5 Lessons from the life of Elijah

Elijah was a man anointed by God to proclaim God’s word at a time in Israel’s history when it seemed they were far from God and the country’s leaders were not interested in Him. In the same manner, God has appointed us as His people to proclaim the message of salvation at a time when people seem far from God, and many of world’s leaders have no interest in Him.

God provided for Elijah, and hid him for as long as was needed. Jesus promises us that he will also provide all that we need (Matthew 6:33) when we seek to do His will and obey Him.

Elijah was a human being just like us (James 5:17) and although he did accomplish great things for God he also suffered from a period of self-doubt, fear, and wanting to die. This came immediately after his great victory at Mount Carmel. We need to remind ourselves that we too are in a spiritual battle and it is likely and to be expected that when God has used us in some way, our enemy the devil will be trying his hardest to discredit us, tempt us and accuse us in order that we will stop being a threat to him. Being able to listen to God’s voice and taking time out to be refreshed, revived and restored is not just a nice thought but something that everyone who is a child of God needs to take note of so that we will not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 12:3).

Lesson from the life of Elijah

Elijah was a man who stood out from the crowd. He dressed differently (2 kings 1:7-8), and was instantly recognizable. We don’t need to conform to the rest of the world, or try to be like them in order that the world will accept us; nor do we need to be so strangely different that people make fun of or ridicule us. As children of God we need to be confident in who we are in Christ, and live a life that is different from the rest of the world so that people will see that our lives are different and glorify God (Matthew 5:16).

Lessons to learn

1. God Provides in Unimaginable Ways

Have you ever had a dire need? We all have been there. But in every instance God has proven to be more than able to provide? We see that same truth in Elijah's life when God brought a famine into the land. 1 Kings 17:6 says, "And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook." It's hard to imagine that a raven would be a channel of provision. They are scavenging birds and are even seen as unclean in some traditions. Yet God used them to provide for Elijah. God can and will use even the most unimaginable channels to provide for us.

2. God's Power Moves With Us to Bless Others

One particular story that really stands out is the time that Elijah helped a poor widow from Zarephath who had nothing else except a little oil and flour (1 Kings 17:8–16). During that time, a widow would be one of the poorest people in the region who could potentially starve to death. That was about to happen with this widow who was planning to prepare what would be the last meal for her and her son. But God intervened through Elijah, showing His power to provide by stretching the provision of the widow so that her oil and flour did not run out for a very long time.

More than just blessing us, He also uses us to be a channel of blessing to others as well. God is not just concerned with the needs of one but of all, and invites us to take part in being God's hands and feet to bring blessing to others.

3. God will always show up

One of Elijah's greatest feat was winning the showdown with the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:17-40). At the time, Elijah challenged 450 false prophets to prove which gods were real. Elijah of course won the challenge and proved that the God we serve is alive.

God will do anything He can to prove that He is worthy of honour and glory. But are we ready to portray that? Or are we too busy proving our own honour and glory? If we put God's glory first, everything else will follow afterwards. The story of Elijah proves that much.

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