‘You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. ‘ – Deuteronomy 13:4
The name Elijah means Yahweh is God. His whole life declares that there is no other God but Yahweh. Everything he exudes is unyielding. His blood boils against tolerating idols.
This is a man who is so yielded to God that is overcome to the point of anger toward competition. Elijah is literally like a few other prophets. He is one of the greatest prophets to ever step on the planet.
He is so great that when Jesus shows up to perform these astronomical miracles, people conclude that Elijah must be back. That’s the kind of power that he walked in.
HE STANDS BEFORE GOD
There is no record of Eljiah’s mother or father. It’s almost as though he just pops up on the scene possessed by God. He is radical and uncompromising–a flame. His nickname is the ‘troubler of Israel’. In other words, he is so ostracized that he thinks he is the only prophet left because he will not tolerate or play games with idols.
A lot of Christians, base their Christianity on what they don’t do anymore. They are considered have-nots. But that is not what Christianity is about. It’s about standing before God. It’s about His presence. Religion is presence-less devotion. In other words, you are devoted to God without His presence.
In Luke, Elijah is associated with two words: spirit and power. Leonard Ravenhill once said that a man’s life can be condensed into two volumes, maybe even one, but Elijah’s life can be summed up into two words: He prayed.
Elijah is a man of prayer. There are so many interesting things that he does through the supernatural power of God. He perpetually multiplies the widow’s meal. Her meal is always there. No matter how much she eats, it’s always there. Elijah is not from a Marvel movie, he is an actual human being whose life is lived before God.
He takes a dead boy to the upper room and brings him back down alive. Elijah prays and the climate of the country changes for three and a half years. Then he prays again, and rain falls from the sky. He supernaturally outruns horses for 31 straight miles. This man is filled with God. He is taken up into heaven by a chariot. He is extremely unique.
But like all other men, he has a weak point. Jezebel threatens his life and he wants to skip death by her hand. Interesting as well, he’s able to do something that most people did not do. He successfully passed on his mantle to Elisha to continue his ministry. The mantle that he passed on to Elisha, he would wrap around his face and pray with; he is passing on his prayer life.
HE TROUBLES THE NATIONS
The most famous moment in Elijah’s life was when he called all of Israel and all the prophets of Baal, and everyone that eats at Jezebel’s table to Mount Carmel to witness. He stands up with an unyielding holy fury and he draws a line in the sand. He asks them how long will they hesitate between two opinions. He shouts, “If God is God then follow Him. If Baal is God then follow him.”
This is the kind of radical faith, trust, and power that Elijah is walking in. The word ‘follow’ that Elijah uses comes from the book of Deuteronomy when God commands Israel to reject idols completely. God associates following Him and rejecting idols with loving Him, following and fearing Him, keeping His commandments, listening to His voice serving Him, and clinging to Him. Deuteronomy 13:4 says, “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.”
The word cling is the same word for marriage; being married to God, completely dedicated, and completely given over to God. Elijah is commanding the people of Israel to serve Him with everything that they are and to marry Him.
James reminds us that Elijah is a man just like you and me. He prayed and God heard Him, showing us that the power is not Elijah himself, but God and a life of prayer before God.
JESUS IS THE SIGHT OF GOD
Elijah might have pointed men’s eyes to God, but Jesus is the sight of God. When you see Jesus, you see God. Elijah has no record of father and mother but Jesus can say that before Elijah and before all things, He was.
You can look at Elijah and the fact that he calls out sin, but Jesus doesn’t just call it out, He takes away the sin of the world. Elijah multiplied the widow’s bread but Jesus gives Himself to you as daily bread. He is multiplying Himself constantly for your nourishment.
Elijah takes a dead boy and brings him back down alive but Jesus sent His spirit to the upper room and gave humanity life again. Elijah calls rain out of the sky but Jesus pours out the spirit from on high. When Jesus prays, the earth drowns.
Elijah mocks Baal but Jesus led captivity captive. He captured the one who captivated and grabbed a hold of the lives of others. Jesus disarmed all the rulers and authorities. Jesus makes Satan look like foolery. On the day when Jesus is seen purely and Satan is seen, they will say, “Is this the man that troubled the nations?” Next to Christ, he is incomparable.
Elijah slays 850 prophets with a single sword but Jesus’ robe is dipped in blood and he slays the antichrist, the dragon, and the devil. He needs no weapon, He speaks and it’s over. God’s throne is not under siege. He is winning and He always wins, everything is orchestrated by His hand.
Elijah outruns horses by himself, but Jesus is called the forerunner of our faith who runs with people behind him to bring them into the holy of holies to enjoy God forever.
Elijah went up but Jesus came down. Elijah ran from Jezebel, but the scripture says that Jesus will cast the spirit of Jezebel on a bed of affliction and kill her children so that all the world will know that He is the one who tries the minds and the hearts.
Elijah successfully passes his mantle on to Elisha but Jesus clothed you in His robes of righteousness. Elijah’s mantle was laid on the river and they crossed from east to west but Jesus laid down His life and you cross into glory from death.
Jesus trumps Elijah in every way. Elijah calls fire down from heaven as a line drawn in the sand that Yahweh is God, but Jesus says in Luke 12:49, “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”.
Jesus is trying to tell you that He is the Heavenly Elijah.
How will you respond to the fire that Christ has called to the earth? Will you worship only God?
Are you serving two masters? Abandon all other pursuits and follow the Lord. Cry out to the Lord for an undivided heart so you may serve Him and love Him in the way He deserves to be loved.
Do you have an all-consuming love for Jesus? Are you clinging to the Lord? Don’t let another day go by that you don’t respond to the Heavenly Elijah and get on His side.