In I Kings 17:1 the prophet Elijah first appears on the scene in Israel, and his first message to the king of Israel is of a drought in the land. But notice what Elijah says: “As YHWH, the God of Israel lives, BEFORE WHOM I STAND …”
The key to Elijah’s courageous ministry is that he knew that he stood before God.
— Undoubtedly this meant that he stood before God regularly in prayer and fellowship. A consistent, personal time before the Lord is the key to effective ministry for anyone.
— But most likely this also meant that he was aware that he “stood before God” at that very moment as well. Elijah did not fear the king, even though Ahab was known for his evil practices, because his focus was on the presence of GOD, who is infinitely greater than any earthly king.
This was the key to Moses’ ministry as well. Hebrews 11:27 says: “by faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king, for he endured as seeing Him who is unseen.” Moses could stand before Pharaoh without fear, for he knew by faith that there was a more powerful King present!
David had this same attitude as well. He said in Psalm 16:8 “I have set YHWH continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
David was not “shaken” in a time of adversity because he had “set YHWH continually before (him).” He didn’t literally “sit” God anywhere, of course, as if He were an idol. He meant that by faith he considered God as always present with him — much like Brother Lawrence of Paris always tried to “practice the presence of God” in whatever he did.
This faith awareness of the continual presence of God is a key for us as well. When we have more faith, more respect, more fear, for the presence of the unseen GOD than we do than we do for the men or dangers that we can see, then we will be as bold as Moses, David and Elijah. It is what the Bible means by walking in “the fear of the Lord”, and it comes by knowing, like these men, that you are always “standing before the Lord.”