This Experience Must Come

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This Experience Must Come

Postby John_Smith » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:32 am

Aug 11

Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha . . . saw him no more —2 Kings 2:11-12*

It is not wrong for you to depend on your “Elijah” for as long as God gives him to you. But remember that the time will come when he must leave and will no longer be your guide and your leader, because God does not intend for him to stay. Even the thought of that causes you to say, “I cannot continue without my ’Elijah.’ ” Yet God says you must continue.

Alone at Your “Jordan” (2 Kings 2:14*). The Jordan River represents the type of separation where you have no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one else can take your responsibility from you. You now have to put to the test what you learned when you were with your “Elijah.” You have been to the Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are facing it alone. There is no use in saying that you cannot go— the experience is here, and you must go. If you truly want to know whether or not God is the God your faith believes Him to be, then go through your “Jordan” alone.

Alone at Your “Jericho” (2 Kings 2:15*). Jericho represents the place where you have seen your “Elijah” do great things. Yet when you come alone to your “Jericho,” you have a strong reluctance to take the initiative and trust in God, wanting, instead, for someone else to take it for you. But if you remain true to what you learned while with your “Elijah,” you will receive a sign, as Elisha did, that God is with you.

Alone at Your “Bethel” (2 Kings 2:23*). At your “Bethel” you will find yourself at your wits’ end but at the beginning of God’s wisdom. When you come to your wits’ end and feel inclined to panic— don’t! Stand true to God and He will bring out His truth in a way that will make your life an expression of worship. Put into practice what you learned while with your “Elijah”— use his mantle and pray (see 2 Kings 2:13-14*). Make a determination to trust in God, and do not even look for Elijah anymore.


from My Utmost for His Highest

*1 Kings 2:11-25:

Intro (11-12)
Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan.

Jordon (14)
Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over.

Jericho (15-22)
Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him. Then they said to him, “Look now, there are fifty strong men with your servants. Please let them go and search for your master, lest perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.”
And he said, “You shall not send anyone.”
But when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, “Send them!” Therefore they sent fifty men, and they searched for three days but did not find him. 18 And when they came back to him, for he had stayed in Jericho, he said to them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not go’?”
Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.”
And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’” So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.

Bethel (23-25)
Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”
So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.
Then he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.



How many of us leave the Lord, when Elijah leaves us? It is easy, to follow the Bible when you are a child, and your parents take you to church once a week. But what about when we move out, and are now responsible ourselves, over our own spiritual life? What happens when we no longer have anyone in flesh to look over us, and baby us through our bible studies and prayers?
There are multiple times in our lives, where God will take a step back, and give us complete control over these matters. And not everyone chooses to open the bible, and continue their prayers.
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Re: This Experience Must Come

Postby drill » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:44 am

While I still live with my parents, I don't think much would change other than possibly going to a smaller church than what we go to now. My faith has been my own for a good 4-5 years, and I plan to keep it that way. What about you? Is your faith your own now, or has Elijah left and you are unsure what to do?

Just a good idea for now on, maybe you could answer your own questions to get the ball rolling a bit better. Also, thanks for starting these devotions up again! :D
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Re: This Experience Must Come

Postby ClaecElric4God » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:00 pm

This reminds me of the discouraging rate of teenagers/young adults who stop going to church when they move out. Their Bibles stay untouched, they never speak with God, and slowly but surely their lives shrivel up spiritually and you'd never know they were a Christian from their lifestyle. What is it that holds us to our faith, I wonder? I personally am terrified at the thought of leaving God. Not that I'm scared He's standing over me with a crowbar ready to smack me if I stray, but that I love Him so dearly it scares me to realize that I'm not any more spiritual than anyone else, I'm not the exception to the rule, and I could be that young adult who gives up on God just because I don't have the support of parents/authority figures. I can't imagine ever leaving God or quitting serving Him, but that just reminds me how naive I am, and that the Christian life is a constant battle, where Satan is just waiting for you to let your guard down so he can jump in and drag you away from God. So it's good to have a reminder of how weak my faith is, and that I need to remember why I serve Him instead of just going through the motions. Because when times get hard and distractions come along, I need to be firmly grounded in Christ, and not just "what I've been taught".
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? -Micah 6:8 KJV
They have shewed thee, O teen, what is good; and what doth the world require of thee, but to fit in, be wealthy, have good looks, and be rebellious? -Peer Pressure 1:1
"I hate milk; it's like drinking vomit." -Edward Elric and me. :fmed:
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ClaecElric4God in regards to Wolfsong - You're the coolness scraped off the top of this morning's ice cream, after being pulled out of a beautiful summer day!
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Re: This Experience Must Come

Postby drill » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:16 pm

ClaecElric4God wrote:This reminds me of the discouraging rate of teenagers/young adults who stop going to church when they move out. Their Bibles stay untouched, they never speak with God, and slowly but surely their lives shrivel up spiritually and you'd never know they were a Christian from their lifestyle. What is it that holds us to our faith, I wonder? I personally am terrified at the thought of leaving God. Not that I'm scared He's standing over me with a crowbar ready to smack me if I stray, but that I love Him so dearly it scares me to realize that I'm not any more spiritual than anyone else, I'm not the exception to the rule, and I could be that young adult who gives up on God just because I don't have the support of parents/authority figures. I can't imagine ever leaving God or quitting serving Him, but that just reminds me how naive I am, and that the Christian life is a constant battle, where Satan is just waiting for you to let your guard down so he can jump in and drag you away from God. So it's good to have a reminder of how weak my faith is, and that I need to remember why I serve Him instead of just going through the motions. Because when times get hard and distractions come along, I need to be firmly grounded in Christ, and not just "what I've been taught".


