The Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel. (1 Kings 18:46 NLT)
Have you ever felt like you were “running on empty”? Maybe it would be better to ask, “When was the last time you felt like you were running on empty?” Perhaps you felt that way just recently. Well, I have a word of great encouragement for you today, so please read on.
The Lord is in the business of giving His saints “special strength” to do what He is calling us to do. I have found over the years that I am most drained of energy and strength when I am pursuing what I want to pursue rather than what God wants me to pursue. In other words, God does not provide me with any special strength when I am seeking to achieve my desires rather than seeking His will for my life.
In our verse today, God gave Elijah more than natural strength; He gave him special, supernatural strength, which enabled Elijah to outrun Ahab’s chariot for many miles all the way to Jezreel. I should point out that Jezreel was known as a city of chariots, which enabled the people there to excel in warfare. In the ancient world, those who had chariots possessed a great advantage over those who did not have them, just as a modern army with tanks possesses a significant advantage over an enemy without them.
Chariots represent the power and strength of man. But God demonstrated through the special strength He gave to His prophet Elijah that even the formidable power of chariots was no match for the power of God. As David wrote decades earlier . . .
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm. (Psalm 20:7-8)
Did you know that God has special strength available for you today? Regardless of the “chariots” you come up against, whether in your personal life or your professional life, God is calling you to stand firm in His strength and not your own. Sure, it may be tempting to climb aboard one of the chariots of this world that seem to offer you a promise of getting you to your desired destination with greater ease and speed. But even if you do reach that destination, you will be left weak and wanting.
Let me encourage you to look past worldly chariots of this life, whether they are enticing you or arrayed against you, and to fix your eyes on Christ. He is ready, willing, and more than able to give you the special strength you need to finish your education, start a new business, expand your ministry of service in your church, or mend any broken relationship in your life.
Scripture promises that those who find their strength in God will “go from strength to strength” (Psalm 84:7). He will always give you everything you need to do all that He is calling you to do.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!