The need to have goals
1 Rice 17:8, 9
8Then the Lord God said to Elijah,
9—Get ready and go to the city of Sarepta, near Sidon, and stay there. I ordered a widow who lives there to feed you.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is a small part of the story of the prophet Elijah. I would like you, so for the moment, to forget that you know the story and try to imagine yourself hearing verse 9 directly from God. This is how it will help us understand today’s message which is about “the need for terms”.
A goal is a vision of where we want to be, where we desire to be, or what we want to do in the near or distant future.
The goal is the end point and does not represent the way forward. The goal is, in short, the reason we take a certain path or perform certain tasks that will allow us to achieve it.
Returning to our exercise, if God said to you similar to what He said to Elijah, how would you imagine this widow? I would imagine her being alive, living in a house right where there would be a room for me. She would prepare 3 meals a day and I would find it very well. After all, if until now it was crows that brought me food, a person would treat me much better, right?
However, it was not so with Elijah. Let’s read:
1 Rice 17:10-12
10So Elijah went to Sarepta. When he was coming to town, he was gathering firewood.
Elijah said to her:
“Please give me some water to drink.
11As she was going to the water, he went after her and said,
“And bring some bread too, please.”
12But she replied:
— I swear by your living God, the Lord, that I have no more bread. So I have a handful of flour in a bowl and some oil in a jug. I’m here picking up two sticks for my kitchen to cook for me and something for my son. Let’s eat and then we’ll starve.
There! Imagine the shock Elijah had when he found the widow promised by God gathering wood to roast her last bit of food! Let’s reflect for a moment on what this might mean.
Wow! Imagine the shock Elijah had when he found the widow promised by God gathering wood to roast her last bit of food! Let’s reflect for a moment on what this might mean.
Elijah’s purpose here was to be fed, as the water in the brook had dried up. This goal was given to you by God. Everything else is a figment of the imagination. In my case, my expectation was for comfort, but God said I would be fed and not pampered.
It is important to be united with God in prayer, for such disappointment can lead to discouragement. Does every missionary who starts a mission have a clear vision of all the challenges he will face? I don’t think so, because if I had, I might be discouraged. God is so perfect that he shows us just enough to move us. Here Elijah received only the vision of being fed and with this he moved to Sarepta. The apostle Peter heard Jesus say: come and you will fish for men. Jesus didn’t even say that to Saul, because he knew he could discourage the boy (Jesus told Ananias in Acts 9: 16 “I myself will show Saul everything he will have to suffer for my sake.”).
Why am I saying this? Now brothers, in these examples we see that these men remained firm in their trust in God and did not lose heart in the face of adversity, because the objective was greater!
1 Kings 17: 13, 14
13—Don’t worry! said Elijah. “Go prepare your food. But first make a loaf of bread with the flour you have and bring it to me. Then prepare the rest for you and your child. 14For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: “The flour in your bowl will not run out, nor will your jar run out of oil until the day when I, the LORD, make rain fall.”
Elijah had everything to be discouraged when he arrived in Sarepta. But his trust in God allowed the Spirit of God to direct him to the next step. Speaking with God-given authority, Elijah not only revived but also encouraged the unhappy widow who had already become convinced of her impending death.
Brethren, perhaps Elijah was not sent to Sarepta to be fed, but perhaps he was sent there to bring the word of God to that widow and her son. Perhaps you are not where you are because of yourself, but to encourage those with you to seek Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!
It may be brothers, that God has also given you a goal. Glory to God if He has already made clear to you the purpose for which you were created. For some of us, however, God still hasn’t made it clear. So we must stand firm in prayer trusting that we are special to Him and that everything we need to know will be revealed to us.
Alert brothers: one of Satan’s most efficient strategies to take us away from Jesus is robbing us of the goal. If you feel lost, without a destiny or a purpose in your life, remember that Jesus gave a mission to all of us: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all people.”
(Mark 16:15)When you imagine that your life is meaningless, be sure that this thought comes from the enemy, because the most important mission of every Christian is the one that Jesus left us. It does not depend on whether we have heard anything else, it is universal for the children of God.
If you feel sad because you think you are not contributing to the kingdom of God, study the Bible, meditate on Jesus’ parables. This is like training for the opportunities that Jesus will put before you.
May the Holy Spirit be more present in you than any other thought! Glory to God!
Let us pray:
Father, once again the Lord brings us a message of encouragement, of reinforcement for our confidence in the perfection of Your plans. Thank you for consoling us and reaffirming that we have an important mission in your kingdom. Amen..