"Adam, where are you?" Genesis 3:9
"What are you doing here, Elijah?" 1 Kings 19:9
To E. M., August 5, 1854.
My Beloved Friend,
The above questions came to my mind for my beloved friend, I know not why.
This evening I have heard a sermon from the last of these passages, and I
must send you the substance of a few remarks, though not in the exact words.
"What are you doing here, Elijah?" It may be said to some believers, "What
are you doing here--inactive and indolent in your Lord's cause? You were
very lively in the service of Satan and the world. Why are you so lethargic
in the service of Him who bought you with His blood, and knew what it was to
be weary in working for you?"
Again, it may be said to some, "What are you doing
here--in a place, or in society, where your Lord is not loved, honored, or
known?" Your soul will suffer, your spirituality will be withered, for it is
a very tender plant; and it is easily injured. If the believer will be in
worldly society, uncalled by Providence, his spirituality is sure to suffer
blight. Ah! What are you doing here, Elijah?
"What are you doing here?" it may be said again, when the
believer is in the midst of mist and gloom, which hide the Savior from his
view. What are you doing here?—you whom I have ransomed—you to whom I have
manifested myself—you whom the Spirit has sealed—whom I have loved with an
everlasting love—what are you doing here with darkened evidences? Is it not
because you are looking into your own heart instead of looking unto Me, and
coming unto Me, who am made unto you wisdom, righteousness, sanctification,
The Spirit may discover to us what is in our hearts to
abase us and lay us low; but if we look into our hearts to find comfort or
encouragement, then our evidences will be darkened, the clouds will gather
quickly around us, and our dreariness will grow yet more dreary! What are
you doing here, Elijah? We must look away from self, and learn that we are
not to live upon past experience, however real, or upon past manifestations,
however bright; but we must be seeking for fresh incomings of grace. It is a
great lesson which we are very slow in learning, not to live upon grace
received. . . . . . . .