The Destiny Process (P3)
Abel Meholah: The Meadow of Dancing
Finally Elijah reaches a phenomenal place called Abel Meholah...a truly astonishing destiny reality. You may struggle to fathom such a reality because so few have cooperated meticulously with God longterm to reach such a place so appropriately termed, "the meadow of dancing".
Place #7: Abel Meholah, "The Meadow of Dancing"
Read 1Kings 19:15-21. Elijah goes to a seventh place, Abel Meholah. Abel Meholah means "meadow of dancing". Here Elijah finally began to dance in his destiny. Here he was inaugurated into his apex life calling. Here all the pain, sacrifice, and faithfulness began to be rewarded in a fuller, more permanent way.
Dancing in Destiny
Remember from Part 1, Elijah's Old Testament calling was to restore prophetic ministry in Israel (that Jezebel had wiped out). Abel Meholah, then, was the entrance or inauguration of that destiny. Here's how.
First, at Abel Meholah, Elijah established a successor to his own work: Elisha. Through Elisha, the restoration of nationwide prophetic ministry would continue; he would further develop and perfect the restoration. Elisha embodied the beginning of Elijah's meadow of dancing.
Second, after the era-changing event at Abel Meholah, Elijah's destiny flowered in obvious ways. In 1Kings 20-22 we see five instances of prophets ministering publicly: 20:13,14; 20:22; 20:28; 20:35-42; 22:7-9. Think how this made Elijah dance! Just a bit earlier, before Abel Meholah, no prophets ministered publicly for fear of death (18:13). After Elijah reached and passed through Abel Meholah, however, prophets once again ministered openly.
Third, we see schools of prophecy established. Before Elijah disappeared into thin air ministry schools were operational at Bethel and Jericho (2Ki 2:3,5). Imagine how this made Elijah dance, when formerly only a handful of prophets were hiding in caves for survival! Once again take note, these schools appeared after Elijah reached Abel Meholah. This place was the entrance to his meadow of destiny dancing.
Life Gets Easier for Elijah
Beginning at Abel Meholah, life became much easier for Elijah. Jezebel left him alone and simply hated him from a distance. Elisha, his new best friend, paraclete, and successor, was present and active. Public prophetic ministry flourished once again. Prophecy schools were up and running. Elijah went from running to and fro under great stress and uncertainty...to just chillin' on a hilltop! See 2Kings 1:9. I love it!
This man suffered emotional cutting at Cherith, social refining at Zarephath, overcoming of deep fear at Samaria, only temporary reward at Carmel, and bitter discouragement and desperation in the desert. Now, however, this man was in a brand new reality, a new era personally: Abel Meholah, the meadow of dancing.
Our Abel Meholah
How many Christians never reach an Abel Meholah, a meadow of destiny dancing, in the various areas of their life? How many Christians turn away at one of the first five or six places? How many Christians run when God wants to cut them emotionally at Cherith? Or refine them socially at Zarephath? Or make them overcome deep fears at Samaria? Or make them let go of temporary rewards at Carmel? Or make them endure deserts of discouragement and revelatory urgency?
Beloved, God never requires a Cherith, a Zarephath, a Samaria, a Carmel, a Desert, or a Sinai without the era-changing destiny rewards of an Abel Meholah. The difficulty at the other places is temporary, but the meadow of dancing at Abel Meholah is permanent. Other Biblical writers present this same truth with different vocabulary: Psalm 37:4,29,34, Mark 10:28-30, John 15:7,16, 16:20-24, Hebrews 4:1-11, 1Peter 5:10.
Abel Meholah is the Inauguration of Destiny
Abel Meholah is when our life purpose takes on obvious, substantial fulfillment. It is an inauguration of sorts, as it was for Elijah. In this aspect of Abel Meholah, the Christian is finally doing in a substantial way what they were designed by God to do. They get to do what is most natural and supernatural to them. As a result, they enjoy a deep sense of fulfillment and productivity.
Abel Meholah is Personal & Customized
Abel Meholah's meadow of dancing will be unique to each individual Christian. What made Elijah dance is not what makes Jehu, you, or I dance. Each child of God is unique in personality, values, preferences, and life purpose. Therefore, God customizes our meadow of dancing according to our design and desires.
Abel Meholah is a Local Maturity & Completion
Abel Meholah is a place of maturity and completion in a certain area (hence the term local). Scripture tells us God is methodically and progressively maturing and completing every aspect of our life (Jas 1:4, 2Co 10:6, Col 4:12, 1Th 5:23). Ephesians 4:15 (NKJV) articulates it especially well: we are being matured "in all things" or "in every area".
Once God's work is complete in a particular area of our character or life, the result is intense joy and "dancing" in that same area. It can take several difficult, diligent seasons for an area of our life to peak and plateau for good, but when it does, there is a permanent release inside of us. That release is inexpressible joy, or in Elijah's terms, a meadow of dancing. Scripture often mentions this localized ideal and the completeness of joy that comes with it (Jn 3:29, 15:11, 16:24, Php 2:2, 1Jn 1:4, 2Jn 12).
Interesting how God, in general, does not advance us into our fuller purpose without the requisite maturity. Elijah endured a tough maturation process before ever setting foot in the meadow of dancing. Abel Meholah, then, is not only about doing (calling), it is also where the Christian has become (character) in one or more areas. At Abel Meholah, destiny and maturity finally converge in one or more areas.
Abel Meholah is the Granting of Key Personal Desires
Abel Meholah is when God grants key personal desires of ours, just like He granted Elijah's. Way too many scriptures promise this divine benevolence for those who cooperate with God's transformational projects in them (Ps 20:4,5, 21:2, 37:4, Mt 7:7-11, Jn 15:7,16, 16:23,24, Ro 8:32, 2Co 1:20, 1Ti 6:17, 1Jn 3:22).
There is an unmistakable condition here, though: we must be faithful to God's transformational goals. If you read the listed scriptures, you will notice the clear condition of cooperation in many of them (1John 3:22, for example). In the language of 1Kings, if we are cooperative at Cherith, Zarephath, Samaria, Carmel, the Desert, and Sinai, key desires we have will be granted at Abel Meholah. It is no coincidence Elijah was a granted a best friend here.
In an effort to keep Christians from being self-centered in prayer, some teachers have watered down these Biblical promises. Some have suffered unanswered prayers and unfulfilled desires themselves, and this has blunted their theology. I urge you to take God's Word prima facie (at face value). He cannot lie and He did not stutter. These scriptures are so plain and literal a small child could understand them. Equally, though, I admonish you to embrace these promises as unambiguously conditional. Only if we are fully cooperative with God's sanctification, transformation, maturation, and preparation experiences will He grant our desires in a meadow of dancing.