Suff. Bishop Faulk's Golden Nuggets
When Our Mountaintop Experiences in God Seem to Conflict
Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God”…JESUS!
During our walk in Jesus Christ we all want those amazing mountaintop experiences when God speaks to us and does signs and wonders, to the extent that everyone knows that God is using us! But what about when we are on a completely different mountaintop and it does not represent victory; yes the scenery is vast because of the altitude, yet the vision is blurred because of failure, despair, and lost hope. Being servants of God we still have to strive to serve whether our walk of faith takes us to a Mount Carmel experience, or the lack thereof, where we may journey to have a Mount Horeb (Sinai) experience. Both were elevated places, but from different perspectives; hence for this Golden Nugget I would like to provoke the thought “When Our Mountaintop Experiences in God Seem to Conflict.” My premise scriptures to provoke further gospel provocation are as follows:
1 KI. 18:36-39 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
1 KI. 19:8-10 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. 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.
All through the bible and even today, a child of God character is valued highly, and is commended by the Holy Spirit. It is, in fact, the only thing that will stand in times of general declension. God’s word gives us numerous examples. When the house of Eli was about to fall before his divine judgment, Samuel occupied the position of a servant whose ear was opened to hear. His word was, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” When all Israel had fled from the face of the Philistine champion, the servant David’s character again stood prominently out. “Thy servant will go and fight,” etc. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself had the title of Servant applied to Him by God, in the words of the prophet, “Behold My Servant,” etc. Furthermore, when the members of Church had failed, and had become “the great house,” “the servant of the Lord” Timothy was told how he ought to behave himself. And lastly, this is also mentioned as one of the special features of the heavenly Jerusalem, that “His servants shall serve Him.” Jesus, please grant us more of a spirit like this!
Saints, I want you to notice the prophet’s unhesitating obedience to the Word of the Lord. Such obedience caused him to abandoned not only self, but also his personal aspirations. For Elijah to be told to leave his sweet retreat to appear before an angry, wicked, tyrant King Ahab; and his wicked wife Jezebel with her false prophets, was not a small quest! But Elijah, by God’s grace was ready. He was not his own. He was a servant, and his ears were attentive when he was summoned. This is such a Bless attitude to have! I pray the Lord will send more into His kingdom with this mindset!
My brothers and sisters, so as it was then, so is it now. If there had been no Elijah in Israel in the days of Ahab and Jezebel, Baal and his prophets would of held undisputed sway over the minds of the children of Israel. But God raised a man who did not care about his own interest; nor about offending the nation of Israel who wanted to be at ease in Zion, especially when their ease was to be purchased at the expense of God’s honor, and the principles that He had established for them to follow. Just like today, so called men and women of God appear to be so super sensitive not to offend people with the word of God! But I am convinced if the word of God does not offend your flesh when it is being preached appropriately, then you are in the wrong place to hear thereof. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Please notice what happen to Jeremiah when he spoke a direct word from God that offended! Jer. 37:16-18 When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days; Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the LORD? And Jeremiah said, There is: for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon. Moreover Jeremiah said unto king Zedekiah, What have I offended against thee, or against thy servants, or against this people, that ye have put me in prison?
It is because Elijah came in the strength of the Lord he did not fear coming against false worship and doctrine; hence he was able to face an array of eight hundred and fifty prophets led by a furious and abominable woman named Jezebel, who usurped authority from her jelly backed husband king Ahab, who was supposed to be led by God!.
Hence Saints, when unsound doctrine insidiously tries to creep in and gain power over established absolute truth, those of us who are faithful to what we know and believe are called upon to make a firm stand against it. Please be assured that we will be regarded as rigid and non out of the box thinkers, because we will not adapt to their erroneous way of thinking, nor will we entertain it.
My brothers and sisters, many have began this journey with real sincerity in their heart, but end up vindicating some neglected or disputed truth, and have failed in upholding the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ; hence in a great degree have nullified their valuable testimony. The sagacious enemy is always ready to act upon the narrow-mindedness of men and women, by leading them to fasten upon their petty infirmities, and lose sight of the essential principles advocated… Lord help us!
