THE PREPARATION OF THE PROPHET: Part Four
ELIJAH: HE WAS AN IMPASSIONED MAN (Godward)
What can we say about passion? Unfortunately, it is not confined to men who love God. Perhaps there is no greater example in the Bible of a person impassioned against God and those who follow Him. Jezebel was one such person. She was the force behind Ahab her husband the King. We think of leaders throughout the world and the ones who succeed are usually the ones with passion. I heard a long time ago that there were three types of leaders. The risk-taker, the caretaker, and the under-taker. Only the risk-taker gets things done; the care-taker maintains the status- quo and eventually becomes the undertaker when nothing happens. A man with passion is a man who gives himself wholeheartedly to the cause that he served. These causes could be godly or ungodly depending upon what the cause is that controls him.
A passionate man is usually single-hearted and is not drawn away by that which would cause him to veer from his goal. But we are told about Elijah that he was a man of like passions. It means that though he is wholeheartedly committed to the cause of God, not allowing anything to cause him to stray from God’s purposes, he was still a man like us in many ways. Later we shall dwell more on that aspect of Elijah’s life. But now we want to dwell on his passion for God. Elijah serves as a role model to us of what being passionate about God is like. First, it involves strong belief but not belief in a cause but belief in the person. Hebrews tells us in chapter 11:6, that he who comes to God must believe that He is. There can be no doubt about the existence and the power of He who calls us to his work. Our belief in him must be more than religious or intellectual. He must be a man of conviction. Conviction is more than a personal preference; it is the inner drive that keeps me faithful to the purpose. It involves hope. Hope places before me that there is an expected end. I can latch my faith on to that end because the living God, who keeps His promise, will not fail me in my effort to do His will. Passion involves sacrifice. In the case of Elijah, seeing, knowing, and believing God was the most important thing in his life.
As mentioned previously, we do not know how long it took Elijah to be the man that he was, but he like Moses, endured as seeing He who is invisible having his eye on the promise. He was willing to suffer discomfort, ridicule, pain, and hostility from others, nothing keeping him from the path he was called to follow. Sometimes men of passion for God must keep moving even when they do not know what the end will be. Like Abraham when he left Haran, he trusted, not knowing where he was going. All he had to drive him forward was a belief in the word of God and of course, we know he became great because of his faith in God.
We must always remember that faith is only as reliable as its object. And in this case, the object was the never-failing power and presence of God in his life. God is looking for men with a passion for him. Men who were passionate enough to learn God’s word and see the power of God’s word working in his life. Friends, may I ask you? What kind of passion do you have? Is it a passion for self-interest or is it a passion to do the will of God?
At the time of Ahab. God had called his greatest prophet to testify when Israel was at its lowest state. We can determine how wicked Israel must have become from the fact that such a man as Elijah was called upon the scene to address. Do you want to be like Elijah? How is your relationship with God? Have you surrendered your whole life, body soul and spirit to be used by God to reach a people who are far from him? Are you willing to suffer sleepless nights, restless days, and unfilled hopes to do the will of God in reaching the lost for Christ? If men without God through their passion can accomplish great things, having no invisible means of support, think of what God can do when you offer yourself on His altar of sacrifice. Indeed, Elijah illustrates to us what it means to have a passion for God. That is what God is looking for in His servants.
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.