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Relocation in the Spiritual Realm

22.02.2020, Daniel Glimm

In 1 Kings 17:1-10 we are told of the prophet Elijah, who by the command of God foretold a three and a half year period of drought toward King Ahab, the current king of Israel at that time.

After Elijah prophesied the words of God, the LORD spoke to him to turn east and go to the brook Kerith, which he did. There God provided for him for a certain time through the water of the brook and the support of the ravens until the water of the brook dried up (cf. 1 Kings 17:1-7).
1 Kings 17:1-7:
1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” 5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.
Thereupon Elijah was told by God to leave the region of the brook to go to Zarephath, which was near Sidon. There the LORD had commanded a widow to care for Elijah. By the command of God, Elijah made his way from the brook Kerith to Zarephath (cf. 1 Kings 17:8-10a).
1 Kings 17:8-10a:
8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. …
The Training of the Spirit in Challenging Circumstances
This situation clearly shows that Elijah was spiritually trained to deal with challenging circumstances. His focus wasn't on the drought, but on the Word of God that the Lord spoke to him.
Especially in so-called ‘desert experiences’ or ‘periods of drought’ (note: challenging life situations, crisis) it often happens that the Lord wants to reveal our promise to us. Here God doesn't react primarily to our cry for help, but to the call of our promise, similar to what Hagar experienced in the desert near Beersheba when she stood a bowshot away from her son Ishmael, raised her voice and wept, but the angel of God listened to the voice of Ishmael (cf. Genesis 21:14-18).

Genesis 21:14-18:
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.
16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.
18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
=> When the Holy Spirit leads us through a wilderness experience (note: challenging life situation) and begins to show us our promise, we will have an opportunity to mix the word of promise with faith or to choose to enter into fear over the resistant forces that we will have to face in our quest for God to manifest the promise. One of the greatest dangers of our wilderness season is that we may choose not to mount up with a mind to war over our promised inheritance. In the Israelites’ wilderness wanderings, a whole generation was led astray by the leaders, who discouraged the people from entering into war over God’s promise for their lives.
When we find ourselves in the wilderness, we always have that same choice. We can trust in God’s faithfulness and be filled with anticipation or we can give in to fear and be filled with anxiety. We have to remember what God has done in the past and choose to believe He will provide again or we can focus on our problem and grumble in unbelief. We can lift up our hands in praise and commit our lives to Him or we can throw up our hands in despair and try to find our own path. We always have a choice, and the choice we make determines our future. <= (note: excerpt from the prayer letter of Chuck D. Pierce, Glory Of Zion International Ministries from the 26.10.2017)
Coming back to Elijah now, his inner man (note: spirit and soul) was not clouded by the circumstance of drought, so that he was able to see with enlightened eyes of his heart and hear with the ears of a disciple. This enabled Elijah to discern the situation correctly and act according to the will of God (cf. Ephesians 1:18 i.c.w. Isaiah 50:4).

Ephesians 1:18:
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, …

Isaiah 50:4:
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

Moving forward with Christ, the Signs of the Times and the Speaking of God

It is of great importance that we don't settle down on a ‘section’ on the way of our promise just because we have experienced the provision or supernatural manifestation of God there. Instead, we should listen to the instruction of God with enlightened eyes of the heart and ears of a disciple in order to act accordingly.

Even if the Lord has spoken to us before, and we have followed what He has instructed us to do in a particular season, it is necessary in all this to recognize the signs of the present time, as Jesus said, and to listen to the Word of God in the form of revelatory truth for this season (cf. Matthew 16:3).

