Discover Your ‘Elijah Potential’

Daily Devotion | Day 300

“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:17-18, NKJV).

Elijah is an interesting character in the Scriptures. As we noted in one of our earlier messages, Elijah is one of only two people in the Bible (the other being Enoch) who did not experience death. God took him to heaven alive (2 Kings 2:11). According to angel Gabriel’s prophecy, John the Baptist was to prepare the way of the Lord “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:13-17). When Jesus was transformed on the mountain, Elijah (and Moses) appeared and talked with Him (Matthew 17:1-3).

In today’s opening Bible passage, James presents Elijah to Christians as an example of effective prayer life. James had many options to choose from, but the Holy Spirit inspired him to focus on Elijah. Our purpose today is to understand that we all have been endowed by God with enormous potential, and that through a fervent prayer life, we can develop and unleash this potential for the glory of God and for the benefit of the Church, society and individuals (including ourselves).

James starts by telling us that Elijah was a man like us. This point is crucial. James is aware that Elijah was noted for astonishing miraculous deeds. James knows that people can easily distance themselves from Elijah with the objection, “Well, that was Elijah. He was special, but I am not. God gave him great power, but I don’t have that kind of power. So, don’t expect me to do anything close to what Elijah did.” To dispel this (false) belief, James puts it on the record that Elijah was a man like us.

After getting rid of this mental obstacle, he says that Elijah prayed fervently that there would be no rain in Israel and he prevailed. For three and a half years there was no rain in Israel. To put things in context, let’s hear from Elijah himself: “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word” (1 Kings 17:1). When the three and half years were over, Elijah prayed again and the heavens gave rain (1 Kings 18:41-45).

James’ point is that God has blessed each one of us with enormous potential to accomplish marvelous deeds. Elijah knew his potential and put it to work. His secret was fervent prayer. Through prayer we too can tap into our God-given potential and unleash it for His glory. What often gets in our way is that we’re happy to place others on a pedestal while we underestimate our own greatness. In most cases, it’s been drilled into our consciousness that we’re a bunch of miserable sinners and weaklings incapable of great feat.

From our mother’s womb we’re labeled as corrupt sinners who are under condemnation by default. Even when we grow up to believe in Christ,  it doesn’t stop. We’re taught prayers, songs and rituals which reinforce the idea that we’re fundamentally weak and corrupt.

Consequently, we’ve come to believe (falsely) that extraordinary/miraculous deeds are  beyond our reach. Where they occur, they’re reserved for a select few who are the exception to the norm. In so doing, we have unconsciously buried our potential to rise beyond the limitations of the flesh and enjoy what our good Father has graciously given us. If we’re going to walk with God, we need to adopt a worldview that is consistent with the Bible. 

Elijah was a man like you. The Lord has endowed you with the ability to make the seemingly impossible, possible (Matthew 17:20). Believe God’s word and discover what can happen when you pray fervently. 

Grace and peace be yours in Christ Jesus. Amen. 

For further study:  1 Kings 18:20-40 and Acts 4:23-31

Operating in the Power of Your Supernatural Birth

Daily Devotional: Day 196

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his [Jesus’] name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

In life, it is natural to acquire the traits of those who gave birth to you. As a Christian – born of the Spirit, you acquire the traits of the Spirit. Today’s Scripture is about the supernatural power that comes with being born of God. The Bible is careful to point out that we are not born of blood, nor of the will of man. Instead, it says, we are born of God. Because we believed in Jesus and on His Name, God gave us power to become His children. Who you are born of says a lot about your dignity, your excellence, your nobility, your connections, your power, your privileges and your responsibilities.

 With this new birth comes the supernatural power which gives you victory over satan, sin, the world, fear and all the forces of darkness. You are imbued with the Spirit of God to walk on this earth as an offspring of Deity, a true child of God Almighty. You couldn’t wish for a greater power or a greater honor. Thus, you possess in your spirit the traits of your Heavenly Father.

This means God has high expectations of you. He expects you to excel in displaying His character of love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, patience, boldness and righteousness. You need to get rid of the mindset of defeat, the mindset of failure, the mindset of insecurity, and put on the mindset of your divine Father. Your supernatural authority is based on the fact that you are born of the Most High God. You, therefore, need to stop thinking like a weakling. The forces of darkness must fear you.

Because you are born of the Spirit, be determined to appropriate the supernatural power of your supernatural birth. Be determined to walk according to the Father’s purposes for your life outlined in the Holy Scriptures. You need to stop talking yourself out of victory and start talking yourself into the victory of the sons of God. 

You are born of God to display on earth the excellencies of your FatherDon’t take this lightly. It is the highest honor a creature could hope for – to be born of God. First, God created you in His image and likeness. That was glorious enough. But He didn’t stop there. Through faith in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Father has given you a new birth. You couldn’t wish for a better life and a better destiny.

This is why you should be diligent about how you conduct yourself, how you talk, how you dress, how you react to situations, how you behave, the choices you make, the friends you make, the entertainment you participate in, etc. You are created in Christ as an excellent being. You can’t afford to live like someone who isn’t born of God. 

In Christ Jesus, you are no ordinary creature. Change your thinking and your behavior, and conform them to the image of God’s children portrayed in the Scriptures. Embrace your supernatural origin. Experience the difference.

May the Lord grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him (Ephesians 1:17). Amen.

For further study: Colossians 1:1-29