Lessons From Elijah
You can go to the school of hard knocks. You can experience hardships, disappointments, and failures and learn from them - or you can learn from the experience of others. The Bible is full of examples of people whose lives we can learn from. Elijah is one of those people, and God has spoken to me through his example in a powerful, powerful way. I believe that if you would open your heart and receive, there are lessons from the life of Elijah that would save you a lot of the heartache from learning the hard way.
Elijah rose to a position that very few people have ever reached. He was the first person recorded in Scripture to see a person raised from the dead. He called fire down out of heaven. He walked with God to such a degree that he never experienced death - God literally caught him up into heaven (2 Kgs. 2:11).
And yet Elijah failed to do two-thirds of the things that God spoke to him in an audible voice, and as a result, people died. There were famines - people even ate their own children. All of this gets laid at the feet of Elijah because he did not do what God called him to do. But that wasn’t the end of it. Elijah’s story is one of redemption, showing how God can use us despite our failures.
Before I really get into Elijah’s life, I want to set the scene of the time in which Elijah lived. This is significant because it relates directly to us today. It was a time of apostasy in the nation of Israel. First Kings 16:29–33 talks about Ahab and says that he was the most ungodly king Israel had ever had. He and his wife, Jezebel, outlawed the worship of the God of Israel - the One who brought the Israelites out of Egypt and who they had been serving for hundreds of years. Elijah came into this desperate situation, and like him, we also face hostility toward believers today.
Elijah did not agree with what Ahab and Jezebel were doing, and in 1 Kings 17:1, he says:
As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
With these words, Elijah attacked the very foundation of Ahab’s rejection of God. He boldly declared that the Lord lives. I tell you, there are a lot of Christians today who are not bold, but apologetic about the Bible because the secular world has rejected it. That is the wrong approach. We need to stand up. And if anybody needs to be embarrassed or fearful today, it ought to be the people who are rejecting the Word of God.
So one of the lessons I learned from Elijah is that it doesn’t matter what the situation is in the world. If people will stand up and speak the Word of God, God can turn things around. Elijah had one of the greatest revivals ever recorded in Scripture. First Kings 18:38–39 talks about this revival:
Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.
This revival happened because somebody
took the Word of God and stood up and spoke it. One man with a word
from God who was bold enough to act on it and speak it turned the entire
situation around and saw a tremendous revival. I tell you that if you would take
the truths of the Word of God and stand up in your realm of influence, and not
be apologetic but strong, then I believe that it would make a difference. If
you get persecuted and people come out against you, that’s an indication that
you are making a difference.
Jesus didn’t always have a revival. Not everybody responded well to Him. If you are presenting the Gospel, people will either yield to it, receive the Word, and get set free, or they will push back and fight against it. Most Christians just want to get along and not rock the boat. However, 2 Timothy 3:12 says, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” The only Christians who aren’t suffering persecution are ones who are not living a godly life and standing up for the truth. If Elijah had been afraid of rejection and not stood up and spoken the Word, we would never have heard of him.
I’d like to challenge you today that you and I have a word from God, and we need to be bold. Isaiah 5:20 says that in the last days people will “call evil good, and good evil.” We are living in that time, and we have to stand up and start speaking the truth. If we don’t, I guarantee you the ungodly aren’t going to do it. So the very first lesson that I learned from Elijah is that we need to stand up and make a difference in our society today.
I’ve shown you a glimpse of what you can learn from Elijah, but there’s so much more, and I encourage you to get my full new and improved teaching. This month, we’re offering a special package which includes my Lessons from Elijah, Lessons from David, and Lessons from Joseph teachings. You don’t have to go to the school of hard knocks! You can order at awme.net/lessons, by calling our UK Helpline at +44 (0)1922 473300, or just complete and return the enclosed form.
We love you,
Andrew and Jamie