So we see that Elijah enters the arena well equipped; he had come from “the secret place of the Most High;” he had been learning, while in solitude, those lessons of self-judgment and self-subjugation which could qualified him for the momentous scenes on which he was about to embark upon. Please note that Elijah was not an angry nor stormy controversialist; he had been in the secret place of the Lord when called upon to confront Baal’s host of prophets. Hence he stands before them calmly in holy dignity because he was chosen for the task. Saints we see no haste about him, no perturbation, no hesitancy. He stayed before God, and therefore he was self-possessed with God.
Now it is in such circumstances that a man’s spirit is really tested. Nothing but the mighty power of God could have maintained Elijah in his extraordinary position on Mount Carmel. “He was a man of like passions as us;” and being the chosen one of his day who possessed sufficient moral courage and spiritual power to make a public stand for God against the power of idolatry. I am sure the devil suggested to his mind, “What a great man you must be to come forth as Israel’s solitary champion, and use this antiquated ancient faith!” But the God he served, who changes not, nor is He weary, carried him through this very trying scene because he was His witness and servant.
My brothers and sisters let us continue to aim at something beyond this! Let us not be chained down to this earth by deliberate connection with this world’s system, opinions or plans. Heaven is our home; for this is what our working hope expects, because we are not of this world. Jesus has purchased us, and has delivered us from it, in order that we might shine as lights and walk as heavenly men and women until He give us that heavenly rest! It is because Elijah believed God he did a great work on Mount Carmel, but please understand that every VICTORY brings more test, every elevated level brings new DEVILS! GOLDEN NUGGET!
So we see this circumstance played out with Elijah the prophet in 1 Kings chapter 19 He seems to have had little anticipation of the massive storm which was about to burst upon him: he had come from the top of Mount Carmel, and in the energy of the Holy Spirit which allowed him to out run Ahab’s chariot to the entrance of Jezreel; but when he got there he was destined to receive a threat from one who was working in the background. This was the wicked Jezebel. She had no doubt influenced her jelly backed husband, and used his position as king for her wicked end. She had opened her house and spread a table for the prophets of Baal. These things she had done in furtherance of her husband’s interest, because Ahab was distorted in his mind, which caused him to be reprobate!
Jezebel is not to be looked at merely as an individual: she stands before the spiritual mind as the representative of a special class of an satanic spirit …yes, more, as the impersonation of a principle which has from age to age been working in hostility concerning the absolute truth of God, which appears in its full maturity in personification of the great whore spoken of in the book of Revelation.
Saints please know that the spirit of Jezebel is a persecuting spirit, a spirit that will carry its own point in opposition to everything like God. It is an active, energetic, persevering spirit, in which Satan manifests himself vigorously!
So in Jezebel we see one who has great energy to promote her cause. To her the controversy was one of her deepest moments, and she was determined to act with great threats to fulfill her demonic purpose. “Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to-morrow about this time.”
Please note that Elijah the prophet was called to endure the storm of persecution. He had been on Mount Carmel, where he had stood against all the prophets of Baal; his course had proved to be a triumphant one, which resulted in sweet communion with God; but all of a sudden it appears that the sun is going down according to his perspective. It is because of his change in perspective that things became dark and gloomy. Our perspective in this walk is what positions us for greatness in Jesus Christ! GOLDEN NUGGET!
The word of God states… “And when he saw that, he arose and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my father’s”
Elijah’s spirit had sunk altogether; he looks at everything through a dark cloud in which his mind and spirit enveloped; He began negative contemplation, that all his labor seems to have been in vain, and therefore all he wants to do is lie down and die.
Saints because of Elijah’s mindset, I perceive the workings of impatience and unbelief. Elijah said nothing about longing to depart when he stood on Mount Carmel. Why?; because on the top of Mount Carmel he was triumphant; there he seemed to be achieving something — he seemed to be of some use, and therefore he never thought about giving up! But just like us today the Lord had to show His servant not only what he “must do,” but also what he “must suffer in doing it.”
