Feast or Famine #1. “Famine—A lonely place to be!”

Feast or Famine #1. “Famine—A lonely place to be!”

Europe has an abundance of empty church buildings for sale. As unbelievable as it may sound, spaces once filled with dark clad, austere worshipers are now filled with nightclubbers and skateboarders. Sadly, this has been coming for a very long time. Even as far back as the mid-1800s, David Livingstone and other missionaries were praying that Africa would one day send missionaries back to revive Europe’s beleaguered Christian spirit.

Elijah lived during a spiritual famine. In fact, at one point, he was convinced that he alone stood for the Lord (1Kings 19). It was a lonely place to be.

It is hard to fathom that this powerful prophet of God could find himself literally on-the-run, depressed and isolated. But God, forever faithful and forever present, fed, comforted and challenged him.

When Elijah informed the Lord (for the second time), that “he alone” was faithful to God in all Israel, God assured him: “Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18).

In like manner, it is easy for us to become despondent about the size of the Lord’s church. There is nothing wrong with counting baptisms and church numbers (the Bible does) but remember that Elijah’s headcount was out by 7000 to 1.

We must ever return to our go-to passage on this: “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness” (2Tim.2:19).

The Holy Spirit is alive and well. His church work has continued night and day in His saints since Pentecost.

This we can be assured of: The scale and size of what we see with our eyes, is minuscule when compared to that which exists beyond our vision.

John Staiger


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