Their books are short. They have been labeled the “minor prophets.” And their messages are anything but minor. The prophets are sent to speak God’s Word, to be “loudspeakers” for God—not just in biblical times, but now!—confronting our sin and bringing us to repentance, in order to restore a right relationship with God. Luther doesn’t mince words about the importance of the prophets: “We Christians ought not to be such shameful, satiated, ungrateful know-it-alls, but rather read and use the prophets with earnestness and profit.” OK, then. Let’s get to it!
The heroes of the faith seem larger than life, so far removed from our ordinary lives that we might wonder if we share any similarities with them at all. But in studying this prophet from the Old Testament, we gain a deeper understanding of how God calls, empowers, encourages, and uses each one of us to do amazing things for the Kingdom.
1 Kings 17:1-7; Mark 1:9-13
There are times in our lives in which we wonder how God is using us for His greater purpose. These moments often start when we’re alone, with no one watching, as God aligns our hearts and the circumstances of our lives to His will. To an outsider, it may seem that nothing is happening. But for those with eyes of faith, God is preparing the way.
1 Kings 17:8-24 (NIV)
It’s one thing to feel prepared for a purpose; it’s another to see the hand of God confirming the vision that is within you. Elijah performed two miracles to confirm his calling as a prophet. While you may not perform miracles, where do you see the hand of God confirming the vision that is in your heart?
1 Kings 18:17-40 (NRSV)
Your vision and God’s purpose will always engage in battle with a world that is opposed to the things of God. Elijah took on 450 prophets from Ba’al in a battle royale that would rival any cage match you’ve ever seen. What empowers us to overcome the battles that we inevitably will face?
1 Kings 19: 1-3, 9b-14 (NIV); John 16:12-15 (NIV)
Even Elijah had moments when it was too much, and all he wanted to do was run away, crawl into bed and pull the covers over his head. I bet you have felt the same way. In those moments, God comes not by yanking the covers off and dragging you by the ankle back into the field, but with a still small voice that assures you that you are not alone.
2 Kings 2:1-14; John 14:12-17; 2 Timothy 4:7-8
The mark of a life well-lived is a strong finish. A marathon is not for sprinters, but for those who persevere. Elijah finished strong as he passed the mantel to his successor, Elisha. Paul finished strong when he ran the race to the end and kept the faith. How can you finish strong?