Elijah – Part 2 (Used By God)
Imagine leaving everything behind and now you’re in a place you know nothing about, among people you just are starting to understand and something terrible happens. Everyone will probably look right at you, ‘It was the new guy, it was his fault. This is essentially what happened to Elijah. This kind of happened to me recently too. I left everything I knew, came to a place I didn’t know and I found myself in front of my ex-girlfriend’s house and watched the house burn down in front of me. Her mom asked, “Where was Keith when the fire started?”. Good thing I had a reliable source of where I was because I actually do have a previous arson arrested over a decade ago. I remember that day, my heart was broken for that family and I tried to comfort my ex in my arms as I prayed for her and her family over that whole situation.
Why does God put us in those types of situations? The answer is simple, God is interested in making his own name great, in order that his glory is known and his people are saved and redeemed. He does those things by allowing the sin and brokenness of this world to break us and by that happening it is doing the job of reminding us that this world is fleeting and that nothing will last forever, but only God and all his glory. Your marriage, your kids, your career, your car, your house, and your income, all are great things, but nothing will last forever. One day your marriage will end, and maybe that is a relief to many of you. Your kids will move out and start their own families. Your career will end either by retirement, termination, or resignation. Our best in this world will fad at the end. Our relationships with our best friends will become a memory friendship. Just today I told my ex’s dad that I wanted to buy land and build my own house and he looked at me and said, it took him a lifetime to build all he has, and now he is old and he watched his house burn down. A sober reminder that nothing lasts.
Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33.
With this promise in mind, what should we do?
We should learn the art of crying. Yeap, there is an art of crying in the Christian Faith. Some of us weirdos call it praying, I call it crying. It’s one thing to pray a nice little prayer, maybe God heard it or maybe he didn’t hear it, who cares right? That’s literally the mindset of 99% of Christians and that is exactly why now more than ever in the last 30 years, our nation needs a revival. Our nation needs to encounter Jesus, but the problem is many Christians haven’t encountered Jesus. They encountered a church, a bible, a denomination, a list of do’s and don’t, and good moral teachings, but not Jesus. Even though Jesus was born about 1200 to 800 years after Elijah, I would say Elijah encountered Jesus. Elijah Encountered God, Jesus is God, therefore he encountered Jesus. Have we encountered Jesus?
Between 1 Kings 17:17-24, we read a story about a widow that lost her son due to sickness and she ends up blaming Elijah for her son’s death. This Widow knew that Elijah was different, that he was special, and because of that, she assume that he was there is bring terrible things to her from God. I think that the devil just likes to follow God’s people around and try to stir up trouble wherever they go so that the people who follow Jesus would be hated by those who don’t know Jesus. God likes to take those situations and use them for his own advantage. In this case, Elijah used the art of crying, in order to prove that his God is a loving and forgiving God.
Let’s zoom into verse 21, “Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried out to the LORD”. It doesn’t say Elijah prayed to God privately in the church pew. It literally says that Elijah took the child’s dead body, and three times, not one time, three times, and cried out to the LORD. Why does God not answer your prayers, maybe because your prayer life isn’t constant.
More times than not, when I’m praying for something, I don’t see anything happen, but when I constantly pray for something for a few days straight, and I get on my knees and I just don’t stop praying, I always, not sometimes, I always see God do something crazy. For the past month, I have been praying for a job and interviewing for one company. They told me I’m going to get the position, but it has been taking a long time to get going. Just keep on praying, God hears, but he wants us to show our faith and keep on turning to him over and over. I still haven’t started the new job, and I’m still praying, well the other day I was driving Uber and the Vice President of a healthcare company got in the back of my car during a Uber trip, I talked to him about life and everything and I didn’t know he was a vice president of a company, I thought he was a regular dude off the street. He offered me a cooking job. When we pray, God moves, but those prayers need to be consistently pushing forward and we need to not give up on praying. Learn the art of crying out to the LORD.
The widow saw Elijah bring her son back to life and it says that she believed that Elijah was a man of God. This is the same widow to which Elijah just provide a never-ending supply of flour and oil, but it took her son dying for her to see who was behind Elijah. Maybe God was interested in showing this widow that there is a loving creator of the universe that was interested in knowing her in the same way he knew Elijah. When we go through hardships, those moments are meant to show us that in the darkest times, we have a loving God on a throne looking straight at us. He might just have to use an ‘Elijah’ to prove it to us.