2908 S Timberline Rd.
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Hi thanks so much for joining us this weekend as part of our online community. We are delighted you’re here! This weekend as we continue our series about having a healthy mind. Our conversation turns to one of the great heroes of the old Testament – Elijah. He certainly experienced the power of God in his life but he also knew what it was to be overwhelmed by depression. As we look at this story there is much that we can learn.
- Welcome to Timberline Church. Would you guys stand with us and be with us as we worship and we sing? ♪ Praise is rising, eyes are turning to you ♪ ♪ We turn to you ♪ ♪ Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for you ♪ ♪ We long for you ♪ ♪ 'Cause when we see you ♪ ♪ We find strength to face the day ♪ ♪ In your presence ♪ ♪ All our fears are washed away, washed away ♪ ♪ Hosanna, Hosanna ♪ ♪ You are the God who saves us ♪ ♪ Worthy of all our praises ♪ ♪ Hosanna, Hosanna ♪ ♪ Come have your way among us ♪ ♪ We welcome you here Lord Jesus ♪ ♪ Hear the sound of hearts returning to you ♪ ♪ We turn to you ♪ ♪ In your kingdom, broken lives are made new ♪ ♪ You make us new ♪ ♪ 'Cause when we see you ♪ ♪ We find strength to face the day ♪ ♪ In your presence, ♪ ♪ All our fears are washed away, washed away ♪ ♪ Hosanna, Hosanna ♪ ♪ You are the God who saves us ♪ ♪ Worthy of all our praises ♪ ♪ Hosanna, Hosanna ♪ ♪ Come have your way among us ♪ ♪ We welcome you here Lord Jesus ♪ ♪ 'Cause when we see you ♪ ♪ We find the strength to face the day ♪ ♪ In your presence ♪ ♪ All our fears are washed away ♪ ♪ When we see you ♪ ♪ 'Cause when we see you ♪ ♪ We find strength to face the day ♪ ♪ We wanna see you God ♪ ♪ In your presence ♪ ♪ All our fears are washed away, washed away ♪ ♪ Hosanna, Hosanna ♪ ♪ You are the God who saves us ♪ ♪ Worthy of all our praises ♪ ♪ Hosanna, Hosanna ♪ ♪ Come have your way among us ♪ ♪ We welcome you here Lord Jesus ♪ ♪ Hosanna, Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna, Hosanna ♪ ♪ There's a grace when the heart is under fire ♪ ♪ Another way when the walls are closing in ♪ ♪ And when I look at the space between ♪ ♪ Where I used to be and this reckoning ♪ ♪ I know I will never be alone ♪ ♪ There was another in the fire ♪ ♪ Standing next to me ♪ ♪ There was another in the waters ♪ ♪ Holding back the seas ♪ ♪ And should I ever need reminding ♪ ♪ Of how I've been set free ♪ ♪ There is a cross that bears the burden ♪ ♪ Where another died for me ♪ ♪ There is another in the fire ♪ ♪ All my debt left for dead beneath he waters ♪ ♪ I'm no longer a slave to my sin anymore ♪ ♪ And should I fall in the space between ♪ ♪ Where I used to be and this reckoning ♪ ♪ Either way I won't bow to the things of this world ♪ ♪ And I know I will never be alone ♪ ♪ There is another in the fire ♪ ♪ Standing next to me ♪ ♪ There is another in the waters ♪ ♪ Holding back the seas ♪ ♪ And should I ever need reminding ♪ ♪ What power set me free ♪ ♪ There is a grave that holds no body ♪ ♪ And now that power lives in me ♪ ♪ And I can see the light in the darkness ♪ ♪ As the darkness bows to Him ♪ ♪ I can hear the roar in the heavens ♪ ♪ As the space between wears thin ♪ ♪ I can feel the ground shake beneath us ♪ ♪ As the prison walls cave in ♪ ♪ Nothing stands between us ♪ ♪ Nothing stands between us ♪ ♪ There is no other name ♪ ♪ But the name that is Jesus ♪ ♪ He who was and still is ♪ ♪ And will be through it all ♪ ♪ So come what may in the space between ♪ ♪ All the things unseen and this reckoning ♪ ♪ I know I will never be alone ♪ ♪ There'll be another in the fire ♪ ♪ Standing next to me ♪ ♪ There'll be another in the waters ♪ ♪ Holding back the seas ♪ ♪ And should I ever need reminding ♪ ♪ How good you've been to me ♪ ♪ I'll count the joy come every