Matthew 16:3:
… 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
These two things (note: signs and revelatory truth of the Word of God) are closely connected, because God can reveal His direction for the future through any condition, so that our future and even that of our fellow human beings is secured.
We shouldn't idolize at any time a place, an object, a person, … that is connected with the supernatural intervention of God, by wallowing alone in the experience and trying to proceed in the same way as God did in the past.
This doesn't mean that we shouldn't remember good experiences, but rather that we should continue to go forward with Jesus Christ in gratitude for what God did in the past (cf. Psalm 103:2).
Psalm 103:2:
2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – …
An idolization can take place if we give a ‘name’ to the things connected with the supernatural event of God and merely put our focus on them instead of listening to God's voice and His instruction at that time. By giving a name, we create a kind of ‘identity’ that reveals a certain level of relationship which can be tricky.
As a warning example, we should remind ourselves of the exalted bronze serpent on the staff that God told Moses to make in the desert because of the snake bites from the fiery snakes. The purpose of this was to save from death anyone who was bitten by these snakes and looked at the exalted bronze snake. This exalted bronze snake was later lifted by the people of Israel to an idol called ‘Nehushtan’, which was later destroyed by king Hezekiah (see Numbers 21:7-9 i.c.w. 2 Kings 18:4).
Numbers 21:7-9:
7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.
2 Kings 18:4:
4 He (note: king Hezekiah) removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)
On the basis of the enlightened eyes of Elijah and his spiritually open ears, he correctly recognized or discerned the situation of the drought according to the instruction of God.
In connection with the relocation of Elijah, who left the brook Kerith and went to Zarephath, taking a distance about 128 km up to 144 km away, which lies near Sidon on the Mediterranean Sea, this means that he didn't idolize the place of God's provision, but instead continued his way.
The brook Kerith is geographically located in the heritage of the tribe of Manasseh (cf. Joshua 13:29-33) whereas Zarephath (note: near Sidon) is located in the territory of the tribe of Asher (cf. Joshua 19:24-31).
Elijah thus changed from the southeast to the northwest and from the region of a flowing water (note: brook) to the region of a ‘sea’ (note: the Mediterranean).
Furthermore, his relocation was related to ‘taste’, as Elijah shifted his abode from fresh water to salt water. In a spiritual context, Elijah moved from one level of heaven to another in accordance with the will of God (note: supernatural realm).
This is because every ‘heaven’ is associated with a body of water and there is also a crystal sea before the throne of God (cf. Revelation 4:6a).
Revelation 4:6a:
6a Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. …
Thus, the geographical relocation of Elijah by the command of God indicates that we shouldn't focus on circumstances that affect us from an earthly perspective, but rather discern them spiritually (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:12-14).
1 Corinthians 2:12-14:
12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
Elijah saw the withered riverbed of the brook, which caused the Word of God to be stirred up in him, so that he continued his journey to the next destination.
God's purpose was to meet Elijah in a new way, bringing him into a new spiritual realm of ‘taste’ so that he could see the LORD in a new way (cf. Psalm 34:8).
Psalm 34:8:
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
God led the prophet from the region of fresh water to the region of salt water, and from the provision of ravens (note: symbol of the provision of the bread of the angels; cf. Psalm 78:24-25) to the provision of the widow (cf. 1 Kings 17:9b-10)
Psalm 78:24-25:
… 24 he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven. 25 Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.
1 Kings 17:9b-10:
… 9b I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?”
Changing Structure as from Running Water to the Sea
When Elijah was at the brook Kerith, he was trained in perseverance and order by the revelatory truth of the Word of God, since raven symbolize, among other things, perseverance (cf. Genesis 8:7).
Genesis 8:7:
… 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.
The name ‘Kerith’ means ‘separation”, which is also a reference to the power of the living Word of God, which leads to a holy transparency related to prophetic revelation (cf. Hebrews 4:12-13 i.c.w. 1 Samuel 19:24).
Hebrews 4:12-13:
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
1 Samuel 19:24:
24 He (note: king Saul) stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Accordingly, the stream Kerith is a reference to the place in the heavenly realm where the Holy Spirit teaches us the truth of the power of the Word of God in connection with the spiritual order of the inner man. Here the angels are also at our disposal, who give us the Word of God like a ‘scroll’, so that we may internalize it in order to walk in the power of the truth of the Word of God (cf. Ezekiel 3:1-2 i.c.w. Revelation 10:9a-b).
Ezekiel 3:1-2:
1 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.
Revelation 10:9a-b:
9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. …”
