“I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty.” (1 Kings 19:10 NIV)
Elijah was so zealous for the Lord God Almighty that nothing could stop him from ridding the land from idolatry and false prophets. It was truly a mountain top experience. But once he was back on the valley, Elijah let a word from the enemy rob him of this victory. “Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel 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” (1 Kings 19:1-2).
Have you ever done something so great for God that victory felt certain only to feel defeat shortly after? That’s exactly how the enemy tries to make us feel in order to stop up from being zealous ever again. “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.” In fact, he was so discouraged that he prayed that he might die (v.4). God didn’t answer that prayer, but He did choose someone else who was zealous and would continue the work:
The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” (vv.15-18)
True zeal doesn’t mean no fear. It means courage to keep going no matter what.