And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. -I Kings 19:7, 8 (KJV)
Andrea and I have a dream we hope to pursue one day. Our dream is to take about two weeks off and drive all the way to California seeing as many sites along the way as possible. Neither of us has ever been that far west, so the trip would be a new experience for us. Once we reach California, we want to see the Pacific Ocean before turning around and heading back. I know in my heart such a journey would enrich us in many ways.
The Scripture shows how after the contest on Mount Carmel between the prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal that Elijah journeyed for a period of forty days and nights until he reached Horeb, the sacred mountain of God. Elijah’s journey was not for spiritual renewal or reflection. Instead he was running in fear for his life. The wicked queen Jezebel had vowed to kill Elijah for what had happened on Mount Carmel where Elijah had slain the pagan prophets who had been leading Israel astray. Before Elijah’s forty day journey he had gone into the wilderness where he suffered a sort of physical and spiritual breakdown. His words reflect the desperation which was in his heart: “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers” (I Kings 19:4). This doesn’t sound like the same prophet who had stood on the mountain in the presence of the people and prayed for the fire of God to fall. No, this sounds like a depressed and discouraged man.
How amazing was the manner in which the Lord empowered Elijah to rise up and move forward. The Lord sustained the prophet and helped him to travel the forty day journey to a place of spiritual renewal and restoration. Yet we see the prophet still needed confirmation of the power of God. While hiding in a cave the Lord invited Elijah to again witness the wonder and holiness of God. The gentle whisper came, Elijah’s spirit was renewed, and he walked forward in faith.
Last February I embarked on a forty day journey of arising each day at 4:15 AM for the purpose of praying and communing with the Lord. This experience utterly changed my life. At the end of the forty day faith journey I felt spiritually renewed in ways I had never experienced before. The forty day journey has ended, yet I continue to arise each day before dawn to seek the Lord. Like Elijah, each day I experience the gentle whisper of God’s voice.
Begin a new journey of faith in the Lord. Let Christ draw you in closer as never before. Seek Him today, for He is waiting to increase your faith.