Wait, why would God hide me if He’s trying to use me for His kingdom?
It’s confusing when God takes you away from a path where you feel like you’re supposed to be headed.
It’s even more disheartening hearing the Lord tell you to “go hide” while you’re studying His word, preparing to share it with others, but this is exactly what He did with prophet Elijah. His own bearer of the Word thought he was following God’s instructions to the T and was going to help others grow in faith just like he had.
So why would God take Elijah away from his promise?
Elijah the prophet wasn’t being hidden because God wanted to punish him. In fact, he was being prepared for a future mission he couldn’t see for himself. Cherith means to “cut off” or to “remove” from a certain location. It comes with the pruning season we all fear will randomly come into our lives and force us to start over from the very beginning.
When we enter Cherith, we’re entering a period in our lives where we learn how to depend only on God and let Him do His will in our lives.
God Hides You
“Go away from here and . . . hide yourself” (1 Kings 17:3).
Imagine being Elijah for one second.
Elijah was the only one willing to preach God’s word to the people of Israel. He was willing! Deciding to do anything to share the gospel with the people around you will bring new challenges you never thought possible. When Israel decided not to repent and turn back to God, the Lord declared a famine also removing Elijah away from them (1 Kings 17–22).
Cherith is the place where God will hide you. He will develop you and open new doors that seemed impossible without Him.
I worked for a small radio station in Long Island right after graduating from college. For almost a year, I went to local sponsored events, parties in nightclubs, and business events in behalf of the company. Learning the ins and outs of a radio station catering to more than one genre.
One day, one of the DJ’s for the Latin station asked me to hop on board and share my experience live on air with their listeners. Three DJ’s scattered across the room, each taking place behind the microphone. “Como ha sido tu experiencia como interna a asistente de producción,” he asked. “How has your experience been coming in as an intern to a production assistant?”
Can’t even tell you how many times my voice cracked. I tried to conjure up the best examples of what I’ve done and how my mentors inspired me. It felt natural. It was fun.
I never saw myself as someone who would ever be live on air but God was planting a seed in my life by letting me have that experience. He knew back then, more than three years ago, the influence it would have on me.
God Leads You
God never abandoned Elijah during those three years of the famine.
He looked after him when he was at his worst. Not just physically with food and something to drink. He finds a way to fill your whole spirit so you feel capable of accomplishing anything in front of you.
“I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers” (1 Kings 19:3)
Elijah fell into a deep depression, forgetting who he was and whom he was. Read that again.
He was a prophet sent by God to bring others back to him. Just like the parable of the sheperd who leaves the 99 sheep in search of the missing 1, God will go frantic for the lost 1 who has strayed away from Him. God had Elijah’s back, was guiding him every step of the way and was never going to depart from him.
Cherith isn’t going to break you apart and leave you there to dwell in your pain. It’ll strengthen you. Fill you with more wisdom.
“Get up and eat,” said the angel. “or the journey will be too much for you… So he got up and ate and drank. And strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God” (1 Kings 19:7–8)
Let’s remember one thing: uncleanliness doesn’t equal unholy.
God will use anything and anybody to get his message across, even using ravens to feed someone He needs filled with the fruit of the spirit to speak to His people. During the Old Testament, there were laws created on what food were and weren’t allowed to be eaten. Ravens made the list as the “detestable” ones to avoid (Leviticus 11:16).
Why would God use unclean birds to feed Elijah?
You may be feeling like the unclean bird. You may be learning the Bible from someone who you later come to realize isn’t as deeply into the faith as you thought. You may be doubting the idea that God can truly bring joy into a situation that’s left you with regret.
‘You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there…’ And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening” (1 Kings 17:4,6)
The more I think about it, the more I see how God uses humor in our lives. He’s one funny and jealous God who will go the extra mile to get you to come back to Him and repent from your wrongdoings. If He needs to use an unclean bird to get us back into alignment with his will, shall His will be done.
God Creates A Strong Faith in You
Have you lost faith in what God is doing in your life at the moment?
Does it feel like He’s abandoned you to take care of someone else’s life?
What would it take for you to believe He’s watching over you and making sure your every desire is being met with due diligence just because He loves you?
How does it feel knowing you don’t have to stress out about anything because He’s already got a plan to fix whatever you deem impossible to fix?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
God’s guidance can come from anywhere. He speaks to every one of us differently.
It honestly feels better not getting what you want when you’re actually unprepared to receive it. I’d mess up more than half of the blessings God wants to give me if I received them when I felt ready but was deeply not. I don’t really know where God is taking me with every article I decide to publish about Him. If it reaches one person on this platform, great, let His will be done. If it doesn’t affect anybody’s life, that’s great too.