I am convinced that the solution to the mismatch of emotions with experience is to change how we perceive the experience. In that light, my feelings of defeat are shown to be false…which matches with what the Bible tells me both about our victory in Christ and about the deceitfulness of my heart. Now, others’ confusion at my peculiar view of sports, art, and media is the source of my sense of victory. And it correlates with the Truth.
Like Cane, I am convinced. However, this is an area where I sometimes struggle to put the force of action behind my conviction. Too often I find myself listening to my deceitful heart and saying with Elijah “I alone am left.” In such times, I refer to Paul’s comments on Elijah’s struggle.
God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. —Romans 11:2-6 (ESV)
I have had many real life conversations lately where people have been drawn to me, ask me questions, because my Biblical perspective is so different than anything they have run into, even in the church. That’s success, and I know it. But it doesn’t always feel like success, and sometimes it takes real effort to beat down those feelings with the Truth of Scripture.
The feelings of aloneness. “I’m the only one left, boo-hoo-hoo.” Thank God for the record of Elijah struggling with the same thing, because it feels like a pretty childish sentiment to admit to.
Childish as it may seem, it has been a struggle for better men than I. And I know it is not just me. Pointing out the ways in which the church at large has abandoned its calling, and the inevitable results of such renegation, (the role of the prophet from the earliest times) is a lonely undertaking. The Devil is crafty enough to try to turn that into a sense of abandonment.
Are you feeling abandoned today? Like you are the only one left seeking to follow in the way of righteousness?
That feeling is a lie.
Elijah felt that way right before God led Him to Elisha, the disciple that was to not only continue his ministry but receive a double portion of his spirit. Elijah’s sense of abandonment was so great that he asked God to let him die. The Devil wanted to keep him from ever meeting and discipling Elisha.
Maybe the Devil is trying to limit your effectiveness through feelings of aloneness. If so, tell him to fuck off.
Christ promised that He would be with us until the end of the world, and that’s the best company a man could ask for.