Power to overcoming the fear

After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.”  So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.

1 Kings 18:1-2

How awful this journey was!

The Lord hid the prophet Elijah for three years. At that time, the idolatrous King Ahab set everything in motion to find this man of God whom he hated so much. He wanted to execute him. But Elijah was at peace in God’s hands. And now the Lord sends Elijah from himself. “Go, show yourself to Ahab!” That means going into the lion’s den! That means running to your death with your eyes open! “And Elijah went.”

We might be tempted to start talking about the heroic fearlessness of that strong man. However, I do not believe that Elijah was fearless at all. I am convinced that fear and terror reigned in his heart as well. But the decisive thing is that he did not surrender to this fear. He overcame his temper.

This is an important aspect of the gospel: there is power to overcome one’s own nature.

When Potiphar’s beautiful wife wanted to seduce young Joseph, his blood must have stirred. But he did not surrender to that, but said: “Well, how could I do such a great evil and sin against God!” It is overcoming own nature.

When Jeremiah was called to be a prophet, he saw in his spirit the troubles that this call would lead him into, so he declared in fear: “I am a child!” But then, as a messenger of the living God, he turned against the whole world. That’s overcoming own nature!

Something like this is possible thanks to Jesus, who took our old nature to death so that we could live with it according to the new nature. Lord, free us from ourselves and reign over us! Amen.

Posted in devotionals.