Getting Out of a Spiritual Funk

July 18, 2021

David Sorn

Do you feel stuck in a spiritual funk or rut? Learn how God helped Elijah get out of it!

Getting Out of a Spiritual Funk

July 18, 2021

David Sorn

Do you feel stuck in a spiritual funk or rut? Learn how God helped Elijah get out of it!

SERMON TRANSCRIPT | 1 Kings 19: 9-18


(Renovation Logo)

Morning. My name is David Sorn, and I’m the Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.

This July we’re talking about church planting…helping to start new churches out of Renovation Church.

Because we want to make an exponential impact for Christ.

We are in the process of helping to start our 6th church plant, Branch Church in Carver, MN (which is near Shakopee and Chaska)

And today, we’re excited to have that church planting pastor here with us…Brian Suter, and I want to call him on stage at this point.

(Show Branch Church logo)

Hi Brian, we’re excited to have you with us today!

QUESTION ONE: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What did you do before this? Your family?

QUESTION TWO: Tell us why you feel called to plant a church? And why in Carver?

QUESTION THREE: What is Branch Church going to look like? What kind of church do you want to start?

If you all look under the chair in front of you (go ahead), you’ll find an interest response card for Branch Church (just to left of the Bible). Go ahead and take a look at one.

There’s a number of ways you can respond if you have some initial interest.

You can get prayer requests about Branch Church…

I know Carver is not close, but perhaps you’re from a bit more in that direction, or you’re willing to drive to join their team for 9 months (to go and serve, and do whatever it takes to help start a church)…

We’d love to send some people who want to help get this church off the ground…

And then, maybe you come back, maybe you stay.

Also, if you know someone from that area, that might be interested in joining their team, write that down too.

If you fill out this card, you can either leave it on your seat, or drop it in the connection card box on your way out.

You can also fill this card out on the connection tab of our app as well

All right, thanks Brian, you can have a seat.


(Life of Elijah Series Slide)

All right, let’s get into today’s message

We are currently in a summer teaching series on the Life of Elijah the Prophet from the Old Testament in the Bible

Elijah’s ministry mainly took place about 850 years before Jesus in Israel

So far in our series, Elijah has confronted the evil King Ahab & Queen Jezebel because they were leading the nation to pray to idols.

He eventually gathered all of the people to watch their main idol be disproved by having the Lord send down fire from heaven in a competition between “gods”

But nonetheless, Queen Jezebel still threatened to kill him

So last week we read how he ran for his life…and fell into a deep depression.

And in those dark moments of his life, God sent an angel to him who gave Elijah food, told him to rest, and gave him direction.

Direction to head to Mount Horeb, also known as Mount Sinai

We’re going to join Elijah there.

So everybody grab a Bible

(page 245)

(1 Kings 19 if you brought a Bible)

(Renovation App)

In some ways, this is part 2 of last week’s message.

God is still dealing with Elijah’s depression.

Let’s take a look at what happens next

(1 Kings 19:9-18) – NIV

9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

(Title Slide)

So, Elijah is starting to feel a bit better after he slept and ate, so God sent him on a journey to this mountain.

The same mountain where God once met with Moses

But while Elijah is not dealing with suicidal thoughts anymore, he’s still down and frustrated.

So what does God do next with him?


What I want you to see today is 4 things from this passage that helped Elijah get out of his Spiritual Funk (where he just seemed lost, down, and couldn’t get his passion back)

You ever feel like that?

Okay, well let’s talk through this then.


1: Process with God

Look at verse 9

God asks, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

In other words, “What’s going on? Tell me about it”

It’s not like God doesn’t know what’s going on in Elijah’s heart, right?

But God is giving Elijah space to talk and process and unburden his heart.

So many of the Psalms in the Bible are simply that.

It’s humans sharing their heart with God…like they would talk to their best friend.

Real prayer often doesn’t look much like how a lot of Christians pray in public.

