“Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain—and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.  And, he prayed again and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit.”

James 5:17-18

If He did it through them, He can do it through us.

That’s the message in today’s Manna—i.e., if God could use Elijah to stop the rain for 3 ½ years and then start it back again—He can also use us.  Although we may never have that happen in our lives. . .or call down fire from Heaven as he did (I Kings 18:30-39). . .the fact remains “Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are.”

What does that mean?

Quite simply, He was “just like us.”

So often we look at the Biblical characters like Noah, Abraham, Joseph, David, Daniel, the Apostles, etc., and feel like they’re in the “Big Leagues,” while we’re in the minors.  Somehow we paint them “larger than life,” feeling they’re head-and-shoulders above us spiritually.

But, the fact remains (according to God’s Word) that they were faced with the same temptations we are.  And, like us, they didn’t always bat 1000.

Noah was used by God to build the ark and save a remnant, yet he still got drunk, exposed and cursed his own grandson (Gen. 9:20-25).  Abraham was called by God to “go without knowing where he was going” (Gen. 12:1-4; Heb. 11:8), yet twice-lied about his wife (Gen. 12:11-20; 20:1-18) and resorted to a carnal plan for children, instead of waiting upon the Lord (16:1-4).  Moses was used mightily by God to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, yet offered every excuse he could think of to get out of doing God’s bidding (Ex. 3:11-4:17).

Thus, in those times when we focus more on our inadequacy than we do God’s sufficiency. . . or our fears more than God’s faithfulness. . .or our inability more than His ability. . .we should remember how Elijah “was subject to like passions as we are.”  But still he “prayed earnestly that it might not rain—and it rained not on the earth for 3 ½ years.”

Oh, dear Pilgrim, our powerlessness speaks more about us than it does God.

Jesus Himself “was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:14-15) and even now “is in Heaven interceding for us” (Heb. 7:24-25).  He wants us to succeed (Rom. 8:31-34).  He’s even promised to help us do so (Jn. 14:12-14)—IF we’ll simply take Him at His Word, surrender to His Will and join Him in what He’s wanting to do.

Remember:  Peter and John were viewed as “ignorant and unlearned men” by the Sanhedrin that day (Acts 4:13a); yet, even those close-minded, hard-hearted religious leaders “marveled at their boldness and took note that they’d been with Jesus” (v.13b).

That’s the key, Pilgrim:  “They’d been with Jesus.”

Are you “abiding in Him” (Jn. 15:1-7)?  Are you “walking in the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1)?  Live today in reckless abandonment, allowing Him to use you as you see fit.  He’s wanting to.  The question is:  Are you willing to let Him?

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 22, 2009

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