What motivates you to action? Is there a sense of calling in what you do each day? Or do you walk in a sense of not really knowing what you are supposed to do? There is a true saying; “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” Calling is really a matter of sensing that God is telling you to be involved with something and someone. Greatness and fulfillment in life can only come from One place, the One who loves and equips us.
Elijah was described as a man just like you and me. He had human failings and struggles like anyone; so why was he used so mightily of God? First let’s look at what happened. In I Kings 18, Elijah confronts the people of Israel who have turned their backs on God to serve the god called Baal. There is a show-down between Elijah, and 850 prophets of Baal. The thing about this is that if God doesn’t show up for Elijah, he’s literally a dead man. The challenge that Elijah places before the prophets (as the people watch) is to put their sacrifice on their altar, and call upon Baal to burn up the sacrifice. The prophets cry, beg, plead, cajole, but alas this empty god does not respond. Elijah presents his offering to God and calls upon Him to consume the sacrifice, which God does. (I’m thinking this whole scene would have Elijah confident in God, yet with knees knocking at the sheer intensity of the situation). Of course, the crowds are convinced that Elijah serves the One and only true and Living God, so their hearts are turned toward God Almighty.
Then Elijah’s confession: “let it be known that you are God in Israel and I am your servant, and that at your Word I have done all these things.” I Kings 18:36. Isn’t this a beautiful picture of the realization that people don’t need to see what we can do, but what God can do through willing vessels? Let’s remember that God will bring the “fire” just as He did for Elijah; and our part is to be obedient. God acted through Elijah because he remained obediently close to God. This meant that God could use him as a vessel of honor to draw the people He loves to the truth. Yes, we as God’s people have the same opportunities to have God work through us as we walk humbly before our God.
In this world of pain and darkness, I ask that you would help us your people, to follow Elijah’s example of true servant-hood; that we would “be fit for the Master’s use” to touch hurting people with your love, hope, and life eternal. Thank you for your great love. Amen.
Images: Ben White, Christian Sterk, Ismael Paramo