The former we all like so much, the latter we are not so well prepared for. And yet the Lord is as much glorified in a patient sufferer as in an active servant. The graces that are developed by one who has been enabled to endure protracted suffering are as fragrance in perfume, which goes up as a sweet smelling savor. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Elijah the prophet should have borne this in his mind. But I am sure that we can all identify with this man, and sympathize in our heart because we have all had our season when we have become despondent, and feel that our life is full of doom and gloom. But our advantage is that we have been filled with the Holy Spirit, which is our helper!
There are few of the Lord’s servants who have not, at some time or another, eagerly desired to put off their harness and cease from the toils of conflict, particularly at times when all their labor and testimony would seem to be in vain, and when they are disposed to look upon themselves as failures because of fear and wrong thinking. Yet we must wait for God’s time, and until then we must seek His face as we pursue His way in patience as we endeavor not to complain while serving. There is a vast difference between longing to get away from our trials and sorrow, and longing to be at home in our Father’s house.
In all this we may learn a most profitable lesson. Unbelief is sure to drive us from our place of testimony and service. So long as Elijah walked by faith, he occupied the place of a servant, a witness, and a victor; but the moment his faith gave way, he abandoned all positions and fled into the wilderness. Unbelief makes us unfit for the place of service, and can render us useless.
Neither you nor I will ever be able to execute God plan without energies in faith. My brothers and sisters we must remember we are living in the last days when so many are giving up and turning back. I suppose we may lay it down as a fixed principle of truth, that whenever a Saint abandons any distinctive position concerning their testimony, it is from unbelief in the absolute truth which gave them a testimony.
If we continue to let the Holy Spirit rule in the Church, then the old man has no right to interfere, and no right to decree and institute his or her ceremonies; for in doing so they are most presumptuously interfering with the divine prerogative of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hence, if a person sincerely believes this essential truth, their belief will certainly influence their behavior, and truly bear a fervent testimony against every man made system under the influence of Satan.
However, many who once professed to see this truth, and to act upon it, have since lost confidence in it, and as a consequence have retired from their distinct position, and gone back to those systems from which they had emerged. Like Elijah, they have not realized all their expectations. Why?, because the results which they looked for have not appeared, therefore they have fled from the scene, and unfortunately many have felt disposed to say, “That’s it, I’ve had enough.”
Yes, many Saints who were once cherished with such high and fond expectations while respecting the Church, are now bowed down with sorrow and disappointment. Those who professed to see and act upon the powerful presence & truth of the Holy Spirit moving in the Church have failed to carry out what they have experienced and observed into practice, and not only failed, but in many instances have made a most humiliating exhibition of themselves; allowing Satan to use them. Hence Satan has used these occasions to discourage the hearts of those who observed their actions, and has minimized those who have been affected, efforts and desires to stand in testimony for Jesus Christ! GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters please observe that it was faith that took him to Mount Carmel in VICTORY, but it was unbelief that made Elijah fly into the wilderness to Mount Horeb (Sinai), where God told Moses to bring the children of Israel too, when He delivered them out of the land of Egypt to give them His law, and His promises! Yes, Elijah was on another mountain, but this mountain did not represent victory but failure due to fear, self entitlement, short memory of previous victory, and weariness. These seasons will come in our life, but we cannot faint. Yes, these mountaintop experiences conflicted, and the results were not the same; but thank God Elijah was still on a designated mountain where God met and encouraged him, and rendered to him his last task on earth prior to taking Elijah. I reiterate, it is unbelief which causes many of us to give up our testimony.
There is a powerful song that I grew up with as a child, which the Saints of old would sing with such vigor, and it still reigns in my heart today! The lyrics went something like this…“Just Look to Jesus and counsel with Him, just tell him your trouble He is your friend, with arms wide open he’ll take you in, when friends for forsake you, and others forget you, Just look Jesus and counsel with Him”
It was the Grace of God that found Elijah under the Juniper tree and also in the cave on mount Horeb. Even when Elijah wanted to give up through the frailty of his mind and despair, believing that he was the only one going through trials and tribulations who served God; yet God had to correct him, re-energized him, and require that he finish his assigned task. Stay encouraged Saints, so that we can complete the task the Lord has delegated to us; even “When Our Mountaintop Experiences in God Seem to Conflict.” God bless you, and Have a wonderful “JESUS DAY!”