Today my mother reminded me of a story I rarely think about but that always inspires me. The story is told of a man who had a noble cause. His very identity and everything he stood for had been threatened by an evil queen. You see he understood his purpose loud and clear. He went against the armies of the evil queen, embarrassed them and then slays them all leaving her mad as hell, and baying for his blood. So great was his victory that he is still talked about today, thousands of years after the incident. So great a warrior was he that he needed no backup to slay them.
In the over-imaginative playground that is my mind, this is how it plays out: high noon has come and gone and dusk is fast approaching. Dude has watched from a distance all day while they (false prophets to false gods) paid homage to their gods and waited on an answer. In my mind’s eye, he has used this time to meditate upon the word and to just rest in the comfort and peace of knowing that his God is the only God and that nothing else matters. Long story short, he calls fire from heaven, (pause for dramatic effect : WHO DOES THAT??? Like Imma call you out for a show down then call fire from heaven just to teach you a lesson … ok … … … as you were (with a little giggle in between) and let us continue). He goes on to triumph over them and then (this is how to end things like a boss) goes on to single handedly slaughter them in their hundreds (four hundred and fifty to be exact) on a mountain.
This man was so in tune with his God and so feared because of the presence of the Lord that he could not only call out a battle, but also choose the battle sight as well – and he chose a mountain. He knew his limited capabilities but he also knew the limitless abilities of his God. So Mt. Carmel (doesn’t that sound like a nice place to have a show down? It’s not in an alley, it’s not on a hill, it’s not in a forest, it’s not by a river, it’s not in a boxing ring, it’s not on a social media site, it’s not behind someone’s back, it’s not in your office by the water cooler, it’s not on a group message and it’s not in your church circles. It’s on a MOUNTAIN and the mountain has the prettiest most imposting name : MT. CARMEL! Now that, right there, is a #Boom moment if there ever was one). Stop picking the wrong battles people, and when you pick the right ones, choose your battle field carefully – it might just be that God is not in that thing and when He is, He has not instructed you to fight the battle in that place or in that way therefore He will not be in the battle and that is a sure way to lose a battle! Remember, this great warrior priest called out the prophets but also called out the people so that they would know the one true God that they should serve and so the evil queen and her weak king were beaten publicly. Let not your foolishness lead you to public embarrassment!
Fast forward to a chapter later (and I do mean ONE chapter later as in the next chapter) and we find this same man fleeing for his life from the evil queen who was so mad when she heard what he had done to her minions that she promises to do unto him as he has done unto the minions within 24hours. So he flees (wait … what? Didn’t he just taunt the false prophets and laugh at them and all fire from heaven? Like JUST now? Then (here’s something I hadn’t told you) he goes on to climb Mt. Carmel (y’all know I just like the sound of that) and call rain from the very same heaven and it not only rains, it thunders. Mind you, he is the very same one who had withheld the rain and caused a drought. Like seriously? What are you on? So next chapter he sits under a juniper tree (I love the special effects and props in this this Book … Mt Carmel / Fire from Heaven / Under a Juniper Tree … and yet I digress as I tickle myself) He sits under a juniper tree and asks the Lord to kill him before Cruela gets to him – and these, ladies and gentlemen, are his EXACT words: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” WHAT???? Seriously??? For Real???
I will stop there in my story telling and deal with a real issue for a moment. Every once in a while we have a Mt Carmel encounter and in the very next chapter we are found embracing a juniper tree experience. The one almost seems to negate the other. And the one is almost always found after the other. You see what we fail to understand is that in the physical, the battle ended at Mt. Carmel but in the spiritual it had only just began. You see the outward battles we fight are easier to do because we have chosen the right battle field and used the right weapons and called on the name of the Lord and there are on-lookers so we tend to work harder because what if we fail in front of all of them. But the inward battles that we must overcome are harder to fight because it’s just us, seemingly alone in a desert under a juniper tree. Tired, and hungry and emotionally as well as spiritually drained after the Mt Carmel encounter. We feel alone and isolated and defeated and so we sit in a corner and dramatically yell at the very heaven that rained down fire and water to “Kill Me Now!”.
Ever so gently and yet so so permanently, God reminds us a few things under that dusty juniper tree
- I was always the one working in you. I did it then and I can do it now
- You were never alone. Even when you couldn’t see the other hidden prophets and warriors, they were still there and still serving me so you see, there is an army that still exists
- She is just an evil queen and I am STILL sovereign in your life
- I can provide for you in the desert just as well as I can provide for you on the mountain. Carmel and Juniper are just names but my power reigns supreme.
- I will always be that still small voice – listen for it – silence your world – I will never leave you nor forsake you.
So as I was having a juniper experience yesterday after a Carmel encounter last week, my Mama pointed this out to me and told me she would pray for me because I am not alone; He is the one who works in me both to will and to do; He will never leave me nor forsake me; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me; He is the one and only true God and all I have to do is be still and know that He is God.
To anyone going through the motions, remember that. And remember also that
You are Beautiful – Empowered – Visionary
You are @BeautifulPetal_