When we want to quit

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Vital Men Devotions

When we want to quitFor me, one of the most surreal stories in all Scripture involves the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 19. To understand how crazy this story is, we need to start in 1 Kings 18. After 3 1/2 years without rain, things came to a head in Israel. The King, under the strict thumb of his idolatrous wife, agreed to a contest with Elijah on a mountaintop. On one side stood Elijah, representing the God of Israel, and on the other stood 850 prophets representing idols. Whoever could call down fire would be the winner. Most you you know this story well. The army of prophets danced and screamed, and nothing happened. Elijah, however, simply asked God for help, and God rained down fire from heaven. In an instant Elijah had proved God’s supremacy to the entire nation. As if that was insufficient, God also sent rain, ending the drought. Think about this for a moment: within a matter of hours Elijah stood up to the King, defeated 850 prophets, called down fire from heaven, and made it rain. So, what was Elijah’s response? He wanted to quit. Today I want us to examine the times when we want to quit following God’s path, and how we can keep following even when its excruciatingly difficult.

Elijah wanted to quit because the Queen soon ordered his capture and death. He had seen God do the impossible, yet he allowed his doubt to overtake him. 

Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 1 Kings 19:3-4

I know from hundreds of interactions with Christian leaders and pastors, as well as my own, that the urge to quit serving God can be powerful. Our small group doesn’t go well, so we want to quit leading. Our Sunday school students are out of control, so we want to quit teaching. A neighbor has rejected our invite to church five times, so we want to quit sharing. A relative keeps mistreating us, so we want to quit the relationship. When things get difficult we are often like Elijah: we are ready to quit. We, however, need to look at the rest of the story. God shows Elijah why he shouldn’t quit, making five major points that are equally true today. 

  1. God provides what we need (v.5-8)
  2. God has a plan (v. 15-16)
  3. We don’t need to work alone (v.17)
  4. We have more resources that we think (v. 18)

Here’s the big point: when we want to quit what we normally lack is faith. We lack a faith that God will provide, that God has a plan, that we can work with others, and that we don’t have enough resources. Its in those moments we need to think about how great our God is, and how great his plans are. Don’t quit and miss the opportunity for God to use you in mighty ways. Have faith in His plan and His power, and be prepared to see mighty things happen. 

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