Elijah . . . said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”
–1 Kings 17:1
Elijah made seven choices that unlock for all of us the secret for being spiritually successful.
Do you want to have an extraordinary life? It begins, first of all, with discovering your purpose. All of us were created to glorify God and cause people to worship the one true God. That’s our general purpose, but God has also given each of us a unique purpose. He has made you uniquely with certain gifts, abilities, and interests as your creative way to fulfill God’s ultimate purpose.
Second, spiritually significant people determine to influence their culture. Elijah could have said, “I am going to huddle with those hundred prophets of God hiding in a cave somewhere, and we will just wait for the end to come.” No, that wasn’t an option for Elijah. Elijah knew God had raised him up to turn his country toward God. Some Christians today say, “We shouldn’t try to influence our culture; we shouldn’t even speak to our culture. The only thing we have the right to talk to non-Christians about is their need for Jesus Christ as Savior.” Thank God Elijah didn’t do that. Elijah didn’t isolate himself from the king and queen. Even though they were followers of the false god Baal, Elijah confronted them. And when he confronted them, he didn’t just share the four spiritual laws with them about how to become a Christian. He said, “What you are doing is wrong! It is an offense to Almighty God!” Today, we need followers of God who have the courage to confront an ungodly culture and ungodly leaders and say without stuttering, “Thus sayeth the Lord!” God has called us to influence our culture, not to isolate ourselves from it.
Third, Elijah waited on God’s timing. Now, we don’t like to wait, do we? But we have to learn to wait. Elijah did. Immediately after Elijah appeared on the scene in 1 Kings 17:1, God hid him for three years–partly to protect him but also to prepare him for his future ministry. During those three years, Elijah learned some vital lessons about himself and about God. You may be in a waiting time in your life. Maybe you are a student preparing for a career. Maybe you are a pastor ministering in obscurity, thinking nobody knows what you’re doing. Maybe you are a single adult waiting for God to bring your life partner. Remember, waiting time doesn’t have to be wasted time. In the times we are waiting, God is teaching us some important lessons.
Fourth, spiritually significant people decide to burn the ships. The Spanish conqueror Cortes famously commanded his men to burn their ships to eliminate any possibility of retreat. The only way to move was forward. The same thing is true for us. There has to come a point when we decide whether or not we are “all in” for God. When Elijah was on Mount Carmel, he told the Israelites, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). Elijah had a burn-the-ships moment. Have you?
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing the Extraordinary Life” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.