THE PREPARATION OF THE PROPHET: Part One
ELIJAH: HE WAS A MAN
James 5:17,18 – Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
The first thing that we notice about Elijah is that he was a man. It is possible that by reading the miracles associated with his life and his supernatural disappearance from the world, some may think that he was an angel or some other supernatural being. But we are told specifically that he was a man and that gives hope to all of us with the problem of sin and our humanity. We might wonder how God could use a person such as me. But the first word of hope to us is found in the fact that Elijah was a man. But the thing that made this man so great was God and his relationship to Him resulting in his being chosen by God for this moment. He was a man chosen and equipped by God for the time in which he lived and for the work that needed to be done. We are told that he was a man subject to like passions such as we are. It gives us hope that we could be like Elijah if we desired. That means there must be that passion to understand and share the word of God with others. It involves genuine concern over the people who choose to serve other gods and are slaves to the consequences of their choices. In my heart of hearts, and God knows, I pray that I too could pray like Elijah did and see the results that Elijah saw. But how long does it take for us to become a man like Elijah? What trials of our faith are necessary to make us that kind of person?
Do you love the word of God passionately? If not, then you are not yet ready. What about the people you meet each day? Do you hear their inner cry for the water that satisfies them, and they don’t know where to find it? Have you come to the time in your life where praying and talking to God is the most important part of living? Oh, friend, if your answer is no to these questions, then you are not ready, do not be discouraged. We do not know how old Elijah was nor how long it took him to come to the place where God was ready to use him. There must be a starting point in our life where we get serious with God and begin a life dedicated to being used by God in the greatest way possible. D.L Moody once heard a man say that “the world has yet to see what God can do with a man dedicated to him”. Upon hearing those words, Moody decided in his heart that he was going to be that man, and as we study the story of his life, we cannot estimate the number of souls that were brought into the kingdom of God since that time of dedication.
We can be like Elijah and God’s wills for us to make that choice, but there must be a starting point. Elijah was a man subject to like passions and he prayed. That is the secret, but the rest of the verse tells us that he was effective because God answered. The encouragement comes to us when we realize that praying is the most important thing that I must do. I remember Warren Weirs be making a statement one day about someone saying that the least I could do was pray, but he answered, and he said, my friend that is the most that you can do. The fact that Elijah was a man with idiosyncrasies like you and I have, speaks to us and tells us that God can use us and will use us when we have determined to follow the example of Elijah and pray that God will make us that kind of person.
Henry Jaeger’s is a graduate of Prairie Bible Institute, Three Hills, Alberta Canada. He has been in Christian ministry for over 60 years and has pastored three churches and has published over 25 books. His purpose in writing is to help people understand the Bible and see the principles of Scripture employed in their lives. He lives in Greenville, Michigan and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. He manages two online groups: Effective Evangelistic Resource Ministries and Christians Under Construction Resource Ministries.