A child’s family is the most important group in his/her life. Through family, we build an image of who we are and who God is, whether correct or incorrect. Because we are all sinners, our families all have some level of dysfunction, but God is not dysfunctional. He is wisdom, truth, and always has the correct perspective and a right character.
The four kids of dysfunction:
Hero – super kid, the little parent
Scapegoat – troublemaker
Loner – the quiet one who flies under the radar
Mascot – family or class clown
The first two children born into a family often assume the roles of the “hero” and the “scapegoat,” but the third child can display characteristics of the “loner” of the family. This is the quiet, well-doing child who can go unnoticed. The loner child observes that most of the parents’ attention is taken up praising the hero and dealing with the troublemaking of the scapegoat, so if s/he simple follows the rules, stays quiet, and doesn’t make any waves, then s/he can avoid attention. Unfortunately, s/he can eventually feel lost and uncared for, having constantly lacked attention from his/her parents.
A. What the loner looks like on the outside:
- Loner, daydreamer, drifts and floats, quiet, shy, ignored
- Stays off the radar
- Isolated, withdrawn from reality
B. What the loner feels on the inside:
- Not allowed to have feelings
C. What the loner means to the family:
- Offers the family relief
- Is the child about whom no one worries
- Is the "good kid"
D. As an adult without help, a loner can become:
- Indecisive, can't say no
- Alone, unable to feel, having very low self-esteem
- Terrified of intimacy/relationships
E. With God’s intervention, the loner can become:
You may have been a lost child for your whole life, holding back your great ideas and abilities to serve, but God has a great plan for you and He wants you to accomplish your potential.
In today’s passage, the prophet Elijah finds himself in despair. Maybe you can relate to his feeling of abandonment:
So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” 1 Kings 19:10
Even if you do not play the “loner” role of the family, there will be times when you feel isolated, lost, discouraged and alone. You may feel that no one understands, but God understands. The key is to reach out and find Him in your darkness. He is right there with you.
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 1 King 19:11-22
1. Listen for God’s still small voice. 1 Kings 19:12
What does God’s voice sound like? It sounds like that small voice in your conscience.
What does God’s voice sound like? It sounds like that small voice in your conscience. Have you ever been awake in the middle of the night and felt an urge to pray? It’s not you nudging yourself – we nudge ourselves selfishly for our own gain!
But God whispers to you for His glory and the benefit of others. You can recognize God’s voice because it is always consistent with His character and His Word. He will never direct you to sin or to act contrary to His perfect truth.
2. Draw near to God’s still small voice. 1 Kings 19:13
Take a baby step: keep listening and yearning for more whispers! Don’t look for the loud earthquake and the fire, but listen carefully for God’s still small whisper.
3. Be led by God’s still small voice. 1 Kings 19:14-18
God encourages Elijah to come out of his whining and complaining and to finish his work. Seek God’s voice. When you hear it, draw near to it. And when you have listened, obey His will. Don’t cheat yourself by ignoring His direction. Let God’s plans come to fruition in you!
Today the church body was given the opportunity to get involved at the Ministry Fair. If you missed it, it’s never too late; browse through the Rock ministries online (www.sdrock.com/ministries) and send an email to one that interests you. Listen to God’s prompting and find a place where you can step out in faith to serve others.