battle ♪ ♪ 'Cause I know that's where you'll be ♪ ♪ I'll count the joy come every battle ♪ ♪ 'Cause I know that's where you'll be ♪ ♪ I'll count the joy come every battle ♪ ♪ 'Cause I know that's where you'll be ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ It was my cross you bore ♪ ♪ So I could live in the freedom you died for ♪ ♪ And now my life is yours ♪ ♪ And I will sing of your goodness forevermore ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ And now my shame is gone ♪ ♪ I stand amazed in your love undeniable ♪ ♪ Your grace goes on and on ♪ ♪ And I will sing of your goodness forevermore ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Be exalted now in the heavens ♪ ♪ As your glory fills this place ♪ ♪ You alone deserve our praise ♪ ♪ You're the name above all names ♪ ♪ Be exalted now in the heavens ♪ ♪ As your glory fills this place ♪ ♪ You alone deserve our praise ♪ ♪ You're the name above all names ♪ ♪ Be exalted now in the heavens ♪ ♪ As your glory fills this place ♪ ♪ You alone deserve our praise ♪ ♪ You're the name above all names ♪ ♪ Be exalted now in the heavens ♪ ♪ As your glory fills this place ♪ ♪ You alone deserve our praise ♪ ♪ You're the name above all names ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪
- Will you pray with me? Jesus, your name is so worthy. Thank you for that. Thank you for being a God who we can trust. Thank you for being a God who is always, always worthy of the praise that we give. Lord, we thank you for the fact that we are able to gather in this room together today and be here together to worship you. Lord, I ask that you will help us to not take for granted the fact that we get to be together as so many others do not. Lord, thank you for this day. We sure love you. Amen. All right, as you grab a seat, turn to someone sitting around you and ask them what their favorite summer activity is. Little longer than normal. We have time, don't worry. All right. Hi guys. Good morning. Happy Sunday. So glad you are here. If this is your first time here at Timberline, we would love nothing more than to meet you, learn your name, learn some things about you and figure out how to get you connected here at Timberline. The easiest way to do that is through the QR code in the seat pocket in front of you, or on our website at timberlinechurch.org/connect. My name is Merrell. I'm the high school director for our student ministries here at Timberline, and that means that I get to hang out with your high school students all day, and it is just the most fun. I think they are a delight. We have our middle school and high school summer camps coming up in about a month and we are getting so excited. Oh, Pastor Jama, what are you doing here? Didn't expect to see you here.
- I was back there for some reason. Just, you know, I heard you talking about summer camp and I'm just letting you know I'm in.
- I'm so excited.
- I'm ready to go right now. I have stuff packed in the bag and so,
- Just wherever the bus is, I'll get on it.
- Well, sweetheart, summer camp is not for about another month. You're a little bit early. Middle school camp is May 28th to the 31st, high school is June 2nd through the 5th.
- [Pastor Jama] Sweetheart.
- [Merrell] You're just a little early.
- [Pastor Jama] That's embarrassing.
- It is. It is, yes.
- I guess I can just, you know, I guess I can just head back. But well, did you tell 'em why I'm so excited for summer camp? Did you tell 'em that it's four days with your middle school and high school students, and it's the best four days of their life that they're gonna get to disconnect with all the thing here and connect with their friends and with adults who love them and want them to know Jesus, and they get to connect with Jesus. It's the best four days of their life. Merrell, tell 'em.
