In 1982, I had a critical decision to make. I got a call that seemed the perfect answer. Praying over it, I was drawn to a passage that didn’t seem to fit. Studying it however, it became clear.
In I Kings, 18, Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to bring down fire by praying to their god (Baal).
As the Baal bunch danced and chanted, Elijah mocked them. He taunted them to “yell louder.” Maybe Baal was far away or asleep. He said Baal could be “pursuing” (interpreted as Baal having a bowel movement).
The Baal bunch failed, and Elijah won. He had them all killed. God sent the rain and Elijah outran Ahab’s chariot to deliver the great news.
But then came the 19th chapter.
Queen Jezebel was mad about the Baal bunch slaughter. She said, “May the gods (blah, blah, blah) … if by this time tomorrow I do not…” (kill Elijah).
Elijah plunged into despair in a cave. There, he cried out to God for answers.
From the 11th through 13th verses (KJV), “… 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: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And 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…”
Think About it…
When praying for answers, I would be awestruck if a tornado blew, an earthquake rumbled, or fire fell. Elijah ignored all those, waiting for the voice of God.
When he heard that, he got up.
We must distinguish between distractions and opportunities. God was not in that exciting first answer I got in 1982. It’s now clear how it would have not led to my work in this calling today.
Elijah had a lot more work to do, battles to fight and a successor to train.
Work at what you are called to. Rout both threats and distractions (they’re from the same source); stay on course. The only real opportunity is what He called you to.