Lessons In Times of Loneliness
I Kings 19
This time of loneliness and solitude in Elijah’s life was the result of:
- His Failure to Remember – the previous chapter (especially God’s hand on him)
- His Fear of Revenge – vs. 1-3
- His Foolishness to Remain together – he left his servant in verse 3 (isolation is many times self inflicted)
- His Feeling of Regret – vs. 4
I. A Time of Private Rejuvenation
Sometimes a time of solitude is a time for God to personally minister to you.
Notice God sent an angel to minister to him in his time of loneliness.
- He needed sleep.
- He needed nourishment.
- He needed personal attention from God.
And he got it.
God knows what you need, and when you need it.
Notice the effect this time of private rejuvenation had on Elijah:
He revived, and went on the strength of that food to Mt. Sinai.
The distance is 160 – 220 map miles south of Beer-sheba, perhaps 420 miles by the published roads, most of which skirt the center and go along the edges of the sea. The terrain is rugged.
It would take roughly 20 days of ordinary walking plus climbing the 7,000 foot jagged peak of Mt. Sinai/Moriah. It took 40 days, averaging 10 miles a day, and he did not eat on the journey.
II. A Time of Providential Revelation
It was during this time alone that God showed up personally.
Sometimes it is during times of isolation and loneliness that God reveals Himself in a special way.
Notice vs. 11 – 13
Sometimes we have to get alone to hear that still small voice!
Example: Moses on Sinai
- Exodus 24:2 And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.
Example: Paul the Apostle
- II Tim. 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me;
Example: John the Beloved on Patmos
- Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
III. A Time of Personal Reflection
A. Time to Reflect on your Ministry
Just because you are in a time of loneliness doesn’t mean that there is nothing for you to do.
You still have responsibilities.
You can’t isolate yourself forever.
Elijah was reminded of the fact that he had work to do.
God had a to-do list for him in verse 15, 16.
Other people needed him to do what God called him to do.
Isolation can be a great time to clear your head and recalibrate your ministries.
B. Time to Reflect on your Mindset
Twice he told God that he was the only one serving Him. – see vs. 10 and 14
God set the record straight in vs. 18 – nicely but firmly informed him that contrary to his thinking, he wasn’t!
C. Time to Reflect on your Mantle
It was during this time of solitude that he realized that a life of solitude is failure to invest in others.
He had left his servant in verse 3.
If God has saved you and has used you to do His work, you owe it to others to recruit and train them also.
The mantle of Elijah was a powerful tool.
SEE – II Kings 2:13
This time of solitude was when God reminded him to find someone to recruit and train for ministry. (vs. 16)