- I'm trying.. You keep stealing the thunder.
- So. Didn't mean to yell.
- But I'm glad you're so excited.
- Okay, well, I guess I'll just... I don't think we need both of us to do this so one of us should probably leave.
- I am supposed to be here right now.
- Right, right.
- We'll see you later.
- Okay, I'll see you.
- Yeah, thanks for coming. As we're talking about our middle school and high school summer camps, we are in need of leaders.
- Hey, Merrell, one more thing. We are in really a big need of some leaders for our middle school and high school summer camp, but we're not all just need leaders for camp, but we just need leaders in general. We need adults that love Jesus and want students to know Jesus, and they wanna walk alongside our friends and tell them about the love of Jesus, and they build these no strings attached relationships that ultimately point to Jesus. Merrell, why aren't you talking?
- You're really taking my job this morning. I was supposed to do all of this.
- You're right. I'm really sorry.
- It's okay.
- I didn't mean to yell.
- Better luck next time.
- So I'm actually gonna leave this time.
- All right, I'll see you outside later.
- Okay. How do you get out of this place?
- Just straight off the stage.
- Oh, right where I came from.
- Doing great, yep.
- [Pastor Jama] Okay, I'm outta here.
- Thanks for being here. We have so many volunteer opportunities available at the church all the time, and right now we need leaders in our student ministry and we need volunteers in our sound and media department, and we have some important information for you guys about that.
- [Interviewer] All right, Tracy, tell me what got you interested in volunteering with media?
- Well, my background's in TV anyway. So when I came out here and I saw the control room and saw the wall of TV monitor, the switcher, I was like, wow, this is not a church, I'm home. I love it here.
- I saw all the buttons and said, no way, I'm out.
- Great. How are you?
- [Congregants] Great.
- There's lots of new people. Good morning, by the way, and Hi to you and Hi to... If you're joining us online, great to have you with us as well. And we've got lots of new people showing up at Timberline at the moment. So I've not been around preaching for a few weeks. So I'm Pastor Jeff, as I always say, from Arkansas. Good to see ya. And a big welcome to you. Couple of things I need to mention before we jump in this morning with our message. One is to let you know that the Bible notes that I write, many of you are getting those. The April through June edition is now available in our cafe, and so those are available for you. And then also, let's just talk for a moment about giving. Thank you so much, Timberline family for your faithfulness in giving, and thank you to all of you who have established your recurring giving in our new system. Thank you, thank you for doing that. If you haven't, reminder emails will be coming, so please watch for those. And thanks for joining. It's pretty simple to get this set up, but we don't like change. This is a better system that we are gonna use, but some of us just don't like change. How many of us are sitting in the chair that we normally... Come on. Come forward right now. We sit in the same... It's the chair that Jesus gave us, isn't it? Yeah, it's our chair. How many of us never raise our hand whatever the preacher asks? There's healing in the house. Look at that. All right, so thanks for going with that change. And if you give online and you don't have recurring giving, please make note that the text phone number has changed. So get that into your phone. And our team is always ready to help you with any questions that you might have. So we are in week two of a brand new series; Healthy Mind, God Help Us. And the God help us is not an irreverent exclamation, rather, it's an affirmation that to have healthy minds, we really do need God's help. And the title for the message this weekend is When The Journey Is Too Much. And we're gonna dive into an Old Testament story. Let me just give out some context. It's an old story, happened 2,800 years or so ago in Israel. There was a really evil king and queen that were ruling and terrible things were happening in the nation, including child sacrifice, horrifying, the worship of false gods. And God raised up a man called Elijah, and there's a gunfight at the O.K. Corral, if you like, a showdown on Mount Carmel, he calls down far from heaven and he raises the dead. Anyone raise the dead this week? Just think back maybe a week, Monday, Tuesday. Waking your teenage son up in the morning doesn't count, although it almost takes as much faith, let's face it. And here is Elijah and he has this showdown and the palace isn't pleased. They are not happy in the palace. Now, I've told you when I go back to England, I pop in and see Lizzy, and she's always so friendly, and Hey, Jeff, what's happening? Hey, Lizzy, you know, all that. Some of you are nudging each other and they're going, really? No, I lied. Never met her. The palace is not happy with Elijah. And here's what happens. We read about it in 1 Kings 19. "Now Ahab," that's the king, "Told Jebel," that's the queen, "everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, 'May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.' Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. And when he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough Lord,' he said. 'Take my life. I am no better than my ancestors.' Then he laid down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, 'Get up and eat.' He looked around and thereby his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then laid down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, 'Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.' So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night, and the word of the Lord came to him. 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' He replied, 'I've been very zealous for the Lord God almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your orders, put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left and now they're trying to kill me too.'" And then what happens is that God speaks to him and says, come out of the cave. I'm gonna pass by. Some incredible things happen. There's a powerful wind. There's an earthquake. There's a blazing fire, but the Bible says somewhat mysteriously, God was not in any of those things. And then God whispers to Elijah, asks him again, what are you doing here? Elijah repeats the same speech. God gives him a threefold strategy. Go back the way you came. During our worship this weekend, I was thinking about some of the songs we used to sing back when I first became a Christian, and we sang some great hymns back then, but we also sang some ridiculous choruses as well that gave the impression that we all lived on the edge of ecstasy all of the time. I mean, the emotion, not the drug, just to be clear. I talked about this before. We sang, I am H-A-P-P-Y. I am H-A-P-P-Y. I know I am. I'm sure I am. I am H-A-P-P-Y. What a great theological classic that was. Another one of my personal favorites, not was. It isn't any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E. No, it isn't any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E. If you pack up all your troubles, then they'll vanish like a bubble. If you only take the trouble just to S-M-I-L-E. Enough to make your V-O-M-I-T. Elijah, isn't doing any smiling, he is not happy. And this is the guy that announced a national drought. As I've said, Mount Carmel, all of that, and now he's got an email. Well, a messenger, and it's from the palace, and it's from Jezebel, the Cruella de Vil of the Old Testament. The new Bible dictionary describes Jezebel in an article written by a British chap, gifted in the art of understatement. He said, "And Jezebel was a forceful and domineering personality." That is an understatement. She was a nasty piece of work. He gets the message. He is utterly depressed. And that's what we're talking about this weekend. And it is a conversation. It is a conversation. Pastor Dary said last week and he's quite right. This is not gonna be a try harder message, and we have to just begin a conversation because this is a very complex subject. So don't come out to me, all right, in and say, well, you didn't mention this. Well, you didn't mention that. 'Cause I can't cover the whole range of what depression is simply in the next two hours of this message. Fear did descend. You see, as the physical pandemic seems to be losing its lethal punch, there's a more lasting pandemic raging of anxiety and depression. Before the pandemic, the World Health Organization said that it's estimated that one in five in America will experience serious depression sometime during their life. As a result of the pandemic, the numbers have changed, it's one in three. And we just feel like we're starting to get through that thing, and then, of course, the tragedy of Ukraine unfolds, and the devastation and the heartbreak, and the death, and the death of Ukrainians, of innocent Russians soldiers, it's just horrendous. And being back in England recently, it's feels closer there 'cause it's closer. As the crow flies, the distance between London and Kiev, Ukraine is the same as the distance between Fort Collins and Brownsville, Texas. It's close. And there is a lot of what clinicians describe as normal sadness. It's appropriate and reasonable and normal that we should feel sad. We don't have our heads in the sand, we live in a fallen and broken world and that includes disappointment and loss