Real prayer is devoid of any show where you look put together, and your words look fancy…and your prayers are longer than anyone could pay attention to

Jesus spoke against this himself…we covered this in Luke 20

Often our most real prayers are when you’re driving, and you can’t see through your tears, and you’re saying, “God, what are you doing! I don’t get this! Help me understand. I’m overwhelmed right now. Are you there? Help me!”

Okay…now we’re processing what’s really on our hearts.

That’s what God is allowing Elijah to do.

Because Elijah is not going to get out of this Spiritual Funk unless he can first start being honest about what he really thinks.

Let’s take a look at the 2nd thing.



1: Process with God

2: Be silent so you can hear God

When you’re in a valley of faith, there’s almost nothing more powerful than a fresh taste, a fresh encounter with the Living God who loves you.

But there’s a great obstacle to experiencing that in our modern culture, and fascinatingly enough, it’s illustrated in this ancient history of 1 Kings

God is going to pass by, but is He in the mighty wind? NO

Is He in the earthquake? NO

Is He in the fire? NO

So often when we’re desperate for God, we expect that if He speaks to us He will do so dramatically

Through some miraculous sign

Or some dramatic change of events

Or some absolutely astounding coincidence that you just will KNOW is no coincidence, but God

Elijah was kind of stuck in the same way of thinking.

I mean, think about this: Elijah was used to God speaking in the dramatic (the stopping of rain, the raising of a dead boy’s life, fire falling from heaven)…

…But God wanted Elijah to know that sometimes the most powerful way to hear Him is to just be quiet.

Let me ask you a question: How quiet is your life?

2 Years ago, I first read about the Quiet Zone in the mountains of West Virginia

There are a number of articles out there on this, I encourage you to look this up.

If you’ve never heard of it,

The Quiet Zone is a small area designed to protect the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory from interference.

In fact, in the Quiet Zone, because wi-fi or cell signals can interfere with telescope readings, having wi-fi is illegal and cell phone service is nonexistent.

So folks who live there use the internet like you used to in the late 90’s, so it takes like 10 minutes just to load a YouTube video on your desktop…

It’s so slow that most people there just don’t even try.

And instead, they have conversations with each other where they look each other in the eye

The article I read said that they watch their kids soccer games and no parent is looking at their phone because they don’t even have one

And no parent yells at their teenager to put their phone away either…because they don’t have one.

And there is a part of you that wants to move there, isn’t there?

We have so little space for silence in our life.

So little space for God to speak to us.

And yet we crave it.

I want you to think about this.

How many minutes a day, no, how many SECONDS a day, do you have where you’re just thinking or sitting in silence?

You’re not looking at your phone, or a computer, or watching TV, or listening to a podcast or music w/ your earbuds in, or talking with someone.

You’re just in silence…not looking at anything?

For most people, it’s most likely less than a few minutes a day.

Every other minute of our days seems to be consumed from the moment you grab your phone when you wake up in the morning, until you shut off your streaming service at night

And it’s no coincidence that we live such anxious lives compared to Americans of 100 years ago.

But think about it, your Great-Grandparents or great-great grandparents had no smartphone, no internet, no TV, some not even a radio, not a car.

And so when they washed the dishes, or went about their chores…they thought…they talked to God

When they came home from work, they didn’t fill their minds with music or podcasts…

They walked home (maybe rode a horse)…just thinking for 45 minutes…listening for God.

Our lives feel so chaotic, in part, because we’ve filled almost every possible minute that God could speak into our lives with NOISE

How can you hear God whisper to your heart when you never stop looking at a screen?

I was thinking through my life this week, and I think some of the most influential things God has spoken into my life…came when I was just driving w/ the radio off, or out on a run…or sitting on an airplane looking out the window.

We need to be quiet enough to experience the powerful whisper of God again.

How can you do this during this week?

Can you put your phone on the counter after dinner and not pick up again until morning?

Can you carve out 5 minutes a day at a certain time to just look out the window, sit in silence, and ask God to speak.

