Israel Afolabi Ojo

"A life that God will use to bring change must be with the Lord in training, he must be disciplined and broken. God trains men for showing. The period of hiding is discipleship. Therefore, when He says hide, He is inviting you to discipleship. Showing without hiding is spiritual truancy".

“And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab,"As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word." Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan "(1 Kings 17:1-3, NIV).

Here is a man that just released fresh prophesy from the throne of grace. The Bible reveals that Elijah was a man of prayer. His prayer life and his standing before God gave him the boldness to face the king. James testifies: "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months"(James 5:17, KJV).

I believe according to this testimony, Elijah rose from the presence of God to go and declare this prophecy. Probably, the man of God has started congratulating himself for stopping rain on the entire land, maybe he never knew that stopping the rain was not an achievement before God and that the concern of God was to bring fresh rain upon the earth. I think God was telling Elijah that his ability to stop rain was because he came out of hiding place of prayer and in order to unlock heaven he needs to go back there to receive enough strength for the task. If God could instruct a man who just locked heaven above the entire city to go and hide until further notice, then there is something significant about the period of hiding in God’s program.

And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according to the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook (1 Kings 17:2-6, KJV).

Once again, it should be noted that God was deliberate in His instruction to Elijah; He was not giving him a strategy to escape because of the fear of the king. Rather, He was teaching him to retreat to His presence for further instructions. It was a tactical withdrawal. Also, the hiding was not a means of escape from responsibility. God gave the direction of where to go, he needed to travel from Samaria to Cherith, before Jordan (about thirty miles southeast of Samaria), and this will take him at least a day’s journey on foot. Hiding for this man of God was into a serious work. When God hides a man, it is not to redundancy, laziness, and passivity but to teach him how to handle more responsibilities. As I looked closely at the verses above, I discovered two major training principles God taught Elijah.

1. Principle of solitude. I don’t know how Elijah did his prayer before heaven was locked. But, it was as if God still wanted to teach him how to be alone with Him.

And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan (1Kings 17:5 KJV).

Why did God command a man like Elijah who claimed to have a stand before Him to a solitary life? What was so important that God wanted to tell him? I discovered that this is the first thing God demands from any man He wants to use for a long time, regardless of his achievements. This principle is the same in the ministry of Jesus. The scripture reveals that he will always retire to the mountain alone to pray (Matt 14:23, Luke 6:12). He also made it a compulsory priority for his disciples to be with him before he decided to send them to preach the gospel. (Mark 3:14).

2. Principle of Discipline

And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according to unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook (1 Kings 17:4-6, KJV).

I observe here that God was subjecting Elijah to a life of high-level discipline. God has power to provide a special well of water for His servant and command an angel to come and serve him, but He did not do so. Elijah had to drink from the brook by himself, nobody to fetch for him, he would have probably bent down to use his hand or his tongue. Imagine such a level of humiliation for someone who had servants that ministered to him. How could a big man of God like Elijah eat from the mouth of a raven? Nobody can query the wisdom and decision of God; He reserves all rights to use any means and methods when disciplining his servant. Raven is one of the birds God regarded as unclean to the Israelites(Lev 11:13-15) probably because dead and dying or weak animals form the bulk of its diet as noted by a writer who cited (Proverbs 30:17) that they begin feeding on their prey by picking out the eyes. This is training in humility; God was teaching his servant how to adapt to situations. God did not only humble his servant by feeding him through a bird, but also regulated his feeding. I don’t know how many times he used to eat before the time, but his feeding was regulated to two times. That suggests that if Elijah was used to eating more than two times; he had to adjust to the provisions of God through the bird. God also has the power to instruct the bird to bring enough bread and flesh that he will eat in abundance but He decided to regulate his feeding. What a lesson in discipline! God dealt with his servant in the area of appetite. More so, God taught him absolute dependency. Imagine Elijah alone by the brook drinking water and waiting for the raven to bring food. God made His servant depend only on Him for his daily provision. He had no expectation anywhere for his daily meat apart from God. God became his only source of supply.

A life that God will use to bring change must be with the Lord in training, he must be disciplined and broken. God trains men for showing. The period of hiding is discipleship. Therefore, when He says hide, He is inviting you to discipleship. Showing without hiding is spiritual truancy. Here we can see the essence of discipleship; it is to take a man aside from the crowd and discipline him in preparation for his manifestations. It is compulsory for any man that wants to bring change to his generation to submit himself to discipleship with Jesus. He cannot tell a man who has not undergone hiding in discipleship to go and manifest. An untrained man has nothing to offer. Showing without hiding is a mere show-off; it cannot bring transformation. An untrained leader can only reproduce immature followers.

Culled from Go and Show yourself.© Copyright 2018 Folabi Ojo. Read the full book here