Don't Give Up!

"...Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”
~ 1 Kings 19:18 (NLT)

Have you ever felt like giving up, or walking away and never looking back from the worship arts ministry due to all of the competition, compromise, and other ungodly behavior that you have witnessed?  Do you feel that participating in dance, drama or music ministries is just not worth it anymore because of being mistreated, taken for granted, disrespected, or intimidated?  What about being:
  • persecuted
  • ostracized
  • criticized
  • exploited
  • lied on
  • talked about
  • excluded
  • humiliated
  • threatened
  • etc...
Guess what...you're in good company! Elijah the prophet was on a mission from God. He challenged the prophets of Baal to see who the true and Living God was, and destroyed them and their altars. When Ahab's wife, Queen Jezebel learned of this, she threatened him with death...and Elijah went on the run. Queen Jezebel's goal was to overthrow the worship of God, and would destroy anyone who got in her way:

When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal.  So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”
 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there.  Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” 1 Kings 19: 1-4 (NLT)

Imagine for a moment, what Elisha must have been feeling. He had done everything that God commanded, and was now running from Jezebel's threats. He knew that she was very capable of making good on them, and went to find shelter in a cave. But look at God's response:

[...And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
 He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”
 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram.  Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.  Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha!  Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!"~ 1 Kings 19: 13-18 (NLT)

God always has a remnant of people who want to do what is right. They may be difficult to find because they're not always the ones you notice first. But they are out there, still continuing to love God and love people faithfully with all of their hearts, and doing His will without compromise.  Don't let the actions of others stop you from fulfilling the plan of God for your life and make you bitter, or cause others to miss out on the blessings you have to offer them from your gifts and talents. It doesn't take a lot of looking around to see that the world is getting worse...and worse. But God still wants people to hear the Good News, that Christ came to save people from their sins. If we don't stand up for Him, who will? Don't give up!


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