JUST LIKE US
Elijah was a man just like us. James 5:17
I have been studying Elijah in preparation to teach on him this semester. And I really cannot get past this verse about him in the New Testament. In the Greek – just like us – really means, of like passions; subject to like passions; suffering the like with one another; to have passions. Meaning, his emotions are JUST LIKE OURS.
And when one studies him, one quickly sees this to be true. He was bold, fierce, strong, unswerving in his devotion to God. On the flip side he was unsure, despondent, a coward, doubtful. How could he go from one extreme to another? Well, we are told by James in chapter 5. He was just like us.
My week has been awful. So much pain and agony, lots of emotional highs and lows and many times of second guessing. So, yes, I am a woman just like Elijah.
What started out as a plan to get my feet used to being in the inserts, ended up being sleepless nights, agony, doctor calls, surgery suggestions, prayer, crying, worship, and everything in between.
If we look at the context of the verse in James, it is about prayer. Elijah prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain for three and a half years. He prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth produced its crops. James 5:17-18
This man prayed. Powerfully, I might add. And his prayers affected an entire nation. The Northern Kingdom of Israel to be exact. What’s pretty incredible, is that he, himself, had to endure the drought that he had told King Ahab would happen as a result of the king’s idolatry and that of the nation’s. Even though Elijah did not worship anyone other than the One true living LORD God of Israel, God had him suffer along with the rest.
However, God had a plan. God provided for him at Cherith Brook. And then the widow. And so on. God took care of this prophet. This man that stood boldly before the throne of God. And he stood boldly in the throne room of King Ahab.
To get back to his being like us, me - his standing and HIS PRAYER life are what I am focusing on today. He prayed, things happened.
Can I say the same of my prayer life? Can you?
Why or why not?
Jesus was talking with His disciples about the size of faith – comparing it to a mustard seed. And with that small amount of faith, one could say to a mountain – a mountain mind you, to MOVE and it will move. I mean move.
Have you ever seen a mountain move?
I have. But maybe not a literal one. I have seen mountains of severed relationships be restored. I have seen stubborn people finally admit their pride and accept the free gift of salvation. I was healed the first round of affliction in 2018 – and that was a mountain of grand proportions.
So, yes, in some ways, I have an active effective prayer life. But, not all my prayers are answered. Well, they are answered but not in a way that I deem best. Notice the I problem? If I am praying for things that I want, rather than what God wants, then my prayers are not powerful and effective. They are selfish. Not good in the kingdom of God. But, if I pray according to God’s will, then they ARE powerful and effective.
That begs the question: How do I know the will of God and how can I pray according to His will?
Glad you asked.
There are many places in Scripture that say this or that pleases God. I make it a point to mark these up. Highlight them. Underline them. And cross-reference them in my Bible with other such places so I can find the string of them in my Bible.
Prayer pleases Him. Having the mind of Christ pleases Him. Worship. And so on. This is the will of God; doing things that please Him. So, if I pray according to that, then my prayers will be powerful and effective. Simple as that.
This my friends, is something we can take to the bank – so to speak. This is what it means when James wrote that Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed. God moved. God moved because Elijah was praying according to God’s will. I, for one, am motivated to pray even more according to God’s will and to continue to find out what pleases Him so I can be even more in step with my heavenly Father.
If you have not read the accounts of Elijah’s life recently, I encourage you to do so. He is found at the end of 1 Kings and beginning of 2 Kings.