Matters of Faith: It Could Happen to You!

20161113_JLRussellBy Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

1 Kings 17:7-9
“And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” (KJV)

There may come a time in your life when the Lord wants to take you to a higher level, a time when it becomes necessary for Him to take you to school. During your training period, it might be necessary for you to experience some inconveniences, some discomfort, some challenges, some aches and some pains. When I was inspired to go back to school, it was a pretty unnerving moment. The cost would be high monetarily, emotionally and intellectually. He was sending me to seminary while I was employed full time. I remember the commitment it took, the late nights and long days. I remember getting angry because I was being stretched in ways I never even considered. I recall the sacrifices I had to make and the events I could not attend. I recollect the deadlines I had to meet if I was to make the grade. I remember telling myself, “It’s not going to last forever. When it’s over, it will be just another memory.” When my time was done, I had a Master’s of Divinity degree. It could happen to you.

When Elijah was told by the Lord to leave Gilead, go to Kerith Brook, then over to Zarephath, I’m not sure he realized the heights that the Lord was taking him. His matriculation was not his idea, but it was his decision whether or not he was going to accept. Like all starting points of elevation, his education was not going to be easy. I am sure that he thought running from Ahab and Jezebel was enough of a lesson, but he had no idea of the heights the Lord wanted to take him. This journey into this new place was going to have droughts of water and food, scavengers delivering meals, discouraged people, and even death. When his matriculation in that land was over, Elijah was a full-fledged prophet who knew that he could depend on the Lord for any and every situation. Eventually, he was translated by a flaming chariot into the presence of the Lord.

Elijah was not randomly selected. He was specifically identified by God and raised to a higher level. It could happen to you! The curriculum is difficult, but He equips you to pass every exam. Let me be clear, He is the Way Maker and He directs your path. If you’re willing to accept the call and go where He sends you, be encouraged; the rewards are great and the retirement plan is out of this world!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, Twitter @jlorenr, and email us at

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