More Like Elijah
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. —James 5:16-18
As I was putting my girls down for bed I was thinking about the biblical stories they love to hear. Isn’t it odd how much we love these old Bible stories as kids, but less as we grow older? Stories about people who were “all in” when things got tough and they faced persecution or even death. What happens as we grow older? It seems as though we move past these amazing stories and leave them behind. They’re okay in Sunday school but we’re adults! We’ve moved beyond hearing about Jonah and David and Samson. Like, we’re totally into deeper, grown-up theology now. But these stories are no less true and have no less meaning!
The verses above in James highlight that we can’t forget the reality of these stories because we are now grown up. If we do that, those words lose their ability to speak to our hearts and teach us. James is saying Elijah was a guy just like us. Elijah was just a person. David, Moses, and Daniel were all just people like you and me and they pursued God with their whole heart and lived abundantly and passionately, relying on Him for everything.
The world tells us so many lies. “You’re not smart enough. You have too much sin in your past. You can’t really do great things for God. The great men and women of the Bible were the cream of the crop and super spiritually gifted.” We start to think comparing ourselves to Elijah is like thinking that we can run as fast as Usain Bolt. Elijah is the Usain of faith and I can’t live like him no matter how hard I try.
But wait a minute. The Bible says Elijah was just like us. We need to stop believing there was something special about the men and women we read about in Scripture and realize they were people who just believed, prayed, and pursued God with a reckless abandon and a child-like faith. And we can do this too!
We become more like Elijah when we move beyond the pursuit of safety and comfort, and pursue an abundant life of obedience with Jesus. May we, like James, encourage each other with these great stories of faith reminding each other that God wants to do great things today; with you!
- When was the last time I purposely read a Bible story about the “heroes” of the Bible?
- How could reviewing them now encourage me in my walk with the Lord?
Prayer: Father, forgive my arrogance for thinking that I am too old or mature for any part of Your amazing Word. I know that every story and every word is meant to communicate Your truth to me. Help me love Your Word, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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