and pain. But then there's depression, and sometimes the borderline between sadness and depression can be difficult to define. I've shared before, not for sympathy, not for sympathy, but for empathy to let you know that I'm a fellow traveler that I have had my battles with depression. I spent a year in clinical depression and I know some of why that why was. I like to please, and if you're a pastor, you don't always please everybody. And I don't say this as a strength, I say this perhaps as a weakness. I'm pretty sensitive and things matter to me, and I know what it is to have panic attacks and insecurity, and live with perfectionism and not do well with when I mess it up. J.B. Phillips, the great translator, Bible translator talked about how he served the false God of the 100%, that God he was never satisfied and that contributed to his depression. And I know for me, there's probably some genetics involved. My mother battling depression throughout her life. I've got one sibling, my brother who lives in Thailand, battle depression. The word for depression is an interesting word. The Hebrew word translated as downcast is shachach, which means to be bowed down, it weighs heavy. The actual word comes from a medieval Latin verb, deprimere. To press down, to depress. It's a low mood perhaps nearly every day. A loss of motivation and pleasure that which we used to enjoy no longer brings us joy. A sense of meaninglessness can come, a loss of energy, difficulty focusing or thinking, problems sleeping. Sometimes a change in eating patterns, eating too much, eating too little, new physical ailments appearing in our bodies as a result, headaches, back aches, neck pains, joint pain, fatigue, TMJ issues. My friend Jim Clark in a brief conversation this morning told me depression can be anger turned inward. And certainly that's true in Elijah's case, he's angry. He's angry with life, he's angry with God. So what can we learn from this story? If you're following in the bulletin, here's the first thing. First of all, the Bible addresses the reality of depression. It's Elijah who's saying, "'I have had enough, Lord, take my life.' Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep." And when you study scripture, you realize that some of the greatest biblical heroes walked the pathway of depression, whether it's Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, who cursed the day that he was born. Whether it's Jonah, stomping out of revival town, whether it's the Psalmist, who frequently says, why? How long? Where have you gone? Whether it's the apostle Paul. The apostle Paul, who spoke about the sentence of death in his hearts. Whether it's Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, overwhelmed with sorrow. We see that believers are not exempt. Madeline L'Engle says, "Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe in the idea of God and not in God Himself." If you are a believer and you battle this, don't count yourself out, count yourself in. We're not immune. And at times of depression, some of my friends historically have not been there helpful. They were previously employed by Job. Well, we hear that you are depressed. Yeah. Well, what can we do to sort you out? And I was tempted to say, well, how about going away forever? That would be a cracking good start. That would've been rude. Or someone said, get over it. Get over it. And I said, thank you. Thank you. I didn't realize I could just get over it until you just said that. Count yourself in. Secondly, when we are low, we feel powerless. We feel powerless. "I am no better than my ancestors," Elijah says. You see, depression asks tormenting questions. Why? Why do I feel like this, I'm 42? Why are you downcast, Oh my soul? Why? And then it goes on, where? Where have you gone, God? And Elijah was used to being in control. My wife Kay is back in England at the moment, so I am home alone creating some of the worst cooking. I'm working on a new recipe book called, Food to Make You Gag. It is gonna be exciting. And Friday night, I just wanted to, I think it was Friday, I can't remember, but I just wanted to relax and I was looking for remote control of the TV. Do you know that those remote controllers can be demon possessed? They transport themselves. They hide under the couch. It's all part of a great conspiracy. And I finally found the remote and I pressed it and nothing happened, so you do the old twisty twisty battery thing. How many identify? Boy, we are technical, aren't we? And I punched the remote and it was great. The TV came on. Elijah had a remote controlled faith. We need a drought. You got it. We need oil to be multiplied. Click. We need a dead boy to be raised. Okay then. We need fire from heaven, and righty Oh. We have got a message from the palace. And he couldn't control it. We feel powerless. And then thirdly, fear nudges us into confusion. Look at this, Elijah afraid and ran for his life, and then he prayed that he might die. How many note that's kind of ridiculous? You run for your life, you pray for death. And Jezebel, she knew how to scare. She sent a messenger rather than an assassin. She could have just killed him. Why? 