A Man Like Us

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James 5:13-18
Focusing on 2 verses here. As James is speaking of prayer, effective prayer that God answers, he goes to Elijah.
And then he says, Elijah is like us.
So what does James mean. After all what we tend to remember about Elijah are things like calling down fire from heaven, raising the dead. Not things we tend to see or do very often. James here even says when Elijah prayed the weather changed. A power I think we all wish we had but, we don’t.
We may remember Elijah had a bout with depression, and I am sure we can relate to that. James focus is the way Elijah prayed.
So, how can we be like Elijah? Wasn’t he some super human holy man?
No. James says he had a nature just like us. Some translations say he was a man like us.
So today I want to take a birds eye look at the life and ministry of Elijah. And see if we can’t make this connection. He takes up a good portion of 1 Kings 17-19
And the first thing about Elijah was

Elijah Learns Dependence 1 Kings 17:1-7

God has a training experience for each person that He intends to use. This first part of Elijah’s story is his development. Of his learning to depend, to trust God.
I would hope that every one of us in this room or watching online wants to be used by God. However, before that can happen, we have some things to learn. And God has designed ways for you to learn.
One I want to highlight today
There must be a time alone, in quiet where we are developed into a dynamic person.
You must build the inner man first, so we are not just an empty shell
Elijah means Jehovah is God so his name is a reminder
And as we said he is not some super human holy man.
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead,
Elijah was from Tishbe in Gilead. It was an obscure and solitary place that God reached down into and pulled out his next masterpiece. (Eph 2:10) To say I will develop you and release you to display my glory.
We need to be reminded that before we can be trusted to stand on Mt Carmel and display the glory of God we must first go to Brooke Cherith. Before God can use His servants, he must first train them.


It has been a little over a generation since David and Solomon’s reigns filled the land with peace and prosperity. Then, one by one, the kings of Israel sat on the throne and plunged the nation into darkness. Religious, moral, and social rot destroyed the nation. Just as Moses had faced Pharaoh and challenged the powers of darkness over Egypt, God would display His glory through Elijah to challenge Ahab and call His people to repentance.
It was a desperate time for the young nation. Ahab rejected the ways of God.
How would you like this on your business card?
Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him.
God takes Elijah directly to the palace of Israel where he makes a prophetic announcement to King Ahab. Elijah warns the ruling couple that a supernatural drought will fall over the land, and it will last until I say so.
And it lasted three years. Why would God do such a thing? Because on the throne sat wickedness personified. And the people had followed along.
But no one confronts the royal couple and lives to tell about it. Who does Elijah think he is to challenge the King of Israel? What will God do?
Elijah has just announced judgment. But God is always about restoration. And when the people come out of judgment, they are going to need someone to lead them. So God is getting Elijah ready for that role
Now the next word from God is to tell him to hide away. God is in the process of developing Elijah the Tishbite into Elijah the Man of God, but to accomplish this Elijah must go to school.
Many times God cannot do in us what He wants to until He gets us alone.
He was sent there for two purposes for protection and preparation.
The King wanted him dead. God wanted him ready.
God was planning this all along.
Before the need arose God already had the place provided. When He formed the world He placed that little brook there for Elijah. There was no panic in Heaven.
When God wants you to learn at His feet, don’t shrink back and chafe at the announcement that He wants you to be still before Him.
Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
God is teaching us to trust Him one day at a time.
This can only happen if we are willing to be sequestered with God. The idea of sequester comes from the legal field and means, “to cause to draw into seclusion.” (Webster) It comes from the Latin word that means depository. And that is exactly what God is doing to us during days of being hidden by His presence. Deposits us someplace so He can deposit Himself into us.
We talk about this with the Worship Team
Nothing you do will matter, it is all wood hay and stubble if it did not come from this quiet place, where we met with God, and lived from the deposit He made in us
We may wing it, fake it, rest on our own skills and impress people.
If all we did was hone our craft and not our spirit we are in for a fall
It may impress people but it will never impress God
What is God trying to teach you?
Trust me

