Thursday, April 17, 2014

1 Kings 17-19

We meet Elijah in 1 Kings 17-19.  He's a man with great faith in God, and God is able to use him in big ways because of it.  Elijah turns out to be one of the greatest prophets of all time for God.  He brings God's word to His people at a point in history when many or most are really struggling to follow God.  Israel's twelve tribes are divided, fighting, and lead by evil kings who worship idols and other false Gods.  Not to mention, Elijah boldly serves while God's prophets are either killed or hiding in caves.  And yet, Elijah's relationship with God is jam packed with life inspiring lessons and victories for us as we seek to follow God ourselves.

I admitted yesterday that I have Easter on the brain this Holy Week.  And so today, as I read, I can't help but think about Jesus' public ministry while I read Elijah's story.  Again, you may be wondering how in the world the two are related.  The connection lies in the mountains.  

Mountains serve as a central location for experiencing God's presence and power.  

Elijah has just seen God perform a miracle in front of all the false prophets on Mount Carmel, and then he runs for his life and flees to Mount Horeb, the mountain of God (the same mountain where Moses saw the burning bush and received the Ten Commandments).

God appears to Elijah on Mount Horeb, and makes a big point.

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 

God shows shows Himself to us in real ways, even today.

There are noisy distractions all around us, but God often comes to us in an unexpected, gentle whisper, when we take time to be alone with Him.

Later in God's story, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to another high mountain, and they bear witness to His transfiguration (with Elijah and Moses appearing too).   In this amazing experience, God Himself identifies Jesus as His Son, and Jesus' appearance changes to be radiant and full of God's glory.

With Easter right around the corner, we are reminded of God's deep and unconditional love for us.  We are also His children, brothers and sisters in Christ.  Though it's not always obvious to our human eye, Jesus lives in each of us through His Holy Spirit.  

God calls us, like Elijah, to believe in Him and use our gifts and resources for Him.  And when we do, we can be assured that God will be with us in real ways, showing us His glory, and transforming us too.  That's the new life we have in Christ.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for the new life I have in Christ. Thank You for transforming me to be more like Jesus.

Help me to appreciate Your gift of new life.  No matter what is going on around me, help me to focus on You and Your glory.  

I pray that I can help others come to know You and see You at work in their lives in real ways.  

In Jesus' name I pray,


*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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