The Big Leagues

1 Kings 18:41–46

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:16b-18)

We read about Elijah and we say, “Wow, he’s in the big leagues. He’s a spiritual giant. I’m a pygmy in comparison to him. He’s in another world entirely.” Not true. Look again.

James doesn’t say, “Elijah was a mighty prophet of God.” He doesn’t say, “Elijah was a powerful worker of miracles.” He doesn’t say, “Elijah was a model no man can match.”

James says, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.”

That means he was flesh and blood, muscle and bone. As we’re about to see, he got really discouraged, and he had some huge disappointments. He had faults and failures and doubts. He was just a man, with a nature like yours and mine. He may have been a man of heroism and humility, but let’s not forget his humanity. Elijah was our kind of man!

So, what kind of man was Elijah?

Well, he wasn’t afraid to square off with the king of the land or take on the prophets of Baal. The guy had guts, no question. But he wasn’t too powerful to pray or too confident to wait or too sophisticated to see rain in the tiny cloud or too proud to pull up his robe and run like a spotted ape down the mountain in the rain and mud, like the roadrunner, thinking, “C’mon, Ahab . . . catch me if you can!”

No wonder Elijah is the kind of man we admire. Isn’t it exciting to know we serve the same God he served? Isn’t it thrilling to think we can trust the same God he trusted?

And what kind of God is that? He’s the God who makes promises and keeps them.

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

Posted in Bible Characters and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.