The Provisions of God 1 Kings 17:5-7

God used a bubbling brook and some ravens to care for His Prophet. This is amazing because ravens are scavengers. They feed off the flesh of the dead, yet God used them to bring food to His prophet.
1. The ravens did as commanded
2. The brook continued to supply water during a drought
When the brook did dry up he sent him to Zarepeth to get some flour and water.
For Elijah it would lead to Zarepeth, where a little flour and oil would feed three for a longtime. And Elijah would begin a miracle ministry.
God sent Elijah to the Brook Cherith for safety, for preparation, and for provision.
Do you have a place and time where we allow God to deepen your walk with Him, teach you how to follow His leading, and lean upon His provision and be satisfied? To make His deposit?
Now, that is revolutionary thought.
God wants time alone with us so He can make that deposit. He is building a man of God. God knows that before Elijah can stand in power on Mt. Carmel that he must first be developed at Cherith. His goal is the same in our lives today. Many of us need the Brook Cherith. Others are just enrolling.
All these greats had that place. And all the stories of shipwreck are usually related to those who tried to wing it
Elijah lead a fantastic life. He saw God do things firsthand that few ever have. Yet he still needed time alone for refreshing and guidance.
If we are to achieve maturity and revitalization we need periods to leave the crowd behind and be with our Lord
To go to the river to receive food, drink and rest.
After being developed

Displayed Life 1 Kings 18

Elijah is being developed, now he goes on display
We have been saying that we want to be a church that is expecting revitalization.
But if we want to see God work in people’s lives, then we need to see God’s power continue to work. It must be God’s resources and God’s way/
This account of Elijah on Mount Carmel shows us how to access God’s power in order to bring glory to him in our own lives and in our world.

Depression Comes From A Sense Of Frustration

In I Kings 19:1, Ahab told Jezebel what was going on, what Elijah had done to her prophets. And In verse 2, Jezebel sent a message to Elijah, "you’re life Isn’t worth much Elijah, I am going to kill you..."
Now Elijah had hoped that after what he had accomplished on Mt things would be different.
But somethings just did not change. And now the whole victory on Mt. Carmel seemed meaningless... Elijah was no doubt thinking such thoughts as: "What’s the use, I’m still a fugitive, I still have a price on my head and that wicked Jezebel she is still running the show. I’m not getting anywhere; I’m just spinning my wheels." It all must have seemed so futile to Elijah.
Have you ever felt that way? Like you’re not getting anywhere? Like all your effort is in vain? You try and try to do what’s right -- to be: a good husband, wife, child, mother, father and worker...etc. You pour out your blood, your sweat and your tears, you give it your best. And you look up at the scoreboard -- expecting to see a change -- anticipating that you have either caught up or gotten ahead, only to find that you’re still several points behind... Things haven’t changed -- the same old problems are still there, staring you right in the face (maybe even a few new ones have popped up)..
A sense of futility is almost a certain path to depression....

Elijah’s Worship Was Real 1 Kings 18:30

Mt Carmel started at Brook Cherith. We must learn to trust.
Then there is a time and a place to act
In Elijah’s day Israel experienced a three year drought. Baal worship at this time was seen to be a helpful addition to worshipping the Lord – the logic went something like this, “if the Lord won’t break the drought, maybe Baal would.” So, many people worshipped both.
And this is the principle of power that Elijah brings out. That if we want to know God’s power in our lives he must truly be the number one priority for us. And we don’t learn that unless we have those times with Him where He makes those deposits
We’re kidding ourselves if we think we can follow God and live in our own strength, make up our own way of doing things – and then expect to know his power in our lives.
Its why we need those times where God makes a deposit so we can know Him and His ways
Elijah repaired the altar. What is significant about this is that it shows that Elijah knew the importance of genuine worship. The people had spent too much time worshipping a false god – it was time now to get back to worshipping the real God. It was time to worship the one true God the right way
They had failed the very first commandment, “You shall have no other god’s before me” (Exodus 20:3), and now it was time to put it right.
Elijah had already issued the ultimatum “If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” (I Kings 18:21). You can’t have both
Now though, after their god had failed, Elijah leads the people to the altar of the Lord. And this is what we as Believers are to do.
And how do we do that? We make sure our worship is according to Gods principles in Spirit and truth.

Attend to your own spiritual health.

