Before the confrontation between Elijah and the false prophets took place on the top of Mount Carmel, the Lord gave Elijah specific instructions… He had just declared that there would be no rain for the next few years, and now he heard God telling him, “Go to this brook and camp out there. Birds are going to come and feed you” (see 1 Kings 17:1-4). How many of us would rather come up with a plan that sounds a bit more logical? Yet at these very moments we must remember that God’s ways are not our ways; his thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

After a while, Elijah probably got rather comfortable living by the brook. In his heart, he may have thought, This is wonderful! The rain has stopped, and God is preparing the nation to turn back to him. As for me, I have this refreshing water here every day. …God left me here in a safe place.

Elijah represents a type of person today who lies by a spiritual brook, opening the Bible every day, enjoying the cool water and supernatural provision of God anytime he wants. Meanwhile, despair is all around him; people are confused; others are losing their jobs. All the while, he simply concludes, I’m just going to ride out the storm here. If that was Elijah’s plan, it certainly backfired. God moved him on from that place back into the lives of suffering people.

We may camp around the promises of God for a season, but there always comes a point when God must provoke us to move on and respond to the cry of those around us. We are not to turn a blind eye to the pressing needs all around us, settling for a shallow Christianity with no power, no provision, no purpose and nothing to give. Instead, I am confident that investing in people will once again become the hallmark of the true Church of Jesus Christ.

Here is the truth that will become known again in our generation: “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6, NKJV). Those who know God and are willing to obey him will reach out to people who are losing heart.