Life can be very draining. The most ordinary things can weigh us down. Recently, I tried to drop a pair of slacks off at the cleaners at 9:00 AM. They didn’t open until 10:00 AM. I tried two days later only to find the place closed on that day, due to lack of business. I went there three times and was successful on the third try. That routine probably wouldn’t phase you, but it was beginning to drain me emotionally.
Ever since Joyce’s passing in January, I have been surprised at how complicated things can be. I have a small pension that I receive from a certain investment. I wanted to add Pam’s name in case something was to happen to me. We received a letter saying they had received word that the owner of the policy was deceased. Folks, I am the owner of the policy, and last time I checked, I am very much alive. It took two months to get that resolved. I don’t know about you, but I need strength each day that I don’t have in myself. Good news – the strength that I need is available from One who is all-powerful. Listen to this – Isaiah 40:28-31, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, BUT those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” I am no superman, but my God is supernatural and I am daily receiving from Him the strength I need.
One of my favorite Bible characters is Elijah. He accomplished some amazing feats for the glory of God. He came on the scene when Ahab was King of Israel. Ahab was married to an obnoxious woman named Jezebel. She was caught up in Baal worship and her husband helped her promote that false religion. They even killed some of God’s prophets.
In Kings 17 we read of how Elijah came on the scene and he confronted the wicked Ahab with these words, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years, except my word.” WOW – talk about confrontation and throwing down the gauntlet. You know what – it didn’t rain for three years.
Elijah was a man of faith. He knew how to trust the LORD. In 1 Kings 17:2-6, we read of the LORD telling Elijah to go abide by the brook Cherith. God commanded the ravens to bring him bread and meat in the morning and evening. That’s exactly what happened and he drank water from the brook until it dried up. FOLKS, GOD IS NOT LIMITED IN WAYS HE CAN PROVIDE FOR US AND MEET OUR NEEDS.
Next, we find the LORD sending Elijah to Zarephath to assist a starving widow and her son. (1Kings17:8-16). As long as he stayed in her home, her bin of flour and jug of oil were not depleted. Later her son died. (1Kings 17:17-24). Elijah cried out to the LORD and in verse 22 we read, “Then the LORD heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived.” In some ways I believe Elijah’s greatest feat is found in 1Kings 18 when he challenged 850 false prophets of Baal to a contest, the God who answered by fire would be the true God.
The prophets of Baal called on him most of the day but to no avail. Elijah had the alter re-built, placed his sacrifice on it, instructed that it be soaked with water several times. Now listen to this prayer –
“Oh LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God of Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, so these people will know that You, O LORD, are God and that You are turning their hearts back again.” (1 Kings 18:36-37).
Suddenly a bolt of fire flashed down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and the water in the trench. When the people saw it, they cried out, “The LORD, He is God.! The LORD, He is God!”
In Kings 18:42-46, we find the prophet asking God to send rain, and of course, his prayer was answered. There was an abundance of rain to soak the parched earth. Elijah had a way with God. It seems to me that everything he asked of God was for the glory of God.
But then something happened that seems out of character for the man of God. In 1Kings 19:1-10, we read that when Jezebel read how Elijah had all of the prophets of Baal put to death, she sent word to him that she would see to it that he too would pay with his life. In verse 3 we read, “And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life.” We can hardly fathom this powerful servant of God fleeing as he did. Many times, after some of our greatest accomplishments for God, we are drained and even depressed. He told God “I have been zealous for the LORD God of hosts, for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.” He repeats this very statement again in verse 14. He was really down and felt he was the only one serving the LORD, but in verse 18, God reminds him, “Yet I have reserved 7,000 in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” We have no idea of all the people who have been faithful to God and are willing to stand in the gap for Him.
The Apostle James gives some insight to Elijah that really encourages me – “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again, he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (5:17-18)
· Elijah was human…a man just like us.
· But he spent time alone with God – he was a man of prayer.
· He was a man of faith – he listened to God and he obeyed God.
· His goal was to honor God and he did.
How I would like to be a man just like Elijah and accomplish great things for Him. How about you?
In 1 Cor.10:31, we are challenged, “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Beloved, let’s go for it!