Running Away

Running Away

5 October 2005

This year I have devoted myself to trying to run away from Aotearoa-New Zealand. All the books in my study have been packed up in boxes since January, and good friends have been seen scratching their heads over our escape attempts. Certainly I've wondered too at the contrast between my strong desire to flee, and the Lord's apparently greater determination to have me remain here.

In part this desire to go has been fuelled by a growing willingness to live out the rest of my life in full accord with the reiterated Call of Jeremiah 1.5, "I have ordained you a prophet to the nations." Nevertheless, I do submit to our present anchored state, and have been helped by fresh insight from the Prophet Elijah's flight to Horeb. I have often pondered his hasty departure following such an overwhelming victory on top of Mt. Carmel. I could not really understand how this fearless confronter of the compromiser Ahab, and single-handed slayer of hundreds of false prophets, suddenly became "afraid and arose and ran for his life". (1 Kings 19.3) Was he really scared of Jezebel? Did he actually have a nervous breakdown as some commentators suggest?

I don't think so! Verse three is much more fittingly rendered, "and he saw...". What did Elijah "see" that caused him to run for 6 weeks all the way back to the mountain-top birthplace of national Israel? I believe that he saw an incomplete Move of God which, as wonderful as it had been, nevertheless left a spiritual compromiser and Holy Spirit-hating witch governing God's People.

Back on Moses' mountain of epiphany, the prophet obtained a new revelation of Almighty God and a fresh commission to go back home to anoint and thus release the completion of what the Lord had originally begun through him.

I conclude that it is okay to want to run away from a half-finished revival, especially with so much compromise and hostility to the prophetic still squatting on local church "thrones". But it's only okay if we run back into God's heart-depths, with a view to being sent back re-fired to go the whole nine-yards and finish the job.

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1.6)

So, whether we're at home or far away next year, my heart's desire will continue to be national (and global) revival that satisfies God matter how greatly our human sensibilities and ecclesiastical scruples may be offended.

"And Jehu said, 'Throw her (Jezebel) down.' So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her underfoot." (2 Kings 9.33)