You want to know Christ, to love him and to serve him with an undivided heart.
In seeking to follow Christ, you’ve been blindsided by violent spiritual assault. Worse yet, it’s come from a place you would not have dreamed.
If those two statements describe you, I may have a word from the Lord for you. It’s something he’s said to me too:
You’re not alone, my beloved. Others are out there, seeking to know me intimately and to follow me fully. You may have trouble finding them. You may be slow to recognize them. They may not look as you have thought. On days when you feel desperately alone, know that you are not. But even if you were, do not quit this pursuit. One undivided heart matters more than you can dream.
Equally important, I may have a warning from the Lord for you:
Beware of Ahab and Jezebel, my beloved. They hate you. They’re determined to own you or destroy you – and they do not look as you have thought. In me, you have more authority than they. But to walk in that authority, you have to see past strong deception. You have to walk in the blessing of an undivided heart.
The prophet Elijah has proven incredibly helpful to me in the so-very-challenging quest to be wholehearted. Elijah lived in a culture that echoes today’s Western church culture in ways we may not have seen. In that setting, Elijah laid hold of the blessing: He cultivated an undivided heart. His life beckons us to do the same.
Meet a man who followed God fully
Elijah lived among a people whom God called his own, yet whose hearts were deeply divided.
Long before Elijah’s birth, a king named Solomon made a very tragic, very public journey to a divided heart. Solomon’s life made it seem that God’s people can worship the true God and other gods of their own choosing, indefinitely, without consequence.
Following Solomon’s lead, generation after generation in Israel served false gods, yet assured themselves they remained in good standing with the Lord who called them his own.
Then, Ahab and Jezebel rose up to rule where people’s divided hearts had made the way. Like a two-headed snake, the couple worked in tandem toward one venomous end – to take out all wholehearted worship of the one true God.
In that impossible place, Elijah lived before the Lord with an undivided heart. Repeatedly, he stood before the face of God. Day after day, he went out from there to love fiercely and live fully. In the end, he left behind a miracle legacy: He give away exponentially more than what he had.
See a culture trying to go both ways
Still today, wherever the people of God decide they can live indefinitely with divided hearts, Ahab and Jezebel wield great power and work great evil. Usually, we have no clue what’s happening, because:
- We don’t know our own hearts, yet we adamantly insist that we do. We think that we in the evangelical church culture worship Jesus only. We do not recognize how deep and pervasive our collective double-mindedness is.
- Ahab and Jezebel have fooled us too. We may see them as long-dead Bible characters. We may use their names to label people today. Yet we may totally miss their working in our midst, because Ahab and Jezebel do not look as we have thought.
Receive the blessing of an undivided heart
The God who loves us, who embraces us in his Son and breathes life into us by his Spirit, can clear the fog and show us what’s happening. This God invites us to stand before his face, to see him as he is, to see our own hearts and our church culture in his light. He can work mightily in us so that we love fiercely and live fully, as Elijah did.
You don’t need a book to experience that. You don’t need a book to be wholehearted in following God. But sometimes books can help, especially books that offer testimony from a survivor of the very thing you’re walking through.
I wrote The Elijah Blessing after being blindsided more than once by vicious spiritual attack. The attacks came as I tried to follow Christ fully. They came from Christians who I had thought were seeking the same thing. I didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t know what in me kept allowing it to happen. I didn’t know how to overcome what seemed intent on taking me out.
Over time, as I’ve continued to press in to God, he has entrusted me with much. I wrote The Elijah Blessing to encourage and affirm others in pressing in to follow God fully. My prayer is that this book will help you in your journey, by offering:
- New insight into lives lived long ago. New insight into the spiritual battles you have faced, or will face, in seeking to follow Christ.
- New understanding of the surprising things that can divide our hearts – and the simple but profound ways we can cooperate with God to be wholly his.
- Greater discernment in recognizing Ahab and Jezebel at work, even and especially in our church culture. Greater wisdom to avoid and/or overcome the venom of the two-headed snake.
- An opportunity to walk in authority and blessing, in that very place where you’ve walked in confusion and defeat.
- Another step forward toward an undivided heart.