1 Kings 19:9-16
9And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and behold the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
10And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
11And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
14And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
15And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:
16And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
Elijah was in the wrong place. He got caught off guard, He expected Jezebel to welcome him but she chased him. He was not ready for her reception. Are you ready for what is coming next?
If time will permit this morning I would like to give you five principles for your life, career, and your family. Without these principles you may as well find yourself in a cave. Elijah was doing what he thought was best but found himself in a cave and it was not the place God intend for him in his life at this time yet he was discourage with life.
There are so many people who are just unhappy with life. Without holding your hands up have you ever been in that place of unhappiness?
I can recall summoning the leadership team of St. Peter together to come up with a vision statement for the church. This might sound weird for a church that has operated successful since 1867 and had built many sanctuaries and released numbers of pastor, evangelist and musician to now be talking vision. The earlier fore parents understood their purpose just like in Acts 4:20 the earlier church had it together. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
What they were doing was speaking the gospel of what they had seen and heard. They were not protesting the Sanhedrin or the Roman government nor struggling to find grants to feed the poor or educate the youth. They understood their mandate and calling.
Peter and John went everywhere telling people what they had seen and heard. That is still the Christians job today. When we get side tracked from the Vision we misinterpret what it is that God wants and find ourselves in the wrong place in our lives.
No vision means we lack a defining purpose in life – a compelling motive for getting out of bed and getting busy doing something meaningful. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me, Jesus told His disciples. “Night is coming, when no one can work”. Michelangelo purchased a large stone and had it taken to his home. Someone asked him what he was going to do with the stone he replied “there is an angel inside trying to get out and I must help.” He had Vision!
Vision is what makes up press on when the work becomes difficult…. 1 Corinthians 16:8-9 I will stay, because a good opportunity for a great and growing work has been given to me now. And there are many people working against me.
Without Vision most people see opposition as a reason to quit but Paul stated something I had missed in my studies. Opportunities are often found in obstacles. Just so often we move away from what God’s will to avoid opposition without vision. Two men went to Africa to sell shoes and both men saw the same thing people without shoes but the respond was different. One man said, “Send me a ticket for I see no opportunity for no one here wear shoes.” The other man said, “Send me all the shoes you have for no one here has any shoes.” The difference is one man had Vision and the other didn’t.
Please don’t let this word trouble you as it did me when I first heard it. Division means dividing up the responsibilities and bringing together the task and talents, the assignments and abilities, so that each stage of the work is in the hands of the most capable person. I have seen in marriages that a man who couldn’t handle the money would have to much pride to say to his wife “I will work and you will manage the money so here is my check.” “Just give me an allowance.” Matthew 25:21 says, The master answered, “You did well. You are a good servant who can be trusted. You did well with small things. So I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my happiness with me.”
Joseph became second in command in Egypt but first he had to manage Potiphar’s house and next the prison. He had an excellent record so he got noticed. Too often we want to do the big things first and get angry and quit.
David destiny was to become King but first he had to take care of the sheep and play music for Saul. You must learn to serve!
Nehemiah was chosen to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem but first he had to be cupbearer for the Kings.
Often churches struggle because the wrong people are in the wrong place. People who lack heart, mind and desire for the work. Proper division.
Vision brings the organization alive and helps to keep it together, while division makes sure the right people are working in the right jobs.
Rockwell Manufacturing once displayed this slogan “The value of our employees is measured by the amount of supervision they require.”
Samuel Chand said you must grow or go! If a leader is spending all his or her time supervising then who is dreaming for the next big change.
I know we don’t like change but change happens all the time. Harris Teeter, Winn Dixie, A&P Grocery, out houses, outside plumbing, Black and White TVs, milk straight from the cow, raising your own chickens and producing your own eggs for breakfast, Glady’s Knight & The Pimps – Every Beat of My Heart , Ice Cube is now making movies, music artists are singing pop and góspel, Things are Changing.
Whenever God gives a Vision he will make Provision for it.
Start looking for people who can make you better. Make room for those who can stretch you! When the telephone was invented some experts said it was a toy with little to no practical usage. The radio was considered to be the radio craze and it wouldn’t last. New things will challenge our minds.
Hebrews 11:32-34 says, Do I need to give more examples? I do not have time to tell you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets.
33Through their faith they defeated kingdoms. They did what was right and received what God promised. They shut the mouths of lions,
34stopped great fires and were saved from being killed with swords. They were weak, and yet were made strong. They were powerful in battle and defeated other armies.
When we talk about God’s provisions we must never wait it. I believe we must respect time, talent, and resources that God provide through the people. Yes turn the lights off, turn the A/C down, and close the doors after you.
More than 5,000 People Fed
1After this, Jesus went across Lake Galilee (or, Lake Tiberias).
2Many people followed him because they saw the miracles he did to heal the sick.
3Jesus went up on a hill and there sat down with his followers.
4It was almost the time for the Jewish Passover Feast.
5Jesus looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him. He said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread for all these people to eat?”
6(Jesus asked Philip this question to test him. Jesus already knew what he planned to do.)
7Philip answered, “We would all have to work a month to buy enough bread for each person here to have only a little piece.”
8Another follower there was Andrew. He was Simon Peter’s brother. Andrew said,
9“Here is a boy with five loaves of barley bread and two little fish. But that is not enough for so many people.”
10Jesus said, “Tell the people to sit down.” This was a very grassy place. There were about 5,000 men who sat down there.
11Then Jesus took the loaves of bread. He thanked God for the bread and gave it to the people who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish. He gave them as much as they wanted.
12They all had enough to eat. When they had finished, Jesus said to his followers, “Gather the pieces of fish and bread that were not eaten. Don’t waste anything.”
13So they gathered up the pieces that were left. They filled 12 large baskets with the pieces that were left of the five barley loaves.
Look at verse 12, He had them gather up the leftovers for another day. We waste too much and then cannot figure out what happen to our resources. Start respecting what God had provided.
Large and successful companies have finally learned how to revisit their success yearly. Just because it worked in 2012 does not mean it will be successful in 2013. We have moved from a local economy to a global economy.
Things are not just measured by the local vendors but global Walmart set the new standards. Your local doctor does not own his practice but the hospital does. Change is all around us and we must learn how to embrace and use it to the Glory of God.
Churches are dying because they will not change. Marriages are dying because one person wants change. Business is dying because management will not change.
Wake up to Proverbs 27:5-6
Open rebuke is better than secret love.
6Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
We have been saved to tear down Satan’s Kingdom but he is attacking the church because he uses a different favor but the same deception. Fear, envy, jealousy, lies, backbiting, hypocrisy all to destroy the work of the Lord.
Let us together catch the Vision, Seek to understand Division, Operate under Supervision, Respect Provision, and not fear Revision.