Sometimes we are guilty of viewing Bible characters as different from ourselves and, by so doing, miss the valuable lessons we can learn from them. Consider this week, the prophet ELIJAH. He is mentioned in the New Testament more times than any other Old Testament character.
We might well wonder what we can learn from him that is relevant to our experience today! However, when we turn to the New Testament we find that James describes him as, ‘a man with a nature like ours’, James chapter 5 verses 17.
What were the secrets to his success?
• Firstly, he recognised how difficult and dangerous conditions were. He was not prepared to ‘drift along with the tide’. He knew that he had to act and speak for God. We too live in difficult times; are you prepared to make a stand for what is right, when the Word of God is being ignored?
• Secondly, he understood the vital need for prayer, James chapter 5 verses 17-18. He prayed for a miracle, believing that God could do the impossible. All Christians ought to be praying fervently for the welfare of their nation and the world at this critical time in our history!
• Thirdly, he had a personal relationship with God. God was not remote to him; indeed, his name means ‘MY God is Jehovah’. It was his personal knowledge of and relationship with God that enabled God to speak to him and him to speak to God. How well do you know God?
• Fourthly, he was patient and obedient. Impatience will hinder our use to God. Almost as soon as God called Elijah to speak to king Ahab, He told him, ‘Get away from here . . . and hide by the Brook Cherith’, 1 Kings chapter 17 verses 1, 3. He never once questioned God. His ‘success’ in service was based on obedience to His Word. Elijah discovered God’s will for him by taking small steps of faith. We must do the same!