Not for Ladies - Just for Men
“He did it Again”
by Dr. Bob Smith
Dr. Bob Smith is local church evangelist from Arlington, Texas.
The Bible says of Elijah, “So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.” (I Kings 19:19-21)
Then, turn over to II Kings 2:8. “And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither…” Don’t you like to say that? Hither and thither? You’ve got to be careful. “…so that they two went over on dry ground. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” (II Kings 2:8-9)
That’s not an average, young preacher, today, saying, “I want your ministry and everything you’ve got.” But he said, “I pray for a double portion of thy spirit to be upon me.” “…And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.” (II Kings 2:10-15)
Now, I want to look at that very familiar passage that never gets old. But I believe it’s needed in our generation as much as any period in my lifetime.
Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle just as Elijah had done and went to the Jordan River. As he smote the waters, he cried out, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” and God parted those waters just as He did for Elijah, and he went over on dry ground. Isn’t that amazing? Elisha didn’t say, “Well, I want a new mantle. I want some new words.” No, he said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” God did it again. I want to bring a simple message.
Elijah was at the end of his ministry that had lasted for only 14 or 15 years. God had used him greatly. Now, he was about to be translated into Heaven without dying. Only Enoch before him, and now Elijah had the honor of being promoted to Glory without seeing death.
Elisha was found in a field, plowing with twelve yoke of oxen. As Elijah passed by him, he cast his mantle upon Elisha. This was signifying God’s call upon Elisha into the ministry as God’s prophet. Elisha ran after Elijah and said, “Let me go kiss my mom and dad and say goodbye to them, and then I’ll follow you.” Elijah said to Elisha, “Go on back, and forget it.” I’m paraphrasing. “Go back and forget it, if the call of God is not any more important than that to you.”
Let me say a word or two to preachers: We have a bunch of preachers today that are acting like the call of God is not all that important. We need, desperately, to get God’s call on our life into perspective. I just want to say at the beginning of this message, Preacher, we need to get right, and get in, and get honest or quit calling ourselves God’s preachers.
Elisha returned and killed a yoke of oxen, and used the plows as firewood. He made a fire and boiled their meat and gave to the people to eat. He got rid of those things that would hold him back. He burned his bridges so he could not go back. Unlike many, when they’re called by God, they always keep a way out, just in case the ministry doesn’t work out. Dear friend, when God calls us, it’s live or die; sink or swim. How can we do anything else, if God’s called us?
I had a doctor tell me one time that I needed to find another career. I had throat problems and severe allergies. I said, “Doctor, you can get another job and still be in the will of God. I can’t. God called me to preach and it’s a call without repentance! We’ve got to either preach and obey God, or be out of the Will of God for my life.” Elisha burned his bridges so he could not go back and got rid of anything that would hinder him from following God’s call. Have you?
I had a little boy, a preacher’s son, up in Michigan. I said, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” He said, “I want to be a garbage man and ride on the back of those garbage trucks.” He said, “If that doesn’t work out, I’ll be a preacher.” Well, I know a bunch of preachers today that look at the ministry and think, “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll become a ....” Always looking for something to fall back on, when God is enough to fall back on!
Where is the LORD God of Elijah?
Elisha followed after Elijah, the Bible says in 1 Kings 19:21. He ministered to Elijah. Now, here’s an important truth: If God calls you, then find the man of God that God used to touch your heart and life and attach yourself to his ministry, and minister to him and learn from him. While ministering to him, learn from him so you’ll one day be able to minister to others as you follow God, and as he follows God. In the ministry you must learn from a man of God that has the power of God on him.
I’ll tell you what’s wrong with us in Fundamentalism. I’m amazed at people who don’t want to use that word anymore, ‘Fundamentalism.’ Hey, it’s not an ugly word. ‘Baptist’ is not an ugly word. ‘Independent’ is not an ugly word. Fundamentalism, when it refers to Bible-believing Baptists, simply means that we believe this Bible is the literal Word of God, and that we’re to take it literally except where God says to take it figuratively. Don’t throw away the good. Hold on to the Truth.
In the ministry you must learn from a man of God that has the power of God on him. God has used some man of God to touch your life. Here’s the problem I’m seeing today: Young men are abandoning the man of God that God used to grow them and call them and they go off to some big college way off somewhere because of all of the prestige and advertisement, and before you know it, they won’t even admit being an Independent Baptist. God’s given you a good pastor. Seek his counsel. Don’t run off to a college without counselling with your pastor and having his approval of the college.
