What Christian wouldn’t like to be another Elijah—you know, the prophet who had a showdown with the false gods of his day? Remember that famous Bible story where Elijah set up a huge demonstration on Mount Carmel and called down fire from heaven onto altars that had been doused with barrels of water. When Elijah loudly proclaimed, “Will the real God please show up,” He did. God had orchestrated the entire event to prove to the wayward children of Israel that He alone is the one true God.1
Don’t you wish an Elijah would show up today? I suspect some of us might have opportunities for an Elijah-size showdown with the false gods in our culture—if we were to look for them. But I think that many of us (me included) don’t look for those opportunities since the gods of our day are just too intimidating. Certainly a challenge against any one of them would be considered “politically incorrect.”
Personally, I am happier minding my own business. That kind of courage just isn’t my cup of tea. Such bold faith is surely reserved for the special servants of God. Actually, I am more like Elijah on the next day when he ran for his life, hid under a tree, and had a pity party praying that he could die.2
So what is the difference in the Elijah on Mount Carmel and the Elijah under the tree? I don’t know for sure, but it probably had something to do with his level of faith on those two separate days. On day 1 Elijah had been a man of courage. He clearly heard and obeyed the voice of the Lord. He boldly took a stand even though he was outnumbered 450 to 1. Elijah trusted that if he did his part, God would show up. I’ve had some days like that—well, maybe not exactly like that.
On day 2 Elijah must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed (or maybe he didn’t get up at all). He didn’t have clear direction about what the Lord wanted him to do like he did on day 1. He was on the defense running for his life, not on the offense and calling the shots like he was on day 1. Nor was he sure of the outcome of his circumstances as he had been on day 1. Elijah simply didn’t have the strength to be anything different than just who he was—on day 2. Now I’ve definitely had some days like that.
Come to think of it, I may be an Elijah after all. You see, God met Elijah wherever he was—on day 1 and on day 2. He was with Elijah when he had the faith to call down fire from heaven, and He was with Elijah when he felt “winky-wonky” and ran for his life. Winky-wonky was a term used by Grandmother Grace Kellogg when she didn’t feel quite up to par.
The fact is: God never changes!3 He is faithful and strong and loving and caring, and He meets me in my place of need wherever I find myself—on my own Mount Carmel standing up against false gods or hiding in the bushes until the threat against my life passes.
Do you feel bold today, perhaps able to tackle one of the many false gods in our culture? Or do you feel like staying in bed and pulling the covers over your head? Either way, our faithful God is with you and He will be with you tomorrow too. Bold or winky-wonky—God is with us for the long-haul. Jesus said it like this—I am with you always, even to the very end! 4 ~ Janie Kellogg
11 Kings 18; 21 Kings 19; 3James 1:17 (NLT); 4Matthew 28:20