Mistakes that Come from Victory

by APC on May 07, 2015
Apostolic Pentecostal Church
Mistakes that Come from Victory


“Mistakes the Come from Victory” is the first part in a new Profiles on Profits series focusing on the story of the prophet Elijah. Of all Israel’s prophets, Elijah was mentioned more than any other prophet in the Bible. He was known for his confrontational ministry, which put him into conflict with the people and culture of his day. But, Elijah, in all of his greatness, struggled with bouts of depression.

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away (I Kings 19:9–10, KJV).

It is after one of Elijah’s greatest victories, we find him isolated in a cave in the midst of a bout of depression. God used Elijah to speak to the periods of time we may encounter where we too feel low or depressed. This is why Paul warns us not to be weary in well-doing (Galatians 6:9).

We are Never Closer to Defeat than in Our Moment of Greatest Victory

Elijah prophesied it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t for 3 ½ years. During this time, he challenged 450 prophets of Baal to make a sacrifice to their god, while Elijah made a sacrifice to the Lord. He declared the God that accepted a sacrifice by fire would be the God the people would serve. When God consumed Elijah’s sacrifice by fire, he had the prophets of Baal killed, and soon afterward found himself in severe opposition with King Ahab’s wife—Jezebel. She vowed to take his life.

After Elijah was mightily used to show Israel that God was the One true God, he shows his weakness (I Kings 19:4). It isn’t coincidence Elijah faced a “low” time after a spiritual victory. In our own spiritual walk, when we are spiritually victorious, we let our guards down. We assume in the presence of good things, there will be an absence of bad things. Therefore, we walk from a victory right into a new spiritual battle—sometimes with our eyes completely shut.

We are Never as Alone as We May Feel

When Jezebel made plans to take Elijah’s life, he didn’t approach this spiritual battle the same way as before. In the dawn of a new tribulation, he completely forgets that God just consumed his sacrifice, and that God was on his side! Elijah felt that in this new trial he alone and powerless. He didn’t learn a valuable lesson—if God brought him through one situation,  God would do it again!

We need to understand our spiritual journey with God and learn how to navigate the good and the bad that comes with it. Scripture tells us in I Thessalonians 5:21 to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (KJV). God will be with us every step of the way in our day-to-day walk with Him. When bad things arise, we can’t fall into a pit of depression. What we determine should happen isn’t always the plan that God has in mind!

Elijah’s Complaints

When God finds Elijah alone in a cave, He asks him, “…What doest thou here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19:9, KJV). Elijah responds and gives his “complaints” for why he decided to curl up and isolate himself.

I’ve Been Faithful But Not Effective

Elijah didn’t think he was making a difference in the Kingdom of God. We need to remember that we, as well as others, are not the judge of our own performance—God is the judge! We may not know how effective we are in His kingdom until the very end. By the end of Elijah’s life, everyone was looking at him because of his anointing and work for God’s Kingdom. James taught his church about Elijah’s ministry (James 5:17). John the Baptist was sent in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). And, Elijah’s servant wanted a double portion of what Elijah had (II Kings 2:9).

I’m All By Myself

Loneliness is based on ignorance. We cannot believe in God, His church, and His sacrifice on the cross and say that we are alone. We are never alone because God promised never to leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Elijah knew other prophets were also hiding in caves to escape Jezebel (I Kings 18:4); he knew he was not the only one serving the Lord at that time. Although others who were serving God were not in close proximity to Elijah, they were people he could connect with!

God told Elijah to get up and to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria, Jehu to be king over Israel, and Elisha to be his servant (I Kings 19:15–16). God didn’t want Elijah to be by himself! God wants the same for us today—we need to connect with people.

God wants us to connect with people because:

  • Others Have What We Need—God knows that we need help when working for His Kingdom. This is why God created the body. When we face spiritual hardship, the church is there to pray for us and strengthen us in the Lord.
  • We Have What Others Need—There’s always something that we can give to the church. Elisha, Elijah’s servant, needed him to instruct him in the ways and anointing of the Lord.
  • God Works in Teams—God rarely sends a person alone to do His work. There are numerous examples throughout Scripture. There is strength in numbers!

What’s Fighting Me is Able to Beat Me

Elijah just had victory over 450 prophets of Baal, but didn’t believe he could be delivered from one woman. Not believing that we will emerge victoriously from a tribulation just doesn’t make sense! If we trust God for X situation, and He brings us through, we need to trust Him in Y situation and know He will bring us through again. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Trust God because the victory has already happened!

God Speaks More Frequently in Persistent Whispers than in Shouts

After Elijah gives his compliant dissertation to the Lord, God brings him out of the cave to show him a demonstration:

And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice (I Kings 19:11–12, KJV).

God showed Elijah that the “greatness” of something will not determine how effective it is. All that matters is a word for the Lord. God told Elijah that if any enemy came against him, Hazael, Jehu, or Elisha would conquer them (I Kings 19:17). All God wanted Elijah to do was follow His word and not to worry about anything else.

We need to have our own faith rise up to believe in the Lord. When we receive a word from Him, it is true. God’s word never comes back without results (Isaiah 55:11). His word always has purpose and operation. We can’t get distracted by our spiritual situation. Focus on God and lean on His promises!

Learning Lessons

We can learn a lot from Elijah’s mistakes. We need to be spiritually aware and ready to face anything that the devil can throw at us whether we’re on the mountain top or in the valley. Regardless of what we face, the Lord will go with us and will bring us out. We need to develop a relationship with God and a trust in Him that when He speaks. Listen because greater things are in store!

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on May 6, 2015