The river or brook structure is an indication of the outpouring of God's presence, which has an apostolic character (note: sending forth) and cannot be directly compared with the center of God's throne room, because the crystal sea is before the throne of God and it is the river that flows in the heavenly city of Jerusalem (cf. Revelation 4:6a i.c.w. Revelation 22:1-2).
Revelation 4:6a:
6a Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. …
Revelation 22:1-2:
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Elijah was aware of the command of God at the dried up brook, namely that a widow would take care of him. To do this, however, he had to change from the brook to the sea, which is also an indicator that through the truth of the Word of God established by the Holy Spirit (note: revelatory truth) we enter the place of God's government as the throne room (cf. John 7:38-39a; John 16:13 i.c.w. Revelation 4:6a).
John 7:38-39a:
38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. …
John 16:13:
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Revelation 4:6a:
6a Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. …
The sphere of the throne room of God is a place that is ‘seasoned’ with the presence of His holy being, which is a consuming fire (cf. Mark 9:49 i.c.w. Colossians 4:6; Hebrews 12:29).
Mark 9:49:
49 Everyone will be salted with fire.
Colossians 4:6:
6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Hebrews 12:29:
… 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”
This supernatural ‘spice’ is equal to ‘salt’, which means God's truth spoken in purity and conviction.
Elijah went to Zarephath in accordance with the will of God (note: ‘Zarephath’ means ‘melting house’), as he arrived at the city gate of Zarephath and thereupon, according to the Word of God, met that widow (cf. 1 Kings 17:10).
1 Kings 17:10:
10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?”
Thus God gave His prophet Elijah access to the city and to the widow's heart, to help her to enter into the renewing of her inner man (note: transformation => Zarephath => melting house).
The renewing of the inner man leads to a greater power of the Word of God being present in the life of a believer which equals substance and authority (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:16 i.c.w. with Joel 3:10).
2 Corinthians 4:16:
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Joel 3:10:
10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, “I am strong!”
The Behavior of the Widow and the Instruction of Elijah
To make it clear once again that challenging circumstances can lead to the fact that people don't perceive the voice of God clearly or even at all, although God has spoken, is shown by the behavior and statement of the widow towards the prophet Elijah as they met. It is said that God commanded the widow to care for His prophet, but her posture was contrary to what God had said (cf. 1 Kings 17:11-12).
1 Kings 17:11-12:
11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread – only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it – and die.”
This widow had an earthly focus, namely anxiety and fear of the future, which resulted in not hearing God's command properly or even not at all. But glory be to God that Elijah came to her as a prophet and spoke the will of God so that she could obey the divine and sovereign command. As a result, she secured her life and her promise of the future (note: son) (cf. 1 Kings 17:13-16).
1 Kings 17:13-16:
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.
14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’ ”
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.
16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
From Drought to Fruitfulness
This reveals to us that when Jesus Christ is ‘hungry’, we should already have something ‘in the house’ to give Him first whenever He asks for it, and not focus on us and what is important to us.
It is not enough to just ‘appear green’ to the world outside, but to really present fruit (cf. Matthew 21:18-19 i.c.w. Galatians 5:22-23).
Matthew 21:18-19:
18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry.
19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
Galatians 5:22-23 (The Jewish New Testament – David H. Stern):
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 humility, self control. Nothing in the Torah stands against such things.
Therefore, by being with the right saints in the right place, doing the right thing at the right time, we can flow in God's strategy and thereby guarantee success (note: doing the will of the Father).
It is similar to the twenty-four elders before the throne of God and the trees of righteousness planted by the ‘water’ in the structure of the tree of life, which is Jesus Christ (cf. Revelation 4:4 i.c.w. Revelation 22:2; Psalm 1:1-3; Jeremiah 17:7-8).
Revelation 4:4:
4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.
Revelation 22:2:
… 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Psalm 1:1-3:
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.
Jeremiah 17:7-8:
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
This relocation of Elijah reminds us that our faith, through the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit, brings forth in us the obedience to overcome distances and resistance in faith (note: trust), in order to come more deeply to the place of God's government (note: government authority) assigned to us, which transforms unbelief into hope in our environment and regions (cf. Jeremiah 29:11).
Jeremiah 29:11:
11 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.
Amen and Amen.
In His Wisdom,
Daniel Glimm