A very long time ago, (especially for those of you who weren’t born before the Saturday afternoon show, “Wide World of Sports”), there was this incredible opening line,
“The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!”
Recently I came across a winner’s story who experienced both of those extremes in the example of the prophet, Elijah. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah had just kicked some Baal prophet butt! He had challenged the prophets of Baal to a dual, and by the end of the day, it was:
Prophets of Baal – 0
Prophet of God – Won!
After this great miracle of God, Elijah ordered that the prophets of Baal be executed. Unfortunately, this royally ticked off, Jezebel, the queen of Israel. She sent a message to Elijah telling him that by the end of the next day, he would be as dead as the prophets of Baal. Then something happened that was just as amazing as the miracle God had performed—Elijah was terrified and ran.
Excuse me? Wasn’t this the guy who not only:
- Defeated the bungling prophets of Baal by drenching an altar to God with enough water to float a pile of rocks and . . .
- Who called down fire from heaven to lick the soggy sacred stones drier than the humor on the TV show, “The Office”
- And then knocked off every one of those powerless prophets of Baal better than Don Vito Corleone in “The Godfather.”
Dissecting the Mind of a Prophet
What could have caused a man to cower and run who clearly had felt the “thrill of victory” by defeating the prophets of Baal—literally wiping them out of the land—just days before?
As I’ve said in my last post, When You’re on the Hot Seat, strong emotion distorts our thinking. But keep in mind, not only does strong emotion distort our thinking but also extreme swings of emotion can easily warp our point of view—going from the thrill to agony in one fell swoop. This huge slide took Elijah from being on top of the world to having a bull’s eye on his back and it sent him reeling toward the loser’s circle.
If emotions hadn’t been a factor, Elijah would have realized that God was going to protect him. And in time, God would turn Queen Jezebel into a “meal fit for Rover” (2 Kings 9:30 – 37). God helped to calm Elijah’s emotions and brought his perspective and faith back into view. So my question for you is . . .
What strong emotions or emotional swings are distorting your view and your faith in God? If you are on that emotional roller coaster, then try these two important strategies:
- Begin to pray about your emotion on a daily basis, being completely honest with God who already knows more about your feelings than you do.
- Find a trusted Christian friend and/or counselor who can help you to process your emotions in a positive direction.
If you do this, you will find that not only does your clearer perspective return, but also your faith will increase. And then you’ll be able, with God’s help, to face down any queen or king-sized threat in your life.