What Are You Doing Here? (1 Kings 19:9)

Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD [came] to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

1 Kings 19:9

One of the best known players in the first book of Kings is Elijah. He is one of the most famous prophets of Israel and his exploits are impressive, to say the least. But, when threatened by Jezebel, he runs and hides and asks God to kill him. Don’t get me wrong, there is wisdom in running from a person in power who is pissed off, but Elijah forgot that Jezebel’s beef was with God and that God would be the One handling any throw down. After some pretty miraculous stuff (the angel of the Lord shows up to feed Elijah — twice), Elijah finds his way to this cave.

God’s question to Elijah struck me as pertinent. What are you doing here? It’s not that I’m a great prophet of God or a great anything of God. So that’s not the point of comparison. The point of comparison is that I lose focus; I forget Whose fight the fight for righteousness really is; I get discouraged; I hide myself away. It’s challenging to do the last in a day and age when the world is so open and information so available, but it happens.

What are you doing here? The question rings into recent transgressions. The transgression comes to mind and on its heels comes the question. It’s not that God is confused — He knows better than I do what I was doing. It’s not that God is looking for an explanation of how I got to that place — again, He knows better than I do. What He’s looking for, I think, is confession. An admission that, ‘There, God, I transgressed.’

The question lingers in the air this morning. What are you doing here? Am I here, writing this entry for some other reason than to draw closer to God? It’s a valid question. One I don’t stop and think about very often. I began writing SOAP journals as a method of morning devotional time with God, but those were on my computer. I grew distracted by social media, so enlisted social media to be a part of those SOAP journals, so there was a time when these entries were written on Facebook so as to enlist the thing that tried to distract and leech time. I transitioned to a blog because a friend requested that I do so. He had read the posts on Facebook and wanted to do something that Facebook, I guess, was unable to do. All of this traces back to my feeble attempts to carve out time in the morning for God and His Word. I am not a morning person, so need something to help me focus. I am a writer, so journaling; blogging help maintain focus and encourage — since online search tools are ready to hand — deeper study of ideas that seem to merit that.

Yes, God. I have transgressed in many ways — ways that You and I are both quite aware of. Yes, I lose focus. Yes, I forget that every spiritual battle is Yours. Yes, I do not often examine why I chose this medium, but I probably should. Yes, I get discouraged. Please forgive me and restore me and set these things to rights. And remind me to continually, on Your behalf, ask myself What are you doing here?

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