Interestingly enough, I would probably consider you one of the exceptions to the rule. Think about it, the people that strayed away from their faith were more than likely not worrying about it when they were still at home. The very fact that you are worrying about your faith means you care about it and proves that it is your own, not just inherited from someone else. To answer your question, once you get beyond going through the motions, that is when you start to really take hold of your faith. I will also point out (as this happened to a good friend of my mother recently), that being too emotional about your faith is one of the major factors that can make you leave your faith as you are subject to not always have the emotional high that you think you ought to have. Lastly, I wouldn't just blame Satan for every bit of evil their is, or even taking you away from God. Think about it, God is the ONLY omnipotent being there is, meaning that Satan actually can't be everywhere at once to stray you and everyone else away from God. Our own sinful desires are usually the key to us straying away from God, and we need to make sure we are able to win against our own desires though God.
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Re: This Experience Must Come

Postby Nate » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:26 pm

drill wrote:To answer your question, once you get beyond going through the motions, that is when you start to really take hold of your faith.

I disagree, getting beyond going through the motions is the point at which my faith started to waver and shrink. If I'd been able to keep going through the motions I wouldn't have the crisis of faith I've had for the past decade or so. :V
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Ezekiel 23:20
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Re: This Experience Must Come

Postby John_Smith » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:37 am

drill wrote:While I still live with my parents, I don't think much would change other than possibly going to a smaller church than what we go to now. My faith has been my own for a good 4-5 years, and I plan to keep it that way. What about you? Is your faith your own now, or has Elijah left and you are unsure what to do?


Had a long day yesterday, and didn't have the energy to respond to this before. I think you're right, and I'm thinking about how to maybe make my comments more personal. Through, in complete honesty, I'm scared stiff that someone's going to take offence to half the stuff I write, so I'm a little hesitant.
In any case, my main goal in what I write in the initial posts is to offer a short, 21st century summery of what the passage says. Oswald Chambers can be confusing, so I want to make the information seem a little more approachable. I got a little more 'preachy' here I think because the passage is more straight forward (perhaps because there's only a single source of scripture).

drill wrote:Just a good idea for now on, maybe you could answer your own questions to get the ball rolling a bit better. Also, thanks for starting these devotions up again! :D

And thank-you for taking the time to post (Same to Nate and Claec)!

Well, I'm a little unusual in this regard. If I have an Elijah, then it would be my grandparents. I spend my childhood, during the school year with my parents, where I had virtually no Christian influences, and during the summer with my grandparents, who are churchgoers. During the school year, I was faced with very clear options: Live as a Christian by yourself, with no one but God to guide you, or don't live as a Christian at all.
The summer time became a sanctuary for me, a time when I could be spoon fed spiritual food. Essentially, you could say God used this as a means of training me to be ready to have a faith as a adult.

ClaecElric4God wrote:This reminds me of the discouraging rate of teenagers/young adults who stop going to church when they move out. Their Bibles stay untouched, they never speak with God, and slowly but surely their lives shrivel up spiritually and you'd never know they were a Christian from their lifestyle. What is it that holds us to our faith, I wonder?

This is exactly what inspired the direction I took in the initial post.

drill wrote:Interestingly enough, I would probably consider you one of the exceptions to the rule. Think about it, the people that strayed away from their faith were more than likely not worrying about it when they were still at home. The very fact that you are worrying about your faith means you care about it and proves that it is your own, not just inherited from someone else.


I partially agree with this. Actually, I think I only disagree with your word choice. I believe it's all to common for us to think of ourselves as the 'exception to the rule,' which is dangerous. But I like: "The very fact that you are worrying about your faith means you care about it and proves that it is your own, not just inherited from someone else."
I think we all need a dash of 'What if my faith could die out?' You don't want a fire to happen it your house, but you fear the happening, so you make preparations in your house; fire alarms, and basic, 'what would I grab if I can only save one thing in the house?' plans.
When we marry, we don't plan on divorce, but divorces happen. I think then, that a young couple would be foolish to not to consider, ‘yes, it can happen to us,’ and figure out how to prevent such from happening.
The same, I propose for our faith. "Other Christians have lost theirs, so what do I do to hang on to mine?"


Nate wrote:I disagree, getting beyond going through the motions is the point at which my faith started to waver and shrink. If I'd been able to keep going through the motions I wouldn't have the crisis of faith I've had for the past decade or so. :V

If we define 'going through the motions' as elementary faith, then it isn't surprising for both doubting of faith and strengthen of faith to happen. It's God pushing us into new ground that we're not familiar with. I can honestly say I've experienced both.
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