Each one of us must attend to the altar of our own spiritual health. Both private and corporate worship
Without exception, all believers face a struggle between being fully devoted to God, and yet still wanting to have it our own way.
We want God’s blessing, but we also want our friend’s approval.
We want God’s protection in our hour of need, but we struggle to hand control over to him and trust him.
We want God to deliver us from all kind’s of sin - yet we feed an addiction like a mother nurses a baby.
We want to say that God is the most important person in our life, yet we are easily swayed and drawn away from that allegiance
Elijah wasn’t happy to make a sacrifice on an old broken altar – he honored the Lord by repairing it – by attending to it first.
Now you may saw I am not on display. I am not facing down kings and prophets
Did you wake up today in a house with other people
Did neighbors see you
Did you stop at Wawa
Did you go to work with other people
Did you go shopping
Did you drive anywhere
You are on display.

Elijah’s Faith Was Real (vv 31-37)

In addition to this Elijah was on his own! There were 450 of Baal’s prophets and they couldn’t conjure up a thing! Clearly there is no strength in numbers, - - - there is only the strength that is found in the Lord.
One man, who had been alone with God and heard from God.
Likewise we can access God’s power in the full knowledge and confidence that there is no other true power.

He sought the glory of God not himself (vv36-37)

Finally Elijah also showed that his faith was real because he sought the Glory of God and not himself. That the people may see that you are God.
So if we want to know God’s power in our lives we must be sure that our worship and our faith are real. Not mis-directed and mixed with other.
And it goes back to the place where God makes the deposit


When Elijah got this right an amazing thing happened – people began to see that his God was also real.
We should note at this point just who Elijah is confronting. He does not challenge Ahab’s Baal worshipping Phoenician wife Jezebel; his fight isn’t against the pagan worshippers of other gods. His challenge is put to God’s own people – the Israelites.
People respond when they see faithfulness and God’s activity among his own people and their actions and life choices. A life dedicated to real worship and real faith in action is a life of powerful witness.
God was real, and this day the people could see it. God was real and three things proved it to them. And then it rained

Elijah Depressed I KINGS 19:1-18

The queen is angry and threatens Elijah (again)
And he ran for his life
Elijah sat down under a tree and prayed that he might die?. It really seems out of character for Elijah, a man who had walked so close to God to be depressed.
Here is a man who had stood boldly before Ahab proclaiming to the King, that because of his sin and the nations sin of rejecting the Living God, that there would be no rain in the land, until he said so.
Here is a man who was sustained in the desert by God sending food by ravens, Here was a man who performed miracles in the home of the widow of Zarepath, he miraculously made her food supply replenish itself and he even raised her son from the dead. Surely a man who walked that close and was used so powerfully by God, surely a man like this, would not get depressed -- but he did.
A man who challenged the 450 false prophets on Mt Carmel to a contest, a contest to prove whose God was real.
To which the Israelites immediately fell down and said, "THE LORD - HE IS GOD, THE LORD - HE IS GOD."
You wouldn’t expect a man who experienced a dramatic and total victory like this over his enemies to get depressed, to get down, to sing the blues -- but he did.
Remember our key verse about Elijah, Elijah was a man like us. This means we can have the same power that Elijah had, but also we can have the same problems.
This is a relevant topic because most of us at one time or another has had a battle with discouragement or depression, more than once we are found singing the blues.
(This is not a replacement for professional help. It is not saying depression is a sin. It is not dealing with the physical/medical causes. These are areas we have some control over)

Why Was Elijah Depressed?

Now how do we know he was depressed? because the words, "I have had enough, Lord, take my life... I am no better than my ancestors..." are not the words of someone on a spiritual high, are they?
As chapter 19 opens up the great prophet Elijah is battling the blues. I’d like to suggest several reasons for Elijah’s depression -- and as we talk about these I am sure that some of these will sound familiar to you.

Depression Can Follow A Great Victory

Victories are sweet, aren’t they? And the view from the mountaintop can be breathe taking -- BUT there is one bad thing about celebrating a mountaintop victory -- you see, when you are on a mountain top -- the only way to go, is down. The period following a victory is often a period of great danger.
For every mountain peak there is a valley. For every high there is a corresponding low.
We need to understand, and we need to be ready -- for the letdown that usually follows a great victory. We won’t stay on the mountaintop we will have to come down...
And again, if we understand why we feel down, it can make it easier to ride out the blues...

