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January 17, 1994

Just Like Us

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Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. JAMES 5:17-18
After reading Old Testament accounts of Elijah’s adventures, we might be tempted to elevate him to sainthood. But he was just like us.
Elijah lived out in an evil culture, not secluded in a sterile monastery. He struggled to obey God, just like we do. He encountered times of discouragement and disappointment. He dealt with pride, resentment, depression, and fear. He developed bad habits. He experienced intimidation, failure, and loneliness. He witnessed great miracles by God, but his life also was the inspiration for what we call the “Elijah complex”—the feeling that “I’m the only one left, the only one really serving God, the only one really worthy of God’s blessing.”
But despite all his struggles and insecurities, Elijah was a praying man. It was prayer that allowed this very ordinary man—a man who was “just like us”—to do extraordinary things. He prayed that it wouldn’t rain, and God turned the faucet off. He prayed that it would rain again, and it did.
Elijah wasn’t in control of the weather. He wasn’t calling the shots for God. But by his prayers, he was letting God and everyone else know that he believed that God could do what he asked. As a result, God used him in a very powerful way to accomplish His purposes in Elijah’s world.
Do you sometimes feel as if you are too ordinary, too common, for God to listen to your prayers? Do you ever think that He could never use you because of your internal struggles and insecurities? Remember Elijah. He was just like you, and he accomplished great things for God.

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