Lessons From Elijah
One of the most important things the Lord has ever spoken to me is taken from a passage of Scripture involving Elijah the prophet. Once I saw what it was really saying, it linked many other truths together and made a big impact on my life. This is so simple that once you see it, you're going to wonder how you never saw it before.
Here's what it says in 1 Kings 17:2-4:
And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,  Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.  And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. 1 Kings 17:2-4
Elijah's provision wasn't where he was; it was where God told him to go! This is profound!
Some of you have an impression from God to do something. Maybe you're supposed to start a new business, make a job change, move to another town, go to Bible college, speak to a person, etc. You want to do it, but you're holding back because the provision isn't there yet. You're saying, "God, I can't do what You're asking without first seeing the provision. How do I know all these things are going to work out?" This principle in 1 Kings applies directly to your situation. God is sending the provision for your needs not to where you are but to where He told you to go! The question is, "Are you all 'there'?" Some of you aren't experiencing supernatural provision because you aren't "there." There is a place called "there" for you.
In verse 4, God said, "I have commanded the ravens" (emphasis mine), meaning He had already spoken to these ravens and they were on their way to where Elijah was supposed to go.
First Kings 17:5 says,
So [Elijah] went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. First Kings 17:5 (Brackets mine)
In other words, if Elijah had stayed where he was, he could have prayed and fasted, saying, "God, why haven't You supplied my needs?" But he wouldn't have seen God's provision if he hadn't gone where God instructed.
One of the reasons we aren't seeing a greater provision from God financially, emotionally, or in our circumstances is because we aren't doing what God told us to do. We've got a word from God that we haven't acted on. We're somewhere other than where He told us to be.
Now, this is an important point because I preach on the grace of God a lot. I talk about God's grace being how He provides things and that it's not based on our obedience or holiness. God loves us independent of our performance - that's absolutely true, but does this mean obeying Him is unimportant? Just the opposite. I believe God has a plan for my life and that He chose me from my mother's womb and ordained me to be a prophet and to minister. I believe He has great things planned for me, things earmarked for me that have my name on them. But if I don't obey, step out, and do what He tells me to do, like I've done in the past, God still would provide, but I would miss out on it. I have to go "there." I don't believe God just makes things come to pass; it takes cooperation on our part.
This isn't intended to hurt or condemn anyone, because I know that some of you are thinking, "Maybe that's why things aren't working in my life - I haven't been obedient to what God told me to do!" Well...that's absolutely correct! It's not that God won't bless you because you haven't obeyed Him; it's that His blessing is over "there"! If the reason you won't step out is because you've got some form of "security" but you're miserable and things are just going wrong, I encourage you to do what God told you to do.
I played football in high school, and what I'm talking about is similar to how a quarterback throws a football to a wide receiver. A quarterback doesn't throw the ball to where the receiver is; he throws it to where the receiver should be. If he doesn't do that, he'll miss the receiver. Likewise, God is meeting all of your needs - He's sending His supply to where He told you to be.
Another great example of this is with our prospective Bible college students. The Lord gives them a word and tells them to come to Bible college, but they struggle with it because they've got well paid jobs, nice houses, families, and friends they don't want to leave. The security of those things keeps them from taking a step of faith because they don't see how God is going to provide. But I've seen what I'm sharing inspire hundreds of people. When they get to their place called "there," they find themselves with better jobs and better houses and things work out. Their entire lives change and there would have been no way to anticipate this before they took that step of faith. I'm telling you, when you get out of doubt and into your place called "there," when you start doing what God called you to do, there is supernatural provision. This is one of the great lessons from the life of Elijah.
Let's look at 1 Kings 17:6:
And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 1 Kings 17:6
As I mentioned before, I believe that since God had already commanded the ravens, if Elijah hadn't obeyed, God would still have been faithful to send the provision where He told him to go. I believe that these ravens would have brought bread and meat every morning and evening but that it all would have piled up beside the brook and gone to waste. Elijah could have starved to death even though God had been faithful to provide for his needs.
Here's something else to consider: How did Elijah know which spot along the brook Cherith to go? If the brook was ten miles long, he could have been five or ten miles away from where the ravens were bringing him food. The ravens could fly faster than Elijah could walk or run. I'm convinced that one of the ways he knew he was at the right spot was because the ravens were already "there" with the bread and meat. When Elijah saw the provision God had promised, that was one of the signs that he was in the right place.
The same will be true of you when you step out. You have to take a step of faith with no guarantees that things are going to work and then you will start seeing the provision of the Lord. It will be confirmation that you're going in the right direction and doing what He told you to do. You'll be able to say, "It was God who told me to do this."
This is how it's worked in my life. I haven't seen God's provision accidentally. I've applied what 1 Kings 17 is talking about and taken steps of faith to get where I am and I'm going to keep taking steps of faith. All you have to do to get started is take a step of faith. There is a place called "there" for you. It's not necessarily a location; you may not have to change where you live. It could just be an attitude change or decision you need to make, but when you take a step of faith and start following what God tells you to do, there is a supernatural flow of provision - not only of finances but also of peace, joy, blessing, anointing, influence, power, and authority - that you cannot duplicate with all your human effort. All of these kinds of things follow obeying the word of the Lord.
You can look at the life of Elijah; he was a nobody before he had a word from God and acted on it, but then - boom - after he stepped out in faith, he became the dominant figure in the nation. He was blessed, miracles began to happen, a person was raised from the dead and a revival broke out. You've got to find your place called "there" and then get there! It's imperative. I tell you, this could change your life if you would act on it.
The first teaching in my series Lessons from Elijah is called, "A Place Called There" and it goes into more detail than I'm able to here, but it's a keeper, tailor- made for you! If not for yourself, you ought to get this series for someone else. Everybody needs to hear this. It would really help you. You can get the entire teaching as a book, as a CD or DVD set, or as a study guide so you can go through it with friends. Click the image below to get these materials.