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Elijah and the Prophets of Baal

51 ¶And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. Luke 9:51-56

Many today long to take on the mantle of the prophet Elijah. With the state of the world today: economic downturns, famine, catastrophic storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, political unrest, terrorism, crime and immorality even in the pulpit, there is a sincere desire to see God set things straight right now. Since God tarries, we -- in the name of God -- set out to set things in order. The first fire that falls is the most destructive kind of all: cruel, merciless, inconsiderate, disrespectful, mean rhetoric. With this weapon of mass destruction called the tongue, we denounce and accuse. We lash out without regard to potential collateral damage. No one is too important, rich, poor, young, old, strong or helpless to withstand our verbal napalm. We vent our wrath on the President -- even on his wife and children. We blast the liberals, the homosexuals, the atheists, the socialists, the Blacks, the immigrants and those shadowy New World Order figures who meet in secret groves to plot the future course of the planet.

Its all to no avail though. Elijah's fire fell and consumed. Our fire only hardens and tempers hearts like steel in a blast furnace. Things go from bad to worse. Like Elijah, we retreat to a cave to weep, pray and fast that God would come and heal our land. Maybe we start to think like the prophets of Baal. We think its the fault of the church, so we slash away at one another. We find fault with each other. We demonize and pronounce curses upon those for whom Christ died. And we leave the church full of gaping. bleeding wounds that seldom heal and always scar.

Jesus draws a contrast between the His Spirit and the spirit of Elijah. In this dispensation, the era of Grace, God is looking to draw all people to Himself. Every barrier that stood between us and Him has been removed, except one -- our hearts.

We covet the mantle of Elijah, but do we want the rest of the garment Elijah wore. Do we covet life under the Law? Are we so confident in our own righteousness that we can stand boldly before a Holy God and accuse, judge and condemn another?

If we received mercy, we should be quick to dispense it to others. If we are reconciled to God through Jesus, we should wish the same for others. The Spirit of Christ manifests love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

This should be our spirit as well. Jesus is our Saviour, not Elijah. Jesus died for us, not Elijah. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, not Elijah. Jesus paid it all, not Elijah. Jesus is Lord, not Elijah. We are to be conformed to the image of Christ, not Elijah. We put on Christ, not Elijah. Christ is being formed in us, not Elijah. Who's Spirit are ye of?

"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." I John 2:17

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