For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)
Life inside the cave
Are you in a cave? Believe it or not, you can benefit from your cave experience. Let’s look at the Apostle John’s life. Living in a society that was hostile to the Lord, he went through great persecutions. Emperor Domitian demanded the people to worship him. Many Christians refused, preferring to worship the Lord instead. Since John had a leadership position in the church, the Emperor wanted to make an example of him.
Tradition says that they took him to the Roman Coliseum, where they poured hot boiling oil on the Apostle John. Domitian, himself, was there wanting to make an example of him. Upon seeing that God preserved John, it caused many in the multitude to turn to Christ.
This event was too much for the Emperor to bear. He sent John to the isle of Patmos, where he would face an uncertain fate, but God had other plans. His protection was upon John and he found refuge in a cave.
It was in that cave that God met with him. He entered into a new dimension with revelation insights. A new level in which his message would resonate for generations to come. God gave him a series of messages for the 7 churches as well as insights for future events. For the sake of our study, we are going to define John’s cave as the cave of Banishment.
The Apostle John passed the test of his cave. Eventually, he was set free to preach the word again. (Rev 10:11) John was restored and got back everything that Satan had stolen from him. He lived a long life and died a natural death.
The Prophet Elijah
Elijah was a man with human frailties, just like all of us, but he prayed and received supernatural answers. He actually shut the heavens over the land so there would be no rain for three and a half years! (James 5:17–TPT)
When we think of the prophet Elijah, we think of power. Let’s look at some of his miracles…
- Prophesied a drought over Israel (I Kings 17:1,7)
- Elijah revives the widow’s son ( I Kings 17:17-24)
- Elijah confronts the false prophets, puts them to shame, and prays fire from heaven. (I Kings 18:20-40)
These and more miracles were accomplished by the hand of the Prophet Elijah. The miracle of Mount Carmel was unique. It was there that God manifested himself by fire. The false prophets were put to shame and killed by Elijah. Like Emperor Domitian, Jezebel hardened her heart. She put a death sentence on Elijah!
Elijah, upon hearing about this, ran away. This mighty man of God was afraid and hid in a cave. His human nature took over causing him to be depressed. We will call this the cave of depression. It was at this time that God spoke to Elijah. He confronted him and gave some instructions to follow.
Among those instructions, there would be a change of command in his life. Elisha was going to over Elijah’s ministry. God had other plans for Elijah. He was going to take him up to heaven with a chariot of fire. Glory! What a beautiful illustration of the rapture of the church. He went from the cave of depression into glory!
The cave of victory
When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. (Matt 27:57-60)
Finally, we see another cave. This cave was Jesus’ burial site. It was sealed with a stone. Soldiers were guarding the body of Jesus. (Matt 27:63-65) It was a crucial and challenging time for his disciples. The work of the Lord seemed to suffer a setback, but God had other plans. Resurrection day came and Jesus rose from the dead. Glory!
In life, we will face testings and challenges. There will be caves in which we may have to dwell in. (Spiritually or naturally) The good news is that God wants you to pass the test. He wants you to rise above the circumstances and walk in victory. If you are in a cave, it is time to learn from your experience and come out. You are more than a conqueror!
Prayer-Dear Lord, Forgive me for complaining about my situation. Help me to learn and understand concerning my cave experiences in life. You have a plan for me. Use me for your glory. Help me to impact others in the years to come. In Jesus’ name–Amen!