'Cause fear can be more devastating, not really than death, but you get my point. She wanted to terrify him. She would've used, historians tell us, she would've used a self imprecatory oath, which went like this, may the God's deal with me, be it ever so severely if by this time tomorrow you are not dead like one of those Baal prophets. Fear got him. Last week, our grandson Stanley and Alex came to Colorado. Stanley's 13. I try not to talk about my grandkids too much, 'cause we grandparents, we are obsessed. We are obsessed with our grandkids. They glow in the dark, baby. I got 14,000 pictures on my phone. Join me later for a thrilling time. Stanley is his 13th birthday and we wanted to celebrate him becoming a teenager. And so we said, Stanley, what do you wanna do? He said, grandma, granddad, I wanna come to Colorado, I wanna go skiing. And I'm thinking, all right, I need to get a mortgage. And we went to A-Basin, which is like 1/3 of the price of Breckenridge. Just a little hint. That sounded like a word from our sponsor, didn't it? It's not. And in a couple of days, they are just amazing, these kids. They have no fear. I do. And we went to the top of the mountain, and I can do greens and blues, but not blacks. No, no, no, no. But we got lost and we find ourselves on a blue, black slope and I say, Jeffrey, you can do this. What foolishness. Foolishness. I go screaming down the hill. And I got faster and faster and I panicked, and I verily did fly. And I landed on my rib. I think I might have cracked my rib or something, but it might be like man flu, I don't know. Maybe I just got a bruise. And I landed. And I shouted something. It was like, hallelujah. Do you know why I fell? Fear. I'm like, I'm going 90 miles an hour. No, I was probably doing nine, but it was my perspective. The French novelist Anais Nin said, "We not see things as they are, but as we are." And we see life through that lens, a lens depression can say to us, no one cares about you, you're a failure. You're trapped. It's your fault, there's no hope, God doesn't care. Fear got in, twisting perspective. Feelings are real, but they lie. Fourthly, we descend into isolation. "When he came to Beersheba in Judah, Elijah left his servant there while he himself went a day's journey into the desert." You know what I discovered? When you're depressed, you don't have the emotional energy sometimes to engage with people. You're like, eh. Particularly people who whenever you tell 'em your stuff, they always turn it around to talk about their stuff. You met people like that? You say, I've just gone through, and they go, oh, that happened to me. And for the next 20 minutes, you get a seminar. And at the end of the 20 minute seminar about them, they say enough about me. What do you think about me? And I'm grateful for friends, some of whom are sitting in this auditorium. You know who you are, who genuinely care and listen. And we can descend into isolation. I always spend Saturday like yesterday, finishing off the message for the weekend, and I was sitting in my study yesterday and I suddenly heard this noise outside. And I thought, what is that? And we've been talking about this week as a pastoral team, we've been talking about God speaking to us through nature. We're gonna be looking at that later this year. Jesus said, look at the birds of the air, and He told lots of stories about fields and God's speaking to us. The heavens declare the glory of God. We've been talking about that. I'm hearing this noise. I'm finishing this message that I'm sharing now with you and I hear this noise outside. So I felt a little nudge, you know, just go out and listen. And I went out and I listened and it was a coyote. How many pronounce that word, coyote like coyote? How many pronounce it, coyote? You're both right, I've checked, it's okay. Coyotes, coyotes, whatever, they are highly social. They mate for life and they have families. They interact including playing with each other, but sometimes they disperse one of their pack and that pack is left alone, and they become bored and restless and lonely. I took my phone outside. Here's what I heard. You see, he or she is calling for the pack. What does your cry of loneliness sound like? And I had to spend a couple of hours finishing this message, listening to a cry of loneliness outside. And you know what it did for me? It said this to me, don't just think this is about presenting a message. It kept coming