Now, after Elisha had been with Elijah for about 11 years, Elijah tells Elisha that he’s about to be taken up. He asked Elisha what he could do for him before he’s translated. Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. What was that spirit? It was the Spirit of God, the anointing of God upon him.
Elisha took up Elijah’s mantle as it fell from him, and went to the Jordan River and took that mantle and smote the waters and shouted, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah? …and…the waters…parted…and Elisha went over.” (II Kings 2:14)
For my message tonight, I have three, simple points. First of all, where is the Lord God of Elijah today?! Is there a God today?! Where is the Lord God of Elijah? Has He changed? Has He retired? When I was in Bible College, they said He had died. They didn’t say it at my Bible College. They said it at Emery University.
“Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” This ought to be the cry of every young or old prophet. This generation needs to see the answer, that there is a God in Heaven, shown by a life that has the anointing and power of God on it.
Where is the LORD God of Elijah? What does this question imply? May I say, first of all, this question could imply ignorance on Elisha’s part.
There are a great number of so-called preachers today who have their degrees from prestigious colleges, and have great knowledge about God, but they have little or no personal relationship with God. They have the theological answers, but know nothing about walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. They have their titles and their degrees, but where is the hand of God upon their lives today? Young preachers need to see men of God that have the evident hand of God upon them! This old world desperately needs to hear the man of God cry out, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” and see the waters part once again.
It could imply ignorance. Or, maybe this question could imply unbelief on Elisha’s part. “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” Is there a God?
Many who have been raised up in Bible-believing churches of years past are asking today, “Is there a God in Heaven? Is He real? Is the Bible really the Word of God?” We ridicule them, but let me tell you, had there been a man of God that had the power of God upon him, if they sat under him in that ministry, they wouldn’t be asking that question.
“Where is God?” could mean unbelief. I’m amazed at those in religion, and even in ministry who don’t believe in the New Birth; don’t believe in the Resurrection of Jesus; don’t believe in a literal Hell and they question whether or not the Bible’s just a good piece of literature, or is it really the very Word of God?
Many, even in ministry, are living their lives and carrying on their ministry as if there was no God. Settle it now in your heart. There is a God in Heaven! Settle it in your heart, God is real! Settle it! The Bible is True! There is a Heaven! There is a Hell! We need to see God at work more today than in any other time in my lifetime.
Where is the LORD God of Elijah? This question could mean that Elijah believed that the times had changed and that God could no longer move as He once did, that His Power for miracles had passed.
Where is God today? We know what He used to do in days past. “That was long ago and things are not the same today as they used to be.” Did you ever hear that? Unfortunately, this is today’s philosophy. Too many are looking for something new when it comes to God and church and music and doctrine. We must not forget the statement of God’s men of years gone by. “If it’s new, it’s not true. If it’s true, it’s not new.” God has no new doctrine. God does not change. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.
But Elisha’s cry, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” could reveal a hunger in his heart and life to see God at work in great power in his generation, just like they had seen God work through Elijah. “Do it again, God! Do it today! Do it in my ministry! I yield to You! I surrender to You! I want the Spirit of Elijah upon my life! I want God to be seen through my ministry! I’m not interested in being Mr. Pretty Boy in the ministry, I’m not interested in people seeing me. I want them thinking about Jesus, and about God, and the Bible, and thinking about their soul and their need of Jesus Christ! “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?”
I believe Elisha was crying out with a hunger for God to do it again. As a young preacher, and now as an old preacher, I still have this burning desire in my heart. I want to see God at work in great power. I hunger to see lives changed and churches on fire for God.
Looking around today, seeing what I’m seeing, and hearing what I’m hearing, I feel like one of the old men at the completion of the second temple when the young men rejoiced, and the old men wept. I’m telling you, what’s going on today in the name of God, and supposedly in the power of God is not even a good shadow of what God has done and is willing to do today, if He could find some people who would be willing to say, “Here am I, Lord. Use me!”
On Elisha’s part, I believe it was a cry of faith. I believe Elisha was saying, “Do it again, God, as You did in Elijah’s day.” Elisha exercised his faith, and cried out to God and the waters parted for him as they did for Elijah, back in verse eight.
I want to see God do it again. I surrendered to preach shortly after J. Frank Norris’ day. I’d like to see God do it again. I want to see some more of what God did in Lee Roberson’s day, and John R. Rice’s day, and Jack Hyles’ day.
Where is the LORD God of Elijah?! I’ll tell you where He is. He’s waiting for someone who will yield to His Call, surrender to His Will and be putty in His hands. Someone who will give up their will and their plans for His Will.
