bring refreshment.
Decree that your spirit, soul and body will receive nourishment. Activate angels to bring nourishment to the Body across the nation.
Decree that hearing in the Body and across our nation is being recalibrated – even if we can’t see God, we will hear Him. When we hear correctly our vision will be developed and our assignment released.
Decree that the Body of Christ across the nation is entering a season of the revelation of the nature of the Father and ask for the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation to reveal Jesus to us. Read the Gospels and let the Holy Spirit reveal the nature of the Father to you through Jesus.
We encourage you to begin taking communion daily through this season. It is a two-fold prophetic act of:
2. Entering into the breaking of witchcraft over the nation of Canada. This was a word that was confirmed by one of our regional prayer team members about the importance of taking communion in this season for the nation of Canada.
Join us on Sunday, July 7 at 7pm for The Ascent. This is an appointment that we make with God to worship, declare scriptures, release prophetic words, dances and songs. It’s a night where we position ourselves to listen and respond together as a regional family. Hope to see you there!