The God of Elijah
2Kings2: Now where is the God of Elijah?
I’ve had the privilege of knowing some spiritual giants in my lifetime. These people walked close to God and, like a motor boat crossing a calm lake, leave a broad, expanding wake that influences people far beyond their experience and even their lifetimes. They’ve influenced me. If not for them I wouldn’t be the man I am today. In fact, it would be easy for me to just focus on them and let them be my example and inspiration. If I do that that I’ll be a better person. However, as potentially positive as that might be, I’d be mistaken to do it. Elisha has known a great man, a man overflowing with the power of God. Now, though, that man is gone. Elijah’s disciples want to form a search party to try to find their master. Elisha, though, doesn’t seek Elijah. Instead, he seeks the God of Elijah. He knows that every good thing about Elijah was because of the God he served. He knows that the great need of his life isn’t more of Elijah. Instead, it’s more of the God of Elijah. Today, I thank God for those spiritual giants of my life. Their influence isn’t taken for granted. However, it’s not them that I need as I pursue spiritual excellence. No, it’s not them; it’s the God they served.
Take Away: Seek, not an “Elijah” but, rather, the God of Elijah.
Spiritual role models
2Kings2: Your life repeated in my life. I want to be a holy man just like you.
There’s no one on earth as powerful as is Elijah. As he lives his last day in this world it seems he already has one foot in heaven and spiritual power and authority radiate from him. Somehow, probably because Elijah himself has announced it, everyone knows that this is his day. His assistant, Elisha, who has walked with him through the years, is glued to him on this day. More than once the old man of God has told him to stay put but both of them know it isn’t going to happen. Now, as a moment unique in human history nears, the old prophet asks Elisha what he can do for him before he’s taken. Elisha isn’t shy! He wants to be the man Elijah is. He desires that, even as their names are similar, that their walk with God will also be much the same. I thank God today for the spiritual role models he’s provided in my life. Frankly, it’s easy to fail to recognize them because I’m so close to the situation that I can’t see the big picture of their influence. Because of that I’m sometimes unaware of the spiritual depth of others till they’re gone. A couple of things come to mind as I consider these things. First, I want to open my eyes to spiritual greatness in these special people. Second, I want to allow the Lord to do in me what he’s done in them. “Your life repeated in my life,” — what a powerful phrase!
Take Away: Thank the Lord for powerful spiritual role models in your life.
Marching to the beat of their own drummer
2Kings1: That has to be Elijah the Tishbite!
Elijah has come a long way in the years since he fled from Jezebel. He now has a faithful assistant, Elisha, and a band of disciples. Generally, he stays out of sight. However, he remains a household name in Israel. You might say he’s bigger than life. Now that Ahab is dead, his son, Ahaziah rules Israel. However, things aren’t going well for him. Moab has rebelled against the rule of Israel and, to top it off, Ahaziah has taken a nasty fall and been injured. The ailing king sends messengers to seek a remedy for his injuries, not to Jehovah God, but to the idol Baal. It’s as they travel to Ekron to visit the Baal shrine that they encounter the old man Elijah, shaggy hair, leather belt and all. The Lord, he says, is angry with Ahaziah for turning to Baal as though he doesn’t exist and because of that Ahaziah is on what will become his deathbed. When they return with the message and describe the man who gave it, Ahaziah knows that Elijah has stepped out onto the public stage once again. Repeated attempts to arrest him result in fire falling from heaven. Clearly, it’s unwise to trifle with this man of God! Aside from his unusual appearance (and, come to think of it, the lightning strikes on his enemies), Elijah reminds me of some spiritual giants I’ve known. These are people who don’t make a big deal of themselves, who seem out of step with what most of us think of as “normal,” but spend a lot of time in the presence of God. When they have something to say, we’re wise to listen.
Take Away: Sometimes people who seem out of step with the world are very much in step with the Lord.