Like many of God's servants over past centuries and in the present, I periodically find myself questioning our call for being here. I always remember what Jack Gray (one of my SWBTS seminary profs) told us in class, "Never doubt in the darkness what God has revealed to you in the light." But once again, we find ourselves wondering what on earth we are doing here?
In my daily devotionals I am currently reading through Kings in the OT. Yesterday's reading of Chapter 19 is priceless. Here God beats Elijah to the punch by asking the weary prophet,
"What are you doing here, Elijah?" (19:13)
It may as well have read, "What are you doing here, Guy?"
Elijah (and myself) then inform God something he obviously doesn't know,
"I have been very zealous for the Lord..."
Elijah's words express my own feelings so well. We have sought with all our hearts to faithfully serve the God we love. But what has it all accomplished? Elijah continues informing the Lord of all that it has cost him personally...
"...the sons of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, torn down Thine altars and killed Thy prophets..."
Serving God can be a discouraging task. A lot of work for very little fruit--or at least that is what it seems. Has it all been in vain? What do we have to show for all our zealousness over the years? Not much.
Then Elijah really opens his heart and declares...
"I alone am left..."
Everybody else has gone their way, abandoned the cause, except for me. I alone have been faithful in the task and to God's calling on our lives. If it weren't for faithful me holding down the fort, everything would have crumbled by now. And now, on top of everything else,
"...they seek my life, to take it away..."
My life that I have devoted to You, Lord, THEY want to take it all away. THEY don't understand. THEY want to destroy everything we're trying to do for you Lord...
What was God's response to Elijah? How did He "comfort" his servant?
God dismisses Elijah's moanings and groanings. He didn't respond directly to anything Elijah had opened up his heart over. Not even a little word of encouragement like, "Hey, Elijah, don't be so down on yourself, you've been doing a great job...hang in there."
Instead, God tells him two things:
1-I've got 7000 others who haven't yet bowed down to Baal.
2-I am sending you on an anointing mission.
An annointing mission? Yes. God instructs Elijah to go annoint Hazel king of Syria. Then to annoint Jehu king over Israel. And finally annoint Elisha as prophet in his place. That ends the "heart to heart" talk between Elijah and God.
So, back to "what am I doing here?" If I understand the passage correctly, God is letting me know...
1) I am NOT the only faithful servant doing things God's way here in Guayaquil. Its time to get over being upset that "my plans" and "my ministry" aren't the rave of the city. There are plenty of other faithful servants doing exactly what God wants them to be doing. It's about His Kingdom, not my kingdom.
2) Get out there and begin a new phase of mission, an "annointing ministry." Believe it or not, this is not as far fetched as it might sound. Annointing others is key to the coming of Christ's Kingdom. We multiply ourselves by "annointing"--EMPOWERING--others to do those things we alone can never accomplish by ourselves. The more annointed-empowered ones there are out in the harvest fields, the more fruit we will see to the glory of God.
The truth is most of us would rather see ourselves as one of the "star prophets" in Israel. The one everyone calls upon. The one who gets interviewed on Christian TV and invited to speak at the conferences. It is only natural to want to be one of the "annointed ones" that God uses. But who are the few willing to be the ANNOINTING VESSEL that gets poured out so OTHERS can be used mightily of God?
If I am understanding God right, the correct response to His question, "What are you doing here, Guy?" is for me to get over my "ppp" (personal pity party) and get out there and begin a new ministry phase of annointing people. Right now.