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Strategies from the Land of the Damned

'Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.'
-1 Kings 19.3

A bit of passion doesn't make the dull, dry, and colourless lands of the damned particularly nervous.

Our enemy is may be a bit nervous when he sees a Christian who is fervent in prayer, obedience, and witness. But he's not overwhelmed. Elijah was all those things - yet he ran from Jezebel shortly after he had won a major victory. 

Jezebel may acknowledge that Elijah wins a battle. But she does not concede the war.

Our being fervent for God will not make hell nervous if we are not also consistent with God. A branch may bear much fruit for one season, but if it’s not holding tightly to the vine, it will cease to bear to bear fruit and wither. When the devil sees a Christian praying and speaking of God with zeal, he often quips, ‘We’ll come back later.’ 

And our enemy knows when the best ‘later’ will be.

It is written about Satan that he left Jesus until ‘an opportune time’. He imagined that there would be a time when Jesus would more vulnerable to attack than others. Jezebel issued her intimidating threat to Elijah right after his great victory - when he was tired. And it worked.

This is why Scripture calls us to be continually watchful and alert. If our spiritual life begins to sleep, we open ourselves up to spiritual temptations and attacks that we thought we’d never be susceptible to.

I, Peter.

Peter was one such man. He was one of Jesus’ best friends and was bold and zealous for his master. But the night Jesus was killed, he fell asleep when Jesus had invited him to stay up and pray with him. Peter ended up denying that he even knew Jesus – something he had vowed that he’d never do – just hours after this nap. Peter knew from experience what it is like to let your spiritual guard down. This is why he would later write to all of us, ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith’ (1 Peter 5).

Learning to live an alert life is a key to life-long spiritual fruitfulness. Jezebel is willing to concede one lost battle to a bold Elijah if she is able to catch him asleep to the grace of God later in the war.

There are many potential young Elijah’s who see time with God as a means to an end. They see a big battle approaching and get all prayed up so that they may get victory over her. They rightfully should. 

But we are called to be watchful with God in all seasons - as we don't know when the battle will come. If we only focus on the battles we win for God – and not equally the life we live with God – then the devil will not find it too hard to take us out.
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bkFor a look at how the Gospel helps build satisfying friendship across the gender divide, check out Forbidden Friendships - available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle in the USA and the UK.


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