As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word. (1 Kings 17:1)

WHEN SELF-SERVICE GAS STATIONS replaced full-service ones, the customer-proprietor relationship changed. Even though the proprietor still relied on the customer to purchase gas, the customer no longer relied on the proprietor to pump the fuel. As more self-service options became available, focus continued to shift beyond the customer—proprietor connection. As shifts are directed inward, we lose sight of those nearby. Eventually, if our focus is not corrected, we also lose sight of God.

Even though self-service options have increased over time, self-serving ideals have existed for years. King Ahab’s focus was so skewed that he promoted a self-serving lifestyle to an entire nation. However, a professed allegiance to self and to pagan gods had dire consequences—both a spiritual and a physical drought.

Elijah chose the opposite position—serving God instead of self. He was in tune with God, and understood that God ultimately controlled earth’s functions. Because of their relationship, God chose Elijah for a specific leadership role—to confront Ahab and remind him of the consequences of a self-serving lifestyle.

Ahab and Elijah—two distinct leaders with opposing views—one served self, the other served God. Both set examples for others. Both impacted a nation. The one who denied self-serving ways made the greater eternal impact for God. The other leader steered his followers down the wrong path. Which type of leader are you?

Reject the lure of serving self by staying connected to God.

Jill Printzenhoff is a science teacher and avid reader. She enjoys kayaking, fishing, bike riding, hiking, and vacationing with her husband and their two daughters.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.