Depression Comes From Fatigue

Elijah had been on the run for 3 years -- living in the desert, hiding in caves, DRINKING FROM A BROOK.. . AND Elijah had just experienced a tremendous emotional drain as he confronted 450 false prophets on Mt Carmel.. Not to mention THE FACT that he had just ran an 18 mile marathon back to Jezrel -- racing Ahab’s chariot. Elijah had to be worn out physically...
God’s servants are not exempt from fatigue. Many times, we think we can run and run do and do -- and never be exhausted, never run out of energy.
But we are wrong, we too are vulnerable to despair, just like everyone else. AND when we are emotionally or physically depleted, when we are running on 1/2 a tank (OR LESS)-- when we are emotionally and physically drained -- we’re especially vulnerable to despair. It doesn’t take as much to get us down, does it?
Another reason to have those regular times where God makes a deposit

Elijah’s Felt That He Could Handle Things Alone

Verse 3 states that when he came to Beersheba he left his servant there. He then went a day’s journey into the desert and said, "Lord I just want to sit here and die." When we get depressed many times we want to get away from people -- to be by ourselves. And that’s just the opposite many times, of what we need.
But when we are on our own, we tend to wallow in our misery and sometimes drive ourselves lower than we would have gone, if we hung around people who could encourage us.....and help us see the situation more clearly...(our perception is clouded during depression)._
There are many things that can cause us to be depressed, but simply knowing the factors or understanding the causes doesn’t necessarily make the blues go away,
In II Corinthians 7:6 we read, "THAT GOD COMFORTS THE DOWNCAST..."
Let’s see how God comforted the downcast prophet Elijah and as we do let’s hold on to the truth that God will do the same for us today -- for me and for you!

How Did God Cure Elijah’s Blues

God Let Elijah Rest

Verse 5 says Elijah laid down under a tree and an angel awakened him to eat. God prepared a catered meal, he ate he angel food cake, drank, and laid down again. God did not chastise Elijah for a sour attitude. He didn’t give him a lecture about faith. Elijah needed time to rest -- time to recover.
Again, a quiet undistracted place for God to make deposits
We think we are closest to God when we work hard and in a sense that is true because the Bible says that what ever we do we should do it diligently." But the problem is, we’ve exaggerated this to the extent that many times we don’t know how to relax. Tim Hansel has written a book entitled - "WHEN I RELAX I FEEL GUILTY" Do you ever feel that way?
Heart attack because of vacation
Many times the best thing we can do is rest. The most spiritual thing you can do is a nap and a snack
And some people need to get off the couch
Jesus is our example and he knew how to rest. The Bible says, "He would go a part into a mountain for a day," or He would say to his disciples, "let’s go across the lake by ourselves to rest."
Vance Havner said, "if you don’t learn to go a part, you’ll probably come a part."
Rest is a good thing (not laziness but rest).

God Listened To His Complaints

Elijah ate some more. Then he went to Mt Horeb, the same place as Mt Sinai, where God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. Then Elijah went into a cave and he spent the night. The next day the Lord came to him and asked him a simple question. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, ELIJAH?"
Maybe God would say that to some of you who are depressed today. What are you doing here? Why are you in the dumps
The Psalms are full of people dumping on God. DO you feel like that is an inappropriate prayer
It is not
God is big enough to handle your complaints and frustrations
And then Elijah begins to pour out his heart to God. "I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword... I am the only One left, the only one who cares and now they are trying to kill me too..."
Its not fair I am one of the good guys
Did you notice that God was very patient and sympathetic with Elijah? He doesn’t condemn him. God doesn’t interrupt him, even though Elijah is saying things that are not true and is making things worse than they really are (something depressed people do). You see, God knows that we are fragile people. They need to be listened to more than they need advice. It doesn’t help to slap them on the back of the head and say, "come on get with it, snap out of it..it is not so bad..... you know, you really have it pretty good."
God didn’t say "Elijah you should be ashamed of yourself.. acting this way....."

God got Elijah’s mind back on God

Elijah had his eyes on himself... and all he could see therefore, was the problems, the difficulties, the storms, the waves and his own inadequacies. And though inward reflection is at times valuable -- we need to realize that we can spend too much time focusing on ourselves....
And what Elijah needed now was a fresh dose of God, He needed to see God again... to stand once more in the presence of the Lord.. What he needed to do, was to start looking up again..towards God.
And Elijah stood in God’s presence.....
One of the best cures the blues -- is worship
God let Elijah rest, he listened to his complaints, he got his mind off himself...and God displayed himself to Elijah.

