by Mike Ratliff
“And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho saw him opposite them, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.” (2Kings 2:13-15 ESV)
As we stand in the thick of the battle, not falling or retreating, it is because we are wearing and using the armor of God. Our God is not a product of man-made religion. He is not created by man in the form of the creature. No, He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, righteous, and just. The great object to be desired is God, YHWH, Elijah’s God. With YHWH all things flourish. His absence is our decline and death.
Before genuine believers can enter into any good work they should seek for the God who was with their predecessors. What a mercy that the God of Elijah is also the God of Elisha! He will also be with us. He will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14)
The Spirit-filled believer does not need antiquities from the past, nor novelties of the present, nor marvels for the future; he or she only wants the Triune God, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and they shall then see with them wonders equal to those of Elijah’s age. “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” The old mantle, used with faith in the same God, parted the waters to the one side and to the other. The power is where it used to be.
As we find ourselves in the fires of tribulation or in the crosshairs of our enemy’s bow we must use the part of our armor that gives the power to the rest. That, of course, is prayer. When we are in the fire our one need is Elijah’s God. Let us turn Elisha’s cry into our prayer.
First, God kept Elijah faithful. He must now make us stand firm even if we should be left alone in the truth. Knowing that it is God who sustains us, even to the end (1 Corinthians 1:8) we cry out to God that he sustain us as He did Elijah.
Second, our enemy uses people who are dead in their sins to attack us and our ministries, but we know that it is God who raised the dead through Elijah. Therefore, we must trust that God can use us to bring these spiritually dead people up from their death in sin. (1 Kings 17:22)
Third, there are times that our journey seems impossible. We feel we have a lack of sustenance or ability to remain in the race, however we know that it is God who gave Elijah food for a long journey and that He must fit us for the pilgrimage of life, and preserve us to the end. (1 Kings 19:8)
Fourth, God may very well call us to cross over into our Canaan. This must cause us to see how impossible it is for us to even move, but the God who divided Jordan for the prophet will not fail us when our time comes. (2 Kings 2:8)
Let us take our needs and cry out to the God of Elijah who is well able to answer us and be our pillar of strength before and behind us in the night and in the day. As we remember Elijah’s God and that He is also our God why do we fret, or murmur, or doubt?
The Lord God of Elijah is not dead, nor sleeping, nor on a journey. He is still in heaven regarding His own reserved ones. They may be hidden in caves, but the Lord knows them that are His. He is still to be moved by prayer to bless a thirsty land. He is still able to keep us faithful in the midst of the faithless generation, so that we shall not bow the knee to Baal. He is coming in vengeance. Do you hear His chariot wheels? He will bear away His people. Oh, to have that presence, so as to be girded with His strength! Oh, to live so as never more to ask this question!
“The God of Elijah gave him the experience of the sweet fruits of dependence on the Lord, and of a little going far, with His blessing. (1 Kings 17:16) But where is the God of Elijah in our day, when what we have seems to be blown upon, that it goes in effect for nothing? Our table is generously covered, yet our souls are starved; our goodness sometimes looks as a morning cloud, it blackens the face of the heavens, and promises a heavy shower, but quickly proves as a little cloud, like unto a man’s hand, which is ready to go for nothing; yes, this generation is blinded by the means that have a natural tendency to give light. Ah! “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?”
The God of Elijah gave him the experience of a gracious boldness to face the most daring wickedness of the generation he lived in, though it was one one of the worst. This eminently appeared in his encounter with Ahab. (1 Kings 18:1) But where is the God of Elijah now, while the iniquities of our day meet with such faint resistance, while a brave brow for the cause of God, a tongue to speak for Him, and a heart to act, are so much wanting? The wicked of the world, though they have an ill cause in hand, yet they pursue it boldly; but alas! the people of God shame their honest cause by their cowardice and faint appearing in it. If God give us not another spirit, more fitted for such a day, we shall betray our trust, and bring the curse of the succeeding generation on us.
The God of Elijah gave him the experience of being enabled to go far upon a meal (1 Kings 19:8). But where now are such experiences, while there is so little strength in the spiritual meals to which we now sit down? This is a time wherein there is much need of such an experience; the Lord seems to be saying to His people, “Rise and eat, for the journey is long”; and what a hard journey some may have, ere they get another meal, who knows? Oh, for more feeding power in the doctrine preached among us!
The God of Elijah gave him the experience of the Lord’s removing difficulties out of his way, when he himself could do nothing at them: Jordan divided. So Peter had the iron gate opened to him of its own accord; for when the Lord takes the work in hand, were it never so desperate as to us, it will succeed well with him”–Thomas Boston
This post was adapted from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon titled, “Where is the God of Elijah?” He preached it in 1898. Spurgeon’s quotes from Thomas Boston (1676—1732) are very striking. It’s as if Boston’s words are describing our day to a “T.” In any case, I pray that you and I will become very serious about prayer and know who we are praying to. He is the God of Elijah!
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. (James 5:16-18 ESV)
The God of Elijah is still working and using those amongst us who, like Elijah, are simply ordinary people who give themselves totally to God no matter what obstacles the enemy puts in the way. Therefore, let us become those who wear the armor of God and use it in His power and by His grace.