The ravens were God’s catering service, delivering provisions to His prophet. “The ravens will bring in your food, Elijah.” Isn’t that incredible? God makes provision for Elijah’s physical welfare during this time of seclusion. But He also provides for his spiritual welfare. God knew what Elijah needed; therefore, the silence and solitude were to be essential parts of his boot camp experience.
In essence, God said to Elijah, “You need to get out of the spotlight. You need to come up in the mountains, alone with Me, where you can hear my voice clearly. We need more time together, Elijah, and you need more training.”
The good news is this: without one moment’s hesitation, Elijah obeyed. He didn’t even ask why.
So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. (1 Kings 17:5)
Notice the wording here. He went and lived by the brook Cherith. It’s one thing to take a day trip off the beaten track, to go camping for a weekend, or even to spend two or three weeks backpacking in the wilderness. Such adventures offer all the delights of being away from the cares of the real world for a time, even as you have the comfort of knowing that your lifeline to civilization is still there. It’s quite another thing to live in the wilderness, alone, for an extended time. But that’s exactly what Elijah did for months, possibly the better part of a year. God said, “Go there. Settle there. Live there.” That’s exactly what Elijah did.
Would you accept such an assignment from God? Would you respond with such immediate obedience? How many of us would say nothing except, “Yes, Sir. I trust You completely. I don’t need the spotlight to survive.” Very few! We much prefer only comfortable and active Christianity.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with being a leader or fulfilling the role of spokesman for God, how easy it is to become addicted to the public forum, feeling that we are indispensable to God’s plan. How easy to neglect, ignore, or overlook those occasions when we need to pull back, be quiet, regroup, rethink, and renew our souls.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.