1. Many People Like Elijah Have an Identity Crisis
Elijah believed he was a victim - the lie that all the prophets in Israel were being killed. He ran away. But you can’t run away from God. God is not angry. Like a loving father God gently asks him what he is doing. God corrects him and gives him a powerful, nation changing mission. God is still with him and has preserved a remnant of 7,000 faithful believers in Israel.
· Many people in our time feel like victims.
· Discouraged by the dark time we are living in – declining faith and Church attendance, Covid isolation, a war in Ukraine and serious inflation
· Our dress has become black and more casual
· Many are depressed, eat or drink too much, overdose on drugs etc.
· Many have lost their identity – believe their life has no purposeor they are no-good, not loved or not wanted
2. Father God Still Talks to Us
Pentecost is the season of the Holy Spirit guiding and healing people. Many people have had experiences of Holy Spirit guiding their daily lives:
· Notice how gentle God is with Elijah – no judgement, just provision and re-direction
· Friend who has conversations, even arguments with God
· Pentecost is the long story of the Holy Spirit comforting and guiding Paul and the leaders of the early Church – should be our model
· My experience on retreat with strategic planning – “do you think you might know someone who could help you make a plan?”
3. Father God Empowers His Children for Ministry
In Galatians (3.23-29) Paul explains that “So in Christ you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (27-28) This is our new identity as baptized children of God. Paul explains that as God’s children, we are inheritors of God’s authority and power in-Christ:
· Cloths indicate identity and authority – my Sylvan Lake and robe stories.
· We do not have spiritual authority in ourselves, our spiritual authority and power is “in Christ”
· Challenge is for us to believe this and step out in ministry
· Jesus did say we would do ever greater things (John 14.12)
· Jesus spent most of His time going around the country teaching, healing the sick and delivering the spiritually oppressed
· Without the healing ministry of repentance, confession and absolution; spiritual oppression can grow into control and even in rare cases possession
· Jesus healing of the demon possessed man is about as empowered as it gets
· Some of us have seen or even participated in modern deliverance ministry
· Good News is that we have a very powerful new identity - and are expected to use it, like Elijah, for God’s work in the world
· We are not victims – we are victorious children of God!