Which life mission are you on? It could be marriage, parenting, leadership, or any number of Kingdom assignments. And I am sure you want success in that life mission. Can three words guarantee that success? Do we have an example of three words guaranteeing success? The answers to both questions are a resounding: YES! And your success may depend on knowing these three words. So let’s look and learn.
Life-Changing Words: A History
Elijah was on a life mission. The account of his life and ministry begins abruptly in I Kings 17. His first task was simple yet daunting. Elijah was told to confront King Ahab. Elijah was faithful to God while Ahab was not. According to I Kings 16:30, Ahab did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. And Ahab’s evil deeds included his marriage to Jezebel. Jews were commanded not to marry Gentiles and not to worship idols. Ahab did both.
Elijah was faithful to deliver God’s message of judgment to the king. That’s noteworthy because Ahab could have ordered Elijah’s execution. Then some amazing, miraculous events unfold. The balance of I Kings 17 is concerned with two locations and the events that unfolded in each. But the common element between the places and the events are the three words that guaranteed Elijah’s success. And they can insure our success.
Life Mission: Stay At The Brook
Have you ever been given instructions that just didn’t make sense? Elijah got some odd instructions just after he delivered God’s message of impending judgment. Notice I Kings 17:3-4 –
Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.
Elijah’s overarching life mission was: God’s Messenger (prophet). And like modern day disciples, Elijah had to complete other missions to complete his major role. Why did Elijah have to hide? Ahab had not yet threatened Elijah’s life. And what’s up with getting breakfast and dinner from a bunch of birds? For this post, it’s enough to note the odd assignments. The important thing here is those three words. Did you catch them? If not…
…I have commanded…
Notice that God was commanding Elijah about his destination. But the Lord’s message to His servant also included, I have commanded… And that meant those black birds were going to do a new thing. When had birds ever brought food to people? Why should Elijah have believed it would happen? It’s simple: When God commands His words become reality. And here’s the newsflash:
God isn’t concerned with the fact that His commands don’t make sense to us!
That’s not a bad thing! It’s a good thing. He is infinite while we are finite. He is the One Who knows the end from the beginning. So God is the only One Who knows enough to command.
The Power In Three Words
Here’s a simple and profound truth: God’s commands carry all the power and provision necessary for accomplishment. Need another example? Think about the night Jesus walked on the water (John 6). Peter believed, and stated, that if Jesus told him to walk on the water that he would able to do so. Peter was right. Jesus then told Peter, Come. And Peter got out of the boat and walked toward Jesus. The Savior’s command contained the power for accomplishment.
Elijah’s success in his life mission depended on believing the Word: I have commanded… That’s true for you and me. And just to underscore the point, the balance of I Kings 17 is built on the same three words. When it was time to leave the brook and move to Zarephath those three words were used again. I Kings 17:9 is where we see them:
Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.
This command didn’t make any more sense than birds bringing breakfast. We won’t get into that now. Just see that Elijah was doing something very simple: believing and obeying. He knew something we seem to easily forget:
The power behind, “I have commanded,” is unlimited.
Your Life Mission
If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ then you have an overarching life mission. What is it? You are a disciple. As a disciple you will have other missions and tasks. Some of those were mentioned in the opening paragraph. But let’s focus on the big mission. What does it take to succeed at being a disciple? Let’s see how I have commanded relates to that:
- Love one another… John 13:34-35
- Study to show yourself approved… 2 Timothy 2:15
- Go, make disciples of all nations… Matthew 28:19-20
Can you love those difficult people? Yes, because you have been commanded to do so. The command carries the power. Can you study the Word of God and learn more of Him. Yes, because you have been commanded to do so. Can you nurture immature believers into mature disciples? Yes, because you have been commanded to do so. Surely by now you get the idea.
And then there are all those other missions. Does the Word address them? Probably. Are there commands associated with those life missions? In most cases, Yes! How about that marriage mission? God’s command is this: Love your wife as Christ loved the Church and give Himself for it. That’s in Ephesians 5. The chapter closes with a command for wives to respect their husbands.
What if there’s not a specific command for a mission in your life? In that case we have a promise in Philippians 4:13 to let us know our Father’s power can enable us to succeed. And then there are the three words behind the three words. What??? Stay with me! How could Elijah trust commands that didn’t make sense? How can you and I do the same? I have commanded should be enough. But that is often not the case. What three words make I have commanded so easy to follow?
Wait for it…
And wait for it…
Three Words In The Background
We learned what we really needed to know in our earliest years. That’s because we learned the simplest, clearest truths. And here it is:
God is good!
All He is and all He commands flows from His goodness. He can only command that which is good. Trust Him as Elijah did. Obey Him as Elijah did. And don’t be surprised if some unexplainable, miraculous successes are part of your life.