God Spoke To Elijah

When we are down it is so important to hear from our God -- we need to go to his Word..
Before refrigerators, people used ice houses to preserve their food. Ice houses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the ice houses, and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.
One man lost a valuable watch while working in an ice house. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn't find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice house during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch. Amazed, the men asked him how he found it. "I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking."
Often the question is not whether God is speaking, but whether we are being still enough, and quiet enough, to hear.
Because God has something to say to us in our discouragement
1. To the feeling of frustration God says,
And, "let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap A harvest if we do not give up.." (Gal 6:9)
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
2. To trying to handle things on our own God says,
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest..." Mt 11:28
"And He also says that I am your shepherd, I’ll take care of your needs -- here lay down in this green pasture, let me lead you beside quiet waters and restore Your soul..."
Elijah, I am not done. Yes you are tired, hungry depressed and feel all alone. But we are not done, I am not done with you

Elijah’s Life Doubled 1 Kings 19:19-21

Reese Kauffman story
Elijah is ready to pass the baton. Fulfilling what would be the NT ideal that older men are to mentor younger men and older women are to mentor younger women.
In verse nineteen, Elisha, was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen when Elijah arrives.
Elijah, threw his cloak over him. Elijah was transferring his power to Elisha by this symbolic act.
Then he left and followed Elijah as his attendant: Moses, too, had a servant, Joshua. Moses trained him. Elijah will train Elisha. In the New Testament this very language will be used of the disciples of Jesus.
Elisha went on to complete the unfinished work of Elijah
Jesus calls, says we can do more than He did. Elijah doubled his impact by including another.
And while you or on the journey, ask someone to join you.

A LIFE DELIVERED 2 Kings 2:1-2:14

During his last days, but he probably gave much of his time to teaching “the sons of the prophets”. These were groups of young men who had begun to use their prophetic gift under the guidance of a more experienced “man of God.” An early form of seminary
Three stops. Three schools. Last time to teach the next generation.
Final years were most important, training the next generation
Such work, though not as spectacular as the performing of miracles, is of even greater importance in the ongoing work of God. The time spent by Christ in training the apostles produced more lasting fruit than the miracles He performed before the multitudes. In training others, Elijah insured that his ministry would multiply rather than simply add results. This model of ministry is taught in the New Testament. Ephesians 4:11–12: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
It was while he was engaged in this last great work of his life that God called him home.
How would you spend your last day on earth? What would be your priority? Your main mission? I am sure if I went around the room this morning and asked each of you that question, we would get a wide range of answers.
Their journey was interrupted when a fiery chariot pulled by fiery horses came between them.
From this parallel passage and Psalm 68:17 (The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands;), it is safe to conclude that the chariot and horses were mighty angels sent to conduct Elijah to Heaven (cf. Lk. 16:22: “And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried”).
Elijah was gone, but his mantle fell to the ground to be worn now by another prophet of God. Elijah is gone, God is not.


This ended the earthly existence of one of the greatest men of God who ever lived. He labored in a remote comer of this earth. He did not have much of this world’s goods. He had none of the world’s applause. No city council ever elected him “man of the year.” When he left, there were evidently no memorial services for him, no monuments erected in his memory, or no parks named in his honor.
But the Lord God gave him the greatest privilege imaginable—a heavenly escort to bring him bodily to glory without having to taste of death. He sought in his life to please God alone—it was God alone who rewarded him!
What are we to be doing here, in the meantime, while we wait? Elijah shows us in this passage! Elijah spent his time as he waited on the whirlwind
God made deposits to Elijah who then made deposits in others.
Until that day comes, we must live our lives in a way that is pleasing to the Lord and in a way that honors His will. Elijah shows us how to do just that.
Where we let God make deposits and then we deposit into others
The lesson for us is this: there will never come a day when we can quit serving the Lord.
If you want to see a life filled with greater power, anointing, significance , a double legacy and the supernatural, it will only happen at the Brook Cherith. Elijah needed all the preparation God had for him in the secret place if he was ever to speak on behalf of God in the public place.
Before God will ever take you to Mt. Carmel and use you in a mighty way, He must take you to the quietness and obscurity of Cherith
There is an incredible power available to us. And this account of Elijah shows us how to access that power - God’s power. When our worship and our faith are real and genuine, and directed towards the Lord, people will see that the Lord is real too, and his power will be released to transform lives.
When we have tasted and tested and seen that God is always faithful, always trustworthy, always good.
Elijah, we have the same nature
We have the same Savior
We have the same Spirit
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