If I don't work, I don't eat
The Lie I Told Myself
Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!” Then the LORD said to Elijah, “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.” So Elijah did as the LORD told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land. Then the LORD said to Elijah, “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.” (1 Kings 17:1-9 NLT)
I’ve spoken openly about some of the changes to my life recently; my leaving my job to work fulltime for myself, the death of my daddy two weeks ago, and one thing I didn’t mention is I recently had the last of three surgeries within the past 3 months. The last was major and occurred 4 days prior to my daddy dying. So in spite of needing to recover and still being in a state where I am not physically healed (not to mention the process of grieving), I have returned to work pushing myself with the mantra “if I don’t work, I don’t eat”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, on a fundamental level that is very true. I, just as others around the world, have bills that need to be paid. Working to support myself is a part of my drive and my nature. It is also rooted in truth – biblical truth (2 Thessalonians 3:10, Proverbs 10:4). Yet the more I repeated the mantra, I began to place the power of my survival in my hands and not the Lord’s. And that is when the Holy Spirit began to convict me about what I was saying and claiming. I said to everyone that told me to slow down, including myself, “If I don’t work, I don’t eat.” I began to feel uncomfortable as I realized I was taking God out of the equation of my provision.
And such is the story of Elijah after his announcement of God’s judgement of a drought in Israel after the disobedience and idol worship by the people of Israel, Queen Jezebel and King Ahab. Elijah left and fled to the desert mountains and in this place God did something miraculous for him. He brought him food to eat by ravens and water to drink through a brook. The Lord also used a widow with little herself, to provide food for Elijah. The Lord provided… Yet this wouldn’t be the only time God did the miraculous for feeding Elijah. In 1 Kings 19, we see Elijah being feed baked bread and water by the angel of the Lord. Even in Elijah’s exhaustion and depression, the Lord provided.
The Holy Spirit reminded me of these passages because, my working or not, is independent of my being feed me the past three weeks, nor I imagine in the upcoming weeks. Instead it has been and will continue to be the hand of God being used by the people that have not only feed me almost daily during this time, but even those who have given me money to help me as well. I also must be honest and say I have struggled with the provision God has provided; not only because of my pride, but because I am used to doing for others and not having others do for me or give to me personally. So, I have lied to myself and to others and I must repent and tell you about my testimony so you won’t get caught up as I did. God has and always will be Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide. Just as He was the provider for Abraham presenting the ram in the bush for sacrifice, and for Elijah on the mountain side, and as Jesus fed the five thousand. He is a provider for me and you.
Never get caught up in the lie that your provision is by your hand and not the hand of God. Yes, I need to work and will continue to do so. But my survival is not dependent on me, but it has always been dependent on God, the Father.
Whatever place of need you find yourself in, always remember that truth and never let yourself take the center of your life, which is where God should always be. He has you. I am a living witness.
Walk with Him this week.