Elijah was a person just like us. When he earnestly prayed that it wouldn’t rain, no rain fell for three and a half years. He prayed again, God sent rain, and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:17-18 CEB)
We live in a time when talk of “heroes” and the portrayal of “superheroes” is all the rage. I confess all of this unsettles me a bit for I don’t see it as perfectly “harmless.” It is only a very small step to thinking that nothing of great significance can be accomplished except by super people with super skills or super “powers.” But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it’s with that same sort of thinking that James is doing battle here in this very text.
Contrary to popular notion, James affirms the prophet Elijah was no “superhero.” God worked great things through him not because he was a great or special person but, because he chose to do so. James says Elijah has nothing on us, but was “just like us.”
Contrary to popular belief, God’s people are not in dire need of super people with super talents or super resources. Rather, what the church most needs today is a membership with a mind fully persuaded that a super God answers the fervent prayers of ordinary people who are completely sold out to him. This is no small thing. It’s the difference between focusing on Elijah and focusing on Elijah’s God. It’s the difference between being dependent on extraordinary people and depending on an extraordinary God. And that’s a world of difference, to say the least. Some powerful questions to mind.
- Do you believe the God of Elijah still lives and works today?
- Do you believe God can hear and answer your prayers the way he heard those of Elijah?
- Do you believe God so that you’re willing, as you are, to be totally sold out to him for his use however he will?
- Do your prayers reflect that faith and your life that commitment?
Elijah was an ordinary person just like us. He prayed fervently that it wouldn’t rain and it didn’t rain – for three and a half years. When he prayed again, God brought rain and the earth brought forth fruit. (James 5:17-18 DSV)
Holy Father in heaven, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.