back to me that there are people, people, people, you, and there's a cry in your life. Do you know what? Is there a cry that you're giving out, a cry for help? Do you recognize the cry of a loved one or a neighbor? Jesus went to Gethsemane and He wanted not only the Father's help, but He took His closest friends with Him. If we begun to withdraw, let's recognize that. Number five, we neglect self care. "All at once an angel touched him and said, 'Get up and eat.' He looked around there by his head was a cake of bread, baked over hot coals and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then laid down again." The angel doesn't say, look, you don't have enough faith and you need to pray more. You need breakfast. You need good sleep. The journey's too much. A friend of Kay and mine, we had dinner a few weeks ago and we had one of those fairly in depth conversations, and she said, Jeff, self care is not selfish. Seems like God cares more for Elijah than Elijah cares for himself. And some of us so busy taking care of others that we've forgotten some of the basics of self care. Number six, we experience mind lock. Mind lock. "He replied," God asked him twice. What are you doing there? And he replied, "I've been very zealous for the Lord God almighty. The Israelites rejected your covenant." No they haven't, they just renewed it on Mount Carmel. "Broken down your altars." No they haven't, they just renewed an altar at Mount Carmel. "Put your prophets to death with the sword." It was the Baal prophets that were killed. "I'm the only one left." Wrong, there are 7,000 in Israel. "Now they're trying to kill me too." And here's what can happen. We get into circles of thinking, and we pursue the same mental trail over and over and over. And it feels like the Lord is trying to break Elijah out from that, asking him to express what's on his heart. What are our repeated mind journeys? And then number seven. God knows us and wants to meet us where we are. "The word of the Lord came to him, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'" And God meets us in different ways. Now the first way God met Elijah was the breakfast, and a breakfast cooking angel. Can you imagine that, God saying to the angel Fred or someone, Go forth with wheaty flakes. Actually it was bred and stuff. And then Elijah travels for six weeks. Yesterday I spent quite a lot of time saying to God, how come you sent an angel to cook him breakfast, but you didn't talk to him for six weeks. How come? And the answer is this. I have no clue. I don't know. But God did whisper, and in breakfast and in whispers, He met Elijah. The fire and the earthquake and the wind thing, that's kinda weird, 'cause that all happened then it says, God, wasn't in them. It's his speculation. I'm wondering whether God was trying to wean Elijah off of the spectacular and graduate him to the whisper. It's a question. All right, so let's wrap this up with some final reflections. First of all, let's know that not everything has a spiritual root. Sometimes we Christians get low and we think Satan is camping in the bathroom. I'm always easy on myself when I've got jet lag. I know I'm gonna feel low for a couple of days. See, that doesn't sound like faith. Well, it's just a fact. I've sat on a plane for nine hours when my legs wrapped around my neck, trying to discover whether the chicken was beef or the beef was chicken. Not everything has a spiritual root. Be intentional about self care. Resources, reflections. If your physician says you need medication, take it. You say Pastor Jeff, did you? Yeah. Helped a lot. Some Christians say, oh, if you had enough faith, you wouldn't take those pills. Really? If I broke my arm, I'd put it in a sling pretty quick. Take baby steps. God said to Elijah before He sent him back the way he came, He said, come out the cave, take a few steps here. Might be thinking about exercise or the diet that we have. Take baby steps. And then finally this Know that there will be other more beautiful mountains. See, God gave Elijah three commands when He sent him back. He said, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Why? Well, Hazael would be the agent of judgment to get rid of Ahab and Jezebel. He said, anoint Jehu king over Israel. Why? Well, Israel would need a new king once Ahab and Jezebel were gone. Strategy number three. Anoint Elisha as prophet. Why? Elijah needed a friend and a successor. So did Elijah obey? Yes and no and no. He never did anoint Hazael, so 13 terrible years were wasted in Israel. And he never did anoint Jehu. Both Hazael and Jehu were anointed by Elisha after Elijah had gone. He did anoint Elisha, in other words, and I wanna make a clear distinction here. Please notice this. Elijah battled a depression, it was not sin or disobedience. And he also was