“What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” (1 Kings 19:9-10, ESV).
Elijah has had stunning spiritual victories. God had confirmed His prophet before all Israel by sending fire from Heaven to consume the sacrifice, displaying powerfully that God is God! Elijah also prayed, and God ended the three-and-a-half-year famine by sending a deluge of rain. And if that wasn’t enough, God’s hand came upon Elijah to outrun King Ahab’s chariot back to Jezreel. It had been, by anyone’s definition, a good day in the Kingdom!
And yet, immediately afterward, we find Elijah discouraged, and afraid of what wicked Queen Jezebel might do to him. This highlights two issues we may find ourselves facing: first, no matter the size of the victory, it is not so uncommon to immediately find ourselves attacked by the devil, feeling powerless, overcome with grief and fearful. Second, it highlights the power of the spirit realm and how important it is that we remain prayerful.
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2, NIV). Israel’s blessing and prosperity was directly connected to the type of rule they lived under. I believe the same is true for America, but that is another story. If Israel lived under a righteous king, blessing covered the land, but if a wicked ruler was in power, that wickedness trickled down and impacted the everyday life of the kingdom.
Queen Jezebel was, along with her wimpy husband, Ahab, arguably the most wicked ruler in Israel’s history. Even her name, is remembered synonymously with rebellion, manipulation, and control.
Sadly, the same Jezebel spirit is present today. There probably isn’t a pastor anywhere who hasn’t dealt with this particular spirit; the type that likes to come into a church, snuggle up to the leadership as “God’s gift” to that church. Typically, they are a person with means or influence. But when the opportunity presents itself, they will work to gather the people against the leader and then attempt to sweep that leader out of the way. And if that pastor stands up to them, the result will be in the form of some consequence, either through gossip or some other form of division, at worst, splitting a church, leaving the pastor very discouraged.
I have experienced this Jezebel spirit on a couple of occasions, though nothing to the extent I’ve just described. As Christians, we are called to be a part of a body. I’ve never heard my finger complain because it isn’t the head. When the body works together, understanding that no “body” is perfect, life can be lived to its fullest; a great deal of progress can be made for the Kingdom of God. October is Pastor’s Appreciation month. I encourage you to thank your pastor for the blessing they are in your life. Be a blessing to them and help them build the Kingdom of God!
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.