The Cave Mentality

August 31, 2001 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, open up your Bibles with me to the book of First Kings chapter nineteen. First Kings chapter nineteen. And when you get to First Kings chapter nineteen, just signify by saying, "Amen."

The title to tonight's message will be, "The Cave Mentality." Oh, hallelujah to Jesus. The cave mentality.

In First Kings chapter Nineteen, beginning with verse one, it says,

1. And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah and done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.

2. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

3. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.

4. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

5. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.

6. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water by his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.

7. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.

8. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

9. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

10. And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, and thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for this time of fellowship together with You. Holy Spirit, hide Your servant behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me.

And Father, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. And Father, we thank You that Satan is bound right now, and loose from every assignment he's been sent on. In Jesus' holy and blessed Name.

And the church said, "Amen."

Elijah operated in prayer, in faith, in obedience to the voice of the Lord. He had a willingness to put his life on the line to prove that Jehovah was his God.

Earlier in First Kings chapter eighteen, we find Elijah in a situation where he's with the prophets of Baal. And he says to the prophet of Baal, he says, "My God is the true God. But let us test and see who's God is the true God."

So the prophets of Baal agreed. And Elijah began to do what was in his heart to do. And after it was over (glory to God), he found and they found that Elijah's God was the true God. Not only did they find that Elijah's God was the true God, but he slayed the prophets of Baal.

In that same chapter, though it was a drought for three years, he prayed and brought the drought. Though Ahab's chariots were after him, he outran them. God was using him in a powerful way.

Many of us desire for God to use us in a powerful way. Many of us have been used by God in a powerful way. But just like Elijah, we have a cave mentality. As soon as things don't start to go the way that we desire for them to go, we go hide in the cave. Oh, you don't hear me tonight. I'm not preaching to you.

We get a mentality that we're the only ones left. We get the mentality that God, if He don't use me, then nobody will be used. We get in our pity parties, don't we? And all God is asking us, just like He asked Elijah, "What are you doing here?" You don't hear me yet.

Some of you are in a situation right now where your mind is like a cave. And your surroundings are dark. And you don't know what to do. And you don't know where to go. And you don't know where to turn. But God is still proposing the question, "What are you doing here?"

Are you the same person that slayed the eight hundred and fifty prophets of Baal? Are you the same person that prayed and caused it not to rain, and prayed again and caused it to rain again? Oh, you don't hear me tonight. Are you the same person that outran Ahab's chariot? What are you doing here? With all I've given you, why are you here?

God is speaking to us. It's time for us to change our mentality. You can't operate in that supernatural realm one moment (oh, you don't hear me yet) and then want to run and hide the next moment. You see, you're going through something right now. And some of you are on the verge of giving up.

Elijah was at the point of giving up. He was under the juniper tree, and his prayer was, "Lord, let me die." We reach a point where we can either go on through and get the breakthrough, or we can out of position for the blessing.

Through all the wonderful things and marvelous things that God used him in, he still had a cave mentality. The body of Christ, we have begun to have a cave mentality. We think because somebody in leadership (you don't hear me yet) hurt our feelings that we need to run away and hide.

Jezebel and Ahab were the leaders. And a lot of time, we go to leaders and we expect (glory to God) for them to help us. But every now and then they do something or say something that doesn't feel good and doesn't sound good. It's not time to go into the cave. It's time to get up on top of the mountain and hear what the voice of the Lord has to say.

Jezebel said all that he did to her prophets she would do to him. These words caused him to come down from a powerful move of God. You're going through something in your life that's trying to cause you to come down from a powerful move of God. But all you have to do is hang on a little while longer, and your breakthrough is on the way.

He was in a self-pity party. (Tongues.) I feel the Holy Ghost. He was in a party that we love to have, wasn't he? Lord, I'm the only one that can sing Your praises. Lord, I'm the only one that can preach Your Word. Lord, I'm the only one that can lay hands on the sick, and they recover. Lord, I'm the only one that can prophesy and have it to come to pass."

The Lord said to Elijah, "I've got seven thousand just like you that have not bowed their knee." You think you're the only one, but God's got many more just like you that have not bowed their knee, that have been in holiness just like you've been in holiness.

So it's time to come out your pity party tonight. It's time to come out your pity party. It's time to stop being self-righteous. It's time to stop being self-willed, isn't it? It's time to go on in the Name of the Lord. It's time to come out of the cave.

Every time something happens, instead of pressing on, we start to retreat. Instead of going on to see what the end's going to be, we want to go back to Egypt again. We begin to reminisce and remember the good times that we used to have back in Egypt when things was, seem like it was a little bit easier, yet there was a hard taskmaster.

But it seemed like it was a little bit easier back there. I could say what I wanted to say, and I could do what I wanted to do. But He brought you up out of Egypt. Listen at what I'm saying. He brought you up out of Egypt. Stop going back, and get out of the cave. He's speaking to us tonight. He's talking to us tonight. Yes, He is. The Lord is talking to us.

