I Kings 19:1-8
1. Often Christians give the impression: that we have it together. There is no room for failure.
2. Let’s be honest. When God got you and when He got me He got a failure. A failure is one
who doesn’t have it together. It is one who doesn’t have all the answers.
3. How does God deal with failure? In I Kings 19:1-8 Elijah fails miserably. How does God
deal with a man or woman who felt like a failure?
How does God deal with a failure?
I. THE CAUSE FOR FAILURE 19:1-4
We get our eyes off of God.
A. May Be People
1.Jezebel has been waiting since morning for some word. Ahab runs in and tells the whole story.
2.All that Elijah had done…how he had slain all the prophets. God-rejecters cannot see the hand of God (His goodness, provisions, power). If you stand for Jesus many people won’t understand. They should say how great God is. They should be amazed at what God has done. If not, they will want to kill the messenger!
3.Sometimes we let people stand in the road of what God wants…we fail!
B.May Be Pressure 2
1. Jezebel’s reputation as high priestess of Baal was on the line.
2.What Elijah had done to the prophets would be done to him! “Tomorrow you will not see the sun rise!”
3.Pressure is a major cause of failure! Peer Pressure…Job Pressure…Financial Pressure…Family Pressure…Media Pressure (Texting, Facebook, Tik Tok), etc.
C. May Be Perspective 3
1.When he saw he ran for his life to Beersheba…Beersheba was 150 miles south. It was the southernmost city in Judah. It was the end of the civilized world.
2.He jumps from the frying pan into the fire. (Jehoshaphat…king of Judah…his son had married the daughter of Ahab (22:4). This shows how there was a vital connection to Ahab).
3.He leaves his servant and runs as far as his legs would carry him into the desert.
4.This was his real problem: “He Saw”. Peter walked on water until he saw the waves. Elijah was occupied with Jezebel…her fury…her wickedness…her threats. He forgot about the fire from heaven…the miracles. God no longer occupied his vision.
5.His life was now a life of SELF preservation. He no longer put God first. He no longer was living for others.
6.Without Him we are nothing. The strongest becomes the weakest when we lose sight of Him. Yesterday’s victories don’t make it for today’s battles. He saw and self took over. Get your eyes off of Jesus and you will fail!
D. May Be Physical 4
Elijah ran until he felt he was out of the reach of Jezebel.
1.Totally exhausted…he wanted to die (4b) What happened to: If God be God…live for Him. He sat down under a broom bush. Feeling sorry for himself, he wanted to die!
2.Realize all the physical and emotional strain Elijah has gone through. He prayed to God and fire fell. He was responsible for the execution of 450 prophets of Baal. He prayed for rain and it rained. He ran 150 miles to this place. Physically Elijah was over worked…over wrought…over worried with little sleep, under tremendous strain, and he has eaten regularly.
3.Watch at times of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. You are a prime target for failure. Never make any major decisions at this time! Elijah is a failure!
How does God deal with a failure?
II. THE COMFORT IN FAILURE 19:5-8
Is it time for a lecture or condemnation? Does God grant him his wish to die? NO! God meets
his needs in His way right where he is!
A. Rest 5a, 6b
He laid down
1. He gives his beloved sleep (Ps. 127:2)
2.So often we need physical rest. We need to get away. We need to breathe.
3.We also need to rest in who He is and what He has done. REST.
B. Refreshment 5b, 6a
“Arise and eat” A cake baked on the coal and a cruse of water.
1.God did what he couldn’t.
2.My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19)
3.How often we need refreshed. Sleep and a proper diet are important. Spiritually, we must feed on His word and be washed by the washing of water by the word. This is so needed after failure!
C. Revitalization 7
The angel of the Lord touched him.
1.The Source: the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament is the pre-incarnate Christ. We need time alone with Him. Spend more time in the Word. Take time to reflect.
2.The Sense: He touched him God needs to touch us. He needs to touch our hearts in times of failure. Get close to Him. Intentionally, find that quiet place.
3.The Second: He came a second time. God knows what we need. He knows what lies ahead. We must come in contact with the living God. Initially, this is at salvation and then moment by moment absolute surrender to Him. This is essential for a failure!
D. Realization 7b
The journey is too great for thee.
1.This was something Elijah and we have to learn. Our strength won’t make it!!
2.Elijah was to travel 200 more miles. The journey is too great for you.
3.You may think that you are sufficient for the battles of life…The journey is too great for you. You may think that you are good enough for God’s heaven…The journey is too great for you. You need a Savior!
4. O, to realize that I cannot live this life in my strength. I dare not take one step without Christ. Without me you can do nothing.
5.What God gave was enough. (v. 8)
What does God do with failures?
“I’m not through with you yet, let’s go!”
He puts His arms around us and walks with us!
What If I Am Just A Failure?
What if I am just a failure? What if all I’ve seemed to do is travel on and leave
in shambles what I’ve touched as I’ve passed through?
What if as a parent or a mate I’ve seemed to fail? What if I’ve to crime resorted?
What if I’ve been sent to jail?
What if I have lost a fortune? Foolish waste has cost it all. What if every turn
I’ve taken led me up against a wall?
How can ever in this life Jesus use a man like me? How can Jesus use a failure?
What good on earth could my life be?
Friend, Jesus shops for future leaders often in the failure store. Often those He
picks to cherish have been tried and failed before.
But through failure’s crushing signals oft’ there breathes a dying breath, and a
God of resurrection has a life to bring from death.
From the rubbish heap of failure Sovereign Holiness will choose men and
women oft’ defeated, saying, “Here’s one I can use.”
So it was to be with Elijah. He called fire down. He heard the voice of God his
chore. Not until he’d failed, could Elijah grasp the grace God had in store.
That’s the message oft’ repeated from the Holy Spirit’s pen: God delights to
turn life’s failures into His holy, successful men.