Can you go for a walk by yourself with absolutely no devices and just talk (and listen!) to God?

I pray that you try one of those things this week.


And when God speaks to you (in the quiet) when you’re discouraged, depressed, or just in Spiritual funk…you have to be willing to let him correct you…so you don’t stay stuck in lies.


1: Process with God

2: Be silent so you can hear God

3: Let God correct you

A lot of Americans today worship a false version of God that only affirms their every decision.

Trust me, that’s not God.

That’s you trying to be God.

The real God is going to correct you sometimes…because He is higher and holier than you

And Elijah needs to be corrected or He’s going to be stuck in that same funk he’s been in.

Now, when Elijah talks to God, he does say a lot of things that are true

Look at his reply in verse 10 if you have it front of you

He says he’s been zealous, hard-working for the Lord

That the Israelites have rejected God and are killing the prophets.

True, true, and true.

And then, out comes the lie:

“And I’m the ONLY one left!”

We heard this same lie when he was on Mount Carmel battling the Prophets of Baal as well

Elijah has convinced himself that he’s the only one out there left who’s experiencing this!

Which, is not true.

But often we feel just like when we’re discouraged, don’t’ we?

“I’m the only one! You wouldn’t understand!”

But the Lord correct Elijah and says, “You’re not the only one! I have SEVEN THOUSAND believers left!”

God is telling Elijah that he needs to let go of this lie that he’s the only one and everything’s resting on him

My friend, if you would process with God, if you would then be quiet enough to listen to Him…

He would speak so many necessary truths into your life

Probably every one of us here is stuck in a lie or two or five…

And these lies, in many ways are keeping us stuck in a spiritual funk…stuck in spiritual lukewarmness.

So let God speak truth into your life

Let Him correct you.

It will help you get unstuck.

This truth, (that Elijah’s actually not alone) is going to be so invigorating to him…just like the truth God speaks in your life will be too


And there’s one more thing we can learn here about getting out a spiritual funk


1: Process with God

2: Be silent so you can hear God

3: Let God correct you

4: Do what God says

Notice that one of the main things God does here is give a lot of specific direction and guidance to Elijah

Go here and anoint this king, and then there and anoint that king, and find your successor here…

What’s God doing?

He’s giving Elijah something to do.

He’s putting him back to work.

Because what happens in depression and discouragement??

We get stuck looking inward.

So much so that it sort of paralyzes us from action.

But God wants to use you again.

He has plans for you.

And God wants you to walk in them again…or for the first time.

There is great freedom and release in doing so.

But you gotta walk it out.

When He’s calling you to something, obey it in faith.

There is such blessing in that.

This chapter is really the lowpoint of the Elijah narrative.

It builds up to Mt Carmel, then we come way down for 2 weeks,

And then you’re going to start to see…that the OLD Elijah is back!

He’s walking with God again…because He trusted, and He obeyed God’s words.


What I want do now is pause for a few minutes and share with you a story of someone who has made a choice to trust God…and follow Him with their life.

In fact, I want to call our Baptismal Team on stage right now, so they can get our baptismal ready

We believe in doing baptisms often here as people come to Christ

…and so right now, you’ll not only get to hear a story of how someone met Jesus, and you’ll also get to see them be baptized.

Baptism is a symbol of what Jesus did for you when you, personally, believed in Him

It doesn’t save you.

But it’s an important step for people once they’ve made a decision to follow Jesus

If you haven’t done it yet, sign up today through our app or in the hallway

We’re doing this again in August.

And so we’re baptizing 2 people this morning who’ve made a decision to follow Jesus… 1 at each service.

Every person you see baptized at Renovation Church is baptized by at least one sponsor (someone who’s had a spiritual impact on them)

And so, we’re going to begin!



(Back to Title Slide)

Thank you for sharing your story.

We are so thankful for lives changed.

And it’s God who changed them.

It’s God who saved us.

We can’t save ourselves.

