“What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9
Life can change in an instant, challenging our beliefs and upending our emotions. Being in the wrong place emotionally takes us to the wrong place spiritually, and sometimes, even the wrong place physically. When that happens, the Lord pursues us in order to correct us. He often starts by asking the same question He asked Elijah, “What are you doing here?”
The prophet’s answer reveals a key problem—he’s making decisions based on how he feels. Elijah felt like the only one still faithful to the Lord (v10). His perception was based in fear, not on facts. Giving in to emotion clouds our judgment and gets in the way of hearing God clearly. And emotionally based decisions usually take us down the wrong path.
Elijah was in the wrong place because he was thinking the wrong way. You see, adversity doesn’t mean that something is wrong or that we’ve missed God’s will. Jezebel threatened Elijah because He obeyed the Lord. Likewise, living out our faith will get us into more trouble than not. But if we go into self-protection mode we’ll try to hide instead of boldly stand on God’s Word.
In order to hear God clearly, Elijah was told to “stand on the mountain before the Lord.” Then he learned the difference between noise and the voice of God. The Lord didn’t correct His prophet by speaking in the strong wind, the earthquake, or the fire but in a gentle blowing wind (vv11-12). The Father still speaks to His children in a still small voice. The question is, are we learning to discern His voice from the noise of the world?
Once God determined that Elijah was listening, He asked again, “What are you doing here?” (v13). God didn’t berate or belittle Elijah. He just laid out the facts, which were far different than Elijah’s feelings led him to believe. Not only were there thousands still faithful, there was one to carry on Elijah’s work (vv18-19).
Are you in the wrong place today—emotionally, spiritually, or even physically? Then get before the Lord and shut off the noise. Turn off your phone, open your Bible, and expect God to speak. Give the truth of His Word priority over your feelings. As you do, He’ll lovingly correct your misconceptions and set your feet on the right path.