In First Kings chapter nineteen and verse four, it said,

4. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

God didn't answer that prayer, but He turned up the fire a little hotter. You see, we're looking for God to get us out the fire. Oh, who am I preaching to? But while you're praying for Him to get you out the fire, He's about to turn the fire up another notch.

He wants to get all the dross out of us, the dross of self out of us. That's what He wants to do. You been praying for a miracle, but He's going to make you wait a little while longer until He gets you out of you.

Sometimes we get disappointed and discouraged, but we can't allow it to turn into resentment. We can't allow it to turn (glory to God) into self-pity and then turn (glory to God) into anger and have a persecution complex. Christians in the body of Christ today, we've been having what we call a persecution complex, a rejection complex.

But if I'm going to do something for Him, I have to be able to stand in the midst of the situation and the circumstance. If we allow ourselves to stay in the pity party, we get bitter. And then we start to make up our own laws. We come out of the world with a spirit, and we start to make our own laws. We start to make up in our own minds the way that we think things should go, the way that we want things to go. We get into a place of self delusion.

Elijah is like many of us today. If it's not going the way we want it to go, then we get a bad attitude. If it's not how we believe it should be, we want to give up. But God is speaking. Some of you are trying to turn me off. You can try to turn me off all you want to, but God is talking directly to you.

All of this caused Elijah to say in verse nine and verse ten that, "Everybody is against me. No one understands me. Nobody appreciates me." That's the mentality that causes the cave mentality. "It's all about me. I'm the only one." Oh, He gave me this tonight. "I'm the only one left."

That's the kind of mentality that opens us up to the spirit of error. When we look at people that are in this situation, they begin to have all kinds of spiritual problems. Oh, I feel Jesus. They begin to have problems that they can't comprehend and they don't understand, because they're living in their own world. Do you hear what I'm saying? They're living in the fantasy that they have built themselves. God is speaking tonight.

That's the cave mentality. Come out of the cave. They begin to be what we will call exclusive and seclusive, exclusive and seclusive. And when a person has that type of spirit, it brings on the spirit of the cult.

Have you ever seen ministers that have started a ministry, and they try to separate themselves from everybody, like their ministry is the elite ministry? That's the spirit of the cult. We are to love one another in Christian and brotherly love, and fellowship together.

The spirit of the cult is trying to run rampant in the body of Christ. Because somebody got hurt, so they went out to start their own. You don't hear me. And what happens is, they believe that what they have is the only thing that's right.

A little girl asked my daughter at the playground the other day, she said, "What church do you go to?" Oh, that was a good think, wasn't it? But because she didn't go to her church, she said, "Don't you want to go to a church that's going to heaven?"

And my daughter said, "Yeah."

She said, "Well, you must be going to the wrong church then." Somebody has fed her the wrong information. It's not about Baptist, non-denominational, holiness, Church of... It's about believing in Jesus Christ and living the Word of God.

That mentality brings on a cult spirit. And instead of being a blessing, we'll become an instrument of Satan; we'll become an instrument to sow discord among the brethren, to cause division among the house of God.

Have you ever seen a person that didn't get their way? Have you ever seen a person that didn't get their way, and they didn't get raised up in the amount of time in which they believed that they should have been raised up? Oh, you can have hell on your hands. Oh, you don't hear me tonight. You can feed them. You can clothe them. You can give them the drink. But they'll talk about you like you're not a child of God. That's the cave mentality.

I'm not talking about if you're in the wrong place. If you're in the wrong place, God will show it to you. And then you got to get up and move on.

But if you got people that love you that are working with you to bring you into that place that God has for you, you got to learn how to be patient. If they're living holy and living by the Word, you've got to learn how to be patient. You know when somebody's trying to hold you down and trying to hold you back. You know. It's time to leave the cave and get on top of the mountain.

The Lord asked him again in verse thirteen, at the end of that verse, He said, "What doeth thou here, Elijah?" He said, "Now go and stand on the mountain."

And when Elijah obeyed Him, he received a great commission. If you want God to give you a great commission, then come out of the cave tonight. We've all been through something. And we all go through things. But it's time to come out of the cave.

It's time to stop thinking that everything revolves around you. That's what it's time for. It's time to stop whining and crying when He just used you to prophesy into somebody's life, and it came to pass. He just used you to lay hands on the sick, and they recovered. He just used you. Just finished working a miracle by your hands, and now we're in a cave, and we're the only ones.

I want you to take a good look around you. He loves everybody here. I'm not the only one. She's not the only one. He loves us all.

Listen. Your problem that you're going through, I guarantee you is not the end of the world for you. Elijah thought he came to his end, but it wasn't the end. It was another beginning, a new beginning. If you need a new beginning, tell Him that you need a new beginning. But get out of the cave.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

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