By Michelle Sturdivant, Jan. 1, 2019
What is the Christ Centered Focus? The Holy Spirit will give you the mental, spiritual and physical strength to do what he has called you to do.
Have you ever faced a situation in life, that in order to overcome your circumstances you needed God to add His super to your natural? If that’s the case, I ask, have you ever heard of the prophet who outran a chariot?
When life positions my back against the wall and difficult circumstances dare me to believe the impossible, I often think about this story. How could a man outrun a chariot, when horses are more than twice as fast and the average man can only sustain that speed for a very short distance? It is not often that we hear about this story, but it did happen.
In 1 Kings 18:46 we see the hand of God in action on his prophet – Elijah. The spirit of strength from the Lord was with Elijah and he girded up his loins; meaning his garments, which were long and loose, so that they might not hinder him. Here I am reminded that the apostle Paul also says in Phil 3:14 that we should throw off all weights and measures and anything that may hinder us from running full force toward the prize of what God established for us.
So what caused the hand of the Lord to come upon Elijah and endow him with the strength to outrun Ahab’s chariot? We know that with the hand of the Lord present, anything is possible. I surmise that it may have been: Elijah’s commitment to prayer, his zeal for God, and his humility to serve, that moved God’s hand and gifted Elijah with the spiritual, mental and physical strength to outrun the chariots of Ahab.
Along with the supernatural strength that he needed to outrun the chariot of Ahab, God gave Elijah more than just natural strength. Elijah received strength of body, as well as courage and fortitude of mind. God gave his mind the endurance, grit, stamina, determination and resilience he would need for the 20 mile journey to Jezreel.
Many of us are only operating in our natural strength, without the mental focus and determination needed to live fully into our purpose and destiny. When the arrows of life’s circumstances are aimed at your prosperity, remember that the Lord wants to put his hand on you, just like he did for Elijah, and add his super to your natural.
In this story, there was a three-and-a-half-year drought in Israel. If it did not rain soon the people would perish. God was ready to pour out a blessing upon the land and Elijah prayed for rain to come.
As he sat praying on the mountaintop, Elijah looked out to see if his cry was being answered but there was no evidence of a response from God. Like Elijah, we must continue in earnest prayer and not faint or give over to doubt and unbelief.
Elijah’s commitment to prayer for rain, was a call upon God to show up and show out. Elijah’s prayer was for something greater than himself that would bless the world around him.
After seeing the small cloud, Elijah ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel from Mt. Carmel. This showed that Elijah bore no ill will to Ahab, but was ready to show him all honor and respect due to him as a king. We see Elijah’s humility to serve God clearly displayed, when he sends his servant Gehazi to deliver a message to King Ahab that a heavy rain was on the way. With the king celebrating up on Mt. Carmel, Elijah was telling the king he’d meet him in Jezreel but he better hurry you’d better hurry or he would beat him back to the city. The fact that Elijah hastened Ahab home, shows that Elijah had true care and concern for Ahab, despite Ahab’s prior participation in Baal worship, killing the prophets of God and cooperating with Jezebel in the many attempts to take Elijah’s life.
By running ahead of Ahab, Elijah showed how ready he was to serve and honor the king, who was in a position of authority. The chariots represent the strength of man – power to speed ahead with great agility, the ability to accomplish something through a powerful, and a dominating resource.
As we press toward the mark, it’s good to remember that God is a BIG God and loves to display his wonders through His children, particularly the things that seem to be impossible in the natural. Just like Elijah, the hand of the Lord can give us the supernatural strength to outrun chariots of fear, doubt, debt, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, laziness, ignorance and any other affliction that causes us to miss the mark. He will give the spiritual, mental and physical strength to those who are running into their destiny, to outrun their chariots with purpose, on purpose.