You know, there’s a small part of our passage today that is quite powerful that I want to direct your attention back to:

It’s something you might even miss if you read it 2 or 3 times.

Right after the Lord actually passes by, and Elijah hears the powerful, holy, but gentle whisper of the Lord Himself, verse 13 says this:

(1 Kings 19:13a) – NIV

When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Put yourself in Elijah’s shoes.

You’ve just seen the power of God and now clearly heard the audible voice of God right outside the cave…

And you’re now walking out to look.

And you don’t walk up to God casually

Trust me, when you see God on His mighty throne in heaven, “you’re not going to walk up and say, “Hey, what’s up?”

When Isaiah the Prophet has a vision of God on his throne, he cries out, “I’m ruined! I’m a man of unclean lips!”

The elders around God’s throne in Revelation bow down.

And so Elijah walks out hiding his face.

He knows, deep down, that he won’t be able to manage looking God Almighty in the face…nor is he worthy of doing so… because of His sin.

And I wish more people knew this.

There are so many Americans today who simply think they’re going to heaven “just because” …or because they didn’t murder anyone, or because they’re, well, not an atheist.

But your good works can not save you.

What about your sin?

And the second you are face-to-face with an Almighty God, the consequences and the weight of your sin will be obvious to you

Just like it was to Elijah

You’ll feel the need to hide yourself because of your sin.

But there is a way to be saved…and to walk confidently into God’s presence.

Jesus Christ loves you so much he came to make that way for you!

When we believe that Jesus died in our place (for our sins) on the cross…the Bible says we can be forgiven of our sin.

(Romans 10:9) – NIV

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

But the imagery is even deeper than that.

Look at Romans 4:7-8

(Romans 4:7-8) – NIV

7 “Blessed are those

whose transgressions are forgiven,

whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the one

whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

Some of you learned about this in Theology 201 this summer…

This is the doctrine of Justification.

The truth is: I am sinful and have sinned

And Jesus, in dying on the cross, is covered in my sin and pays the price for it.

But through my faith in Him, what I receive back from Him is a covering for my sin

Christian theology would say that you are covered by the righteousness (the goodness, perfection) of Jesus Christ

So here’s the exchange that happens when you believe in Jesus:

He’s covered in your sin

You’re covered in His perfection (his righteousness)

So, if you’re a believer in Jesus, what God sees when it’s time for your judgement…to meet Him face to face…

What he sees you covered in, is the perfection of His Son.

Pretty amazing, huh?

My friend, has that happened in your life?

Have you truly, TRULY believed in Jesus Christ for salvation?

Have you turned your life over to Him?

Is he really the leader of your life?

If not, I urge you to believe on Him now.

In fact, let’s just have everyone close their eyes for a second.

If you need to let Jesus save you today…to let him cover you with his perfection…

To let Him come into your life…

If you’ve never done that before, and you want to do that, I want you to stand up where you are…as a way to tell Him you now believe.

And He will forgive you

For those of you standing up, we want to pray with you.

Repeat this out loud after me…whether you’re a brand-new believer or have been one for quite some time.

Repeat after me

Dear God

I confess to you, that I have sinned against you.

But God I believe, that you sent your Son Jesus, to take my place

And God I thank you, for forgiving my sins.

And now I commit, to following you, with my life.

As everyone still has their eyes closed, for those of you that raised your hand, you just made the most important decision of your life, and I believe that requires some more information…

So here’s what we’re going to do to get you that…as everyone has their eyes closed, I want you, in just a second, to walk back out to the lobby where it will be quiet.

You won’t walk out there alone.

There are others who raised their hands, and our follow-up team is going to walk out at the same time with you

And I, and our follow-up team are going to get you some extremely important resources & next steps to get you started on the most important journey of your life.

If you’re part of this church, and your friend or family member is standing up right now, PLEASE come out there with them.

All right, you can all go now.

As they’re walking, I’m going to thank God in prayer.

Let’s pray

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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