partial in his obedience. He didn't get it all right. So glad the Bible doesn't airbrush his heroes. But there was another mountain to come. There was the mountain, the cave of despair, but then look at this. We fast forward to just before Jesus went to the cross and Elijah's been long in heaven. His story was 800 years earlier, and we read, "After six days, Jesus took with Him, Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves." There's another mountain. "There He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as the light, and just then there appeared before them, Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus." What a beautiful picture of the graciousness and the kindness of our God, who whisper tenderly, tenderly and caringly to His broken friend and servant child. I feel like I hear a little whisper in my own heart. Call me crazy if you want. I hear a little whisper in my heart that says, reminded of that Bible verse, "Speak tenderly to my people." Hear this, not as a, you gotta do this message, but I hope and pray with the help of the Holy Spirit, reflection of the tenderness of our God, who is the glory and the lifter up of our heads. Let's pray. Jesus, you are the epitome of beauty and kindness, mercy and grace. You know your people, you know us. You know the joys and the celebrations and the shadow lands and the struggles. So would you take the seed of your word today and let it bring good fruit into our lives? I invite us just in the quietness to frame a one sentence prayer to the Lord. Whatever you'd like to say. If you're not a Christian and this could be the moment where you say, Jesus, save me, rescue me, take charge of my life. That might be the sentence. For others, another sentence. Just whisper in your heart. Say to Him what you would like to say to Him. If you'd like to become a follower of Jesus, we are here to help you. Come and talk to us about that. We can help you with that magnificent choice. So we thank you for your presence, Lord. We give you praise in Jesus name, and everybody said.
- [Congregants] Amen.
- Amen. You know, as a part of doing a series like this, we don't wanna close the conversation here, and so we've developed a new resource. We talked about it last week, it's called The Well. It's on our website, podcasts, book recommendations. Our Pastor Dickforth is speaking on this subject in Windsor today. Why not tune into that and get another camera angle on this subject? The lovely folks in the cafe have asked me to mention this book. Some nice people asked me, where do you talk about depression and your own struggles a bit more? This book, "Faith In The Fog" is a resource there. Hate waving my own books, but it's a resource if you'd like to get that. And also just to say, if you're new with us today, we have a welcome center and we have some folks with t-shirts with welcome. We'd love to say hi to you, and I'll be out lurking around there as well, lingering, and we'd love to say hi to you as well. Would you stand with me if you're able and let's worship the Lord together. ♪ Be exalted now in the heavens ♪ ♪ As your glory fills this place ♪ ♪ You alone deserve our praise ♪ ♪ You're the name above all names ♪ ♪ Be exalted now in the heavens ♪ ♪ As your glory fills this place ♪ ♪ You alone deserve our praise ♪ ♪ You're the name above all names ♪ ♪ Be exalted now in the heavens ♪ ♪ As your glory fills this place ♪ ♪ You alone deserve our praise ♪ ♪ You're the name above all names ♪ ♪ Be exalted now in the heavens ♪ ♪ As your glory fills this place ♪ ♪ You alone deserve our praise ♪ ♪ You're the name above all names ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪ ♪ Worthy is your name Jesus ♪ ♪ You deserve the praise, worthy is your name ♪
- Amen. Thank you guys. If you made a decision in your faith this morning, or you want to, but you might have some questions first, our prayer team is gonna be here up in the front of the auditorium directly after service, and they would love nothing more than to talk to you, learn your name and get some resources in your hands. For those of you who are faithful in giving to Timberline, thank you. We would not be able to do what we do without your finances. So thank you for trusting us with that. Because of your finances, we're able to continue giving to organizations such as Convoy of Hope, who has been crucial in the Ukrainian refugee crisis going on right now. Lastly, as you are walking out the doors, please visit one of our mall tables. If you are even 1% interested in becoming a leader with our student ministries or with our sound and media department, please visit the mall table, we would love to chat with you. Thank you for being here this morning. Have a lovely Sunday, and remember to let love live.
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