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The Elijah Complex

Read Psalm 12:1-8


Whenever you get the idea that you are the only one left who is godly, beware. That's how David was praying in Psalm 12. He said, "The godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men" (v. 1). I call this the Elijah complex. You will remember that Elijah had this problem (I Kings 19). He left his place of ministry, went out into the wilderness and sat down, pouting. God asked, "What are you doing here?" Elijah replied, "I'm the only godly one left, and they are trying to kill me." God said, "I have 7000 people waiting in line. I can pick any one of them to get My work done."


When you begin to think you're the only godly person, it quickly leads to pride. In this passage David refers to the sin of flattery (v. 2). Our world is filled with flattery. Sometimes it's called advertising or promotion, but it's still flattery. God doesn't flatter people. He tells the truth. Flattery is manipulation, not communication. It comes from a double heart, from mixed motives. David said, "Unite my heart to fear Your name" (Ps. 86:11). Don't fall for flattery or flatter yourself into thinking you are the only godly one left.


Verse 6 tells us where to turn: "The words of the Lord are pure." Listening to your own words may lead to discouragement or pride. And the words of others may be flattery, lying or vanity. So listen to the Word of God and test everything you hear by it.


The godly person has not completely vanished from the earth. We'd be surprised to find where God has His people, waiting to accomplish His will. Others are waiting to stand with you and help you. Lay hold of God's Word. It has been tested and proved. You can trust it.


The remedy for discouragement is the Word of God. When you feed your heart and mind with its truth, you regain your perspective and find renewed strength. Feeling discouraged? Encourage yourself with the Word of God.


Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group (bakerpublishinggroup.com). Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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