And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?1 Kings 19:13
(Ladies, let not the title scare you into thinking that you are not included!)
I know I recently wrote a post based on this scripture, and my readers might be tempted to think I am repeating myself. Well, I could repeat myself (I am only human, after all); and yet, on the other hand, God is so rich that we could draw from a single scripture all our lives and never exhaust the riches therein.
But let us get back to that scripture. It is so revealing what Elijah did when he knew He was about to meet God. The Bible says that “he wrapped his face in his mantle” … and then he went out to meet the Lord.
In the olden days (and even today in much of the world), someone’s face is covered when they are about to be executed. When people have been condemned to die, their faces are immediately covered. I don’t know where men got that from, but that is how they do it. That was what they did to Haman also (Esther 7:8).
Under the New Covenant, God deals with us through our hearts, and the only way He does that is by the third Person of the Holy Spirit. That is the “still small voice” that Elijah heard. God does not communicate with us or deal with us by any other way except by the Holy Spirit.
It is incredible how irreverent the church today is to God. In our country, the young generation calls itself the “new generation”. The inherent meaning in that term is that they are a liberated generation. The result is that today’s generation even in church feels free to do many things in the flesh, in the pretext that it is ministering to God. In one mega-church in our capital city, the major attraction is the nation’s top comedian. People go to church to laugh!
But the really tragic thing is that everything is ascribed to God, and the name of the Holy Spirit is tossed about freely. The Holy Spirit is mentioned in every bizarre act that goes on in church. People are even fighting in church and declaring their “victories” have been handed them by the Holy Spirit!
There is so much irreverence in church today!
In music in particular, people feel free to mention the Holy Spirit as their inspiration in everything. Hiphop, rap, reggae and every other worldly beat is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. I know I am doing the equivalent of throwing stones at a live beehive in Christendom by so much as attempting to mention in a negative light these revered styles of “worship”!
I can assure you of one thing, though… you will never find me praising God in hiphop fashion. I am not saying I am perfect when it comes to my choice of music genre; but I know I used to sing “Buffalo Soldier” before I got saved and when I got saved I stopped singing “Buffalo Soldier”.
We all need to know that there are many spirits moving around (some move in hordes), and we should not be deceived – these spirits are operating in people’s hearts. Just because someone says they are saved or just because people proclaim, “Praise the Lord!” does not mean these spirits cannot use them.
There is no denying the fact that as a consequence of embracing any and all “neo-isms” instead of the old rugged cross, today’s young Christian generation is, sadly, a generation whose lives are plagued by sin.
But here we see this great man of God, this mighty prophet… and he is so afraid, so reverent of God, that he wraps his face in his mantle. He counts himself a dead man!
There is no place for the flesh here. Elijah (most likely without knowing it – see 1 Peter 1:9-12), was foretelling what would be revealed to the Apostle Paul many generations later: “I am crucified with Christ…” (Gal. 2:20)
Do we count ourselves dead men when we are in the presence of the Lord? Do we truly? And when, pray, are we in the presence of the Lord? It is every second of our lives! The Apostle Paul says, “30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:30-31). Notice the words “every hour”, and “daily” and that they all have to do with Paul’s way of life – crucifying the flesh.
The cross is the new altar that God has given to us to lay down our lives upon. It is only in the revelation of the cross that we can walk out to God the way Elijah did – as dead men.
At the other end of the spectrum is the fact that, when we fail to reverence the Holy Spirit in us by failing to take up our cross and following Christ, we fail to find grace in our lives and sin rules over us.
[Below: My neighbors!]