Tag: Elijah

Take heed what you ask for!

Charles Spurgeonby Charles Spurgeon

“He prayed that he might die!” 1 Kings 19:4

It was a remarkable thing that the man who was never to die, for whom God had ordained an infinitely better lot, the man who would be carried to Heaven in a chariot of fire, and be translated that he should not see death–should thus pray, “Let me die! I am no better than my fathers.”

We have here a memorable proof that God does not always answer prayer in kind, though He always does in effect. He gave Elijah something better than that which he asked for, and thus really heard and answered him.

Strange was it that the lion-hearted Elijah should be so depressed by Jezebel’s threat as to ask to die–and blessedly kind was it on the part of our heavenly Father, that He did not give His desponding servant what he prayed for.

There is a limit to prayer. We are not to expect that God will give us everything we choose to ask for. We know that we sometimes ask, and do not receive, because we ask amiss.

If we ask for that which is not promised,
if we run counter to the spirit which the Lord would have us cultivate,
if we ask contrary to His will, or to the decrees of His providence,
if we ask merely for the gratification of our own ease,
if we ask without an eye to His glory,
–then we must not expect that we shall receive what we pray for.

Yet, if we do not receive the precise thing asked for, we shall receive an equivalent, and more than an equivalent, for it. As one remarks, “If the Lord does not pay in silver, He will in gold; and if He does not pay in gold, He will in diamonds!” If He does not give you precisely what you ask for, He will give you that which is tantamount to it, and that which you will greatly rejoice to receive in lieu thereof.

Be then, dear reader, much in prayer–but take heed what you ask for!

by Charles Spurgeon

Taking the Initiative Against Depression

Oswald Chambersby Oswald Chambers

The angel in this passage did not give Elijah a vision, or explain the Scriptures to him, or do anything remarkable. He simply told Elijah to do a very ordinary thing, that is, to get up and eat. If we were never depressed, we would not be alive— only material things don’t suffer depression. If human beings were not capable of depression, we would have no capacity for happiness and exaltation. There are things in life that are designed to depress us; for example, things that are associated with death. Whenever you examine yourself, always take into account your capacity for depression.

When the Spirit of God comes to us, He does not give us glorious visions, but He tells us to do the most ordinary things imaginable. Depression tends to turn us away from the everyday things of God’s creation. But whenever God steps in, His inspiration is to do the most natural, simple things— things we would never have imagined God was in, but as we do them we find Him there. The inspiration that comes to us in this way is an initiative against depression. But we must take the first step and do it in the inspiration of God. If, however, we do something simply to overcome our depression, we will only deepen it. But when the Spirit of God leads us instinctively to do something, the moment we do it the depression is gone. As soon as we arise and obey, we enter a higher plane of life.

by Oswald Chambers