Six reasons that people quit

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It seems like people are always quitting.  you used to hear about people working for a The six reasons that people quit. A sermon from Irvington Bible Baptist Churchcompany and retiring after 40 years of service.  That does not happen very often anymore.  People do not seem to stick with anything for that length of time these days.  I remember a time when it was uncommon to meet someone who had worked for more than three companies in their careers, now it is unusual to meet someone who hasn’t worked for more than three companies during their employment career.  This also applies to Christians as well.  Christians quit in the ministry far too often.  Let’s look at what I believe are the six main reasons that Christians decide to quit.

And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. - 1 KIngs 19:1-8

1.  Worry takes over

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come - Proverbs 26:2
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? - Romans 8:31

Don’t give in to worry.  We spend most of our time sitting around and worrying about things that we can not change or fix.  Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to stop being so full of care and to stop worrying about things.  Instead just turn them over to the Lord.  He is the only one who can fix them:

 I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. - Psalms 118:5-9

2.  Leave the place of blessing

And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. - 1 Kings 19:3

Don’t leave the place that the Lord is using to give you a blessing.  For the Christian, that place is the Local Bible Believing  Church!  When looking for a blessing, go where the blessings are;  If you need some gas for your vehicle you wouldn’t go to the hospital and if you needed stitches, you wouldn’t go to the gas station, you go to the place that is best equipped to solve the issue that you need to be resolved.  For the Christian that place is the Local church that the Lord has placed you into.  Don’t leave the place that the Lord has placed you.

Don’t leave the Bible either.  The word of God will bring you a blessing if you will spend time in it.  Leaving the Bible when you are in need of a blessing is similar to skipping a meal when you are hungry.  I realize that the last sentence does not make any sense, but neither does avoiding Gods word when you need a blessing.

3.  Abandonment of friends

...and left his servant there. - 1 Kings 19:3b

Don’t leave your friends behind.  God brings people into your life for a reason:

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. - Proverbs 27:17
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.-Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Elijah abandoned his servant, Don’t abandon your fellow servants.  As a Christian, you are now a servant of the Lord:

Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. - Romans 6:18-23

He left his servant so that he could do what he wanted to do without any interference.  That is what people do, they leave the people behind that God has placed into their lives to keep them from doing the very thing that they are now doing.  That is what it means by iron sharpening iron in Proverbs 27:17 (above).  By staying and serving together, we will make each other better.  Life is not easier without eh people that God has placed in yo9u path.

4.  Self pity

But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. - 1 Kings 19:4

Juniper Tree’s have low spreading long branches that are covered with needle-like leaves.  This would have been extremely uncomfortable.  Miserable people do things to stay miserable.  Some people just are not happy unless they are unhappy.  Don’t place yourself in a situation that is going to prolong your misery.  Sitting around and thinking about yourself and how awful your circumstances are, will not ever help you to feel better or to better those circumstances.

5.  Stop trying

But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. - 1 Kings 19:4

Elijah put himself in a place of feeling like there was no use in trying anymore.  He said it is enough, that is translated as “I Quit!”  He actually asks the Lord to take his life.  He had convinced himself that his thoughts were reasonable thoughts.  If he wanted to die, he should have just stayed where he was in the beginning and let Jezebel kill him as she promised to do.  He didn’t really want to die, he just wanted some sympathy, otherwise, his next action would not have been to take a nap!

6.  Overlooking all past blessings

And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? - 1 Kings 19:5-9

It is easy, while going through a trial to forget about everything that the Lord has already brought you through.  This is exactly what has happened to Elijah at this point.  He forgot that the Lord had been blessing him all through his ministry:

  • Declared a drought (1 Kings 17:1)
  • Multiplies the widow’s flour and oil (1 Kings 17:7-16)
  • Resurrects the widow’s son (1 Kings 17:17-24)
  • Calls fire from Heaven (1 Kings 18:1-40)
  • Sends rain (1 Kings 18:41-45)
  • Out runs a  chariot (1 Kings 18:46)

How quickly we forget about all of his blessings in our lives.  We get tunnel vision and can only see the trial that we are currently experiencing, and forget about all of the times that the Lord has delivered us before.  Elijah had just been making fun of the prophets of Baal for not receiving an answer to their prayers (1 Kings 18:21-29), does he now think that his God is asleep?  Do we?  Of course not, but that is how we act when we forget about all of the past blessings that we have received.

Even if you have quit before, it is not too late

 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks 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.
And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. - 1 Kings 19:9-14

Elijah was given a chance to repent.  God asked him, Why are you here all alone?  Elijah had his justifications as to why he was all alone and had given up on the ministry.  He was the only one that was doing right, he was the only one left, and they just wanted to kill him, so he didn’t have a choice but to quit.

The Lord demonstrated his power to Elijah; to remind him of who it was that he served.  The Lord is all powerful and if he is for you, who can be against you?  After the Lord reminded Elijah of who he was and who he was serving, he asked him again.  Why are you here?  Elijah does not change his answer.  He missed the entire point or what the Lord was demonstrating to him.  Notice that the answer that Elijah gives the second time in verse 14 is identical to the answer that he gave in verse 10.  He didn’t change.

Don’t follow Elijah in this error.  The Lord wants to give you a chance to repent and to finish what he has started in you.  He wants you to fulfil the ministry that he has given you to fulfil:

..Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. - Colossians 4:17

Fulfil your ministry, if you have gotten off track, you can get it fixed today!

 

Our hope at Irvington Bible Baptist Church is that this podcast provided some encouragement and has helped you to develop a closer relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

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