Where are the Elijahs of the LORD God?
We’ve settled the fact that Elijah’s God is still in power and He’s still waiting for a man of faith to cry out to Him. There’s a greater question I also want you to consider: Not only, where is the LORD God of Elijah? But where are the Elijahs of the LORD God, today? Where are those men who’ll die to themselves, die to the flesh, die to their ambitions and yield themselves as a servant of God, a prophet of God, and a preacher of God to be used at God’s Will and for God’s Glory?
Where are the Elijahs of God? Where are those, called of God and willing to burn their bridges behind them? Where are those willing to kill their oxen and burn their plows? God’s always used men to accomplish His Purpose and Will. God is still looking for men and women who will serve Him as did Elijah and Elisha. God is still calling, but few are answering that call.
Where are the Elijahs of the LORD God? Those that are called, I don’t see the power of God on them. Thank God, there are some, just enough to make us realize that God has Power enough for everyone He calls. God doesn’t just choose one prophet and forget about everybody else.
There’s a world out here that needs the Gospel. Where are the Elijahs of the LORD God? Men who will pick up that mantle and burn their bridges. They’ll have no way to retreat. It’s live or die; sink or swim; the Will of God, or nothing. Where are those men today?
I believe that one of the reasons God has been willing to use me in these many years... You know, I never had a resume. If I had to candidate for a church and fill out a resume, I wouldn’t even know how to go about it. I’ve never called a preacher or a church, and asked them to consider me. I’ve never called a preacher and asked him to use me in a revival. A long time ago, I promised God, if He’d be my Booking Agent, I’d go to any Independent Bible-believing Baptist church on a love offering basis and I’d never cancel a little one for a bigger one. Do you know what God’s done? He’s about preached me to death!
But let me tell you. When God called me to preach on a Sunday, that Monday I turned in my notice at my job. Two weeks later, I was full time in the ministry. A month and a half later, I took my first church, my first pastorate. I couldn’t spell the word ‘pastor’ but I was one! Thirty-eight people, meeting in a little, old building, leaning to the Northeast. We had to prop it up on its leaning side. It had a few, old theater seats in it. It squeaked and rattled. Every time someone breathed during the service, you could hear it.
My first office was a closet, about 6-foot wide and 8-foot long. My first desk was a door that I laid across two sawhorses. And my first office chair was a wooden funeral home chair. But I’m telling you, in that little old office, God met with me and that little church grew and grew. You say, “Why did God use you?” I had burned the bridges.
I had bought a new house, I gave the house to a family on assumption. I paid the legal fee for them to take it over. To get rid of it so I wouldn’t have something that held me back. I left a job of $225 per week in 1964 for a job of pastoring, $50 a week with a wife and two children.
Hey, if God calls you, you’ve got to trust Him. You’d better learn this Truth: God is able. God is our Source of Supply. Not the church. Not the government. Not your job. Not the business. Not Mom and Daddy. GOD IS OUR SOURCE OF SUPPLY!
Where are the Elijahs of the LORD God today? I’ve gotten older while I’ve been serving the Lord. I don’t have the energy I used to have. I can’t do everything I used to do. But that desire is still burning in my heart, and I know God has not changed. I still find myself crying out, “WHERE IS THE LORD GOD OF ELIJAH?!”
I find myself still wanting to be God’s Elijah in my day. “Do it again!” I want to see God at work. I want to see churches on fire again. I want to see young preachers yielding themselves totally to God and walking in the power of the Spirit, knowing what it is to have God’s anointing and God’s hand on them. I want to see young preachers that know how to pray and see prayers answered. Where are the Elijahs of the LORD God today?
What kind of a man was God’s Elijah? He was an obscure man, a nobody and he came out of nowhere. It was only when he allowed God to work in him and through him that he comes to the forefront. Of his past life, we know only that he was a Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead.
The first thing we see recorded about him was that he was obedient to do a hard job for God that jeopardized his very life. God said, “Elijah, I want you to go to King Ahab and tell him I’m fed up with his sin, and mocking God.” Elijah did. He was a man that had personal contact with God. God spoke to him and he recognized and obeyed God’s voice. He went and told Ahab, “God’s fed up with it, Mr. King and God’s going to deal with you.” God said, “Now Elijah, don’t worry. Just obey Me. I’m going to hide you up by the brook Cherith. I’ll send the ravens to feed you there. Just obey Me.” Elijah had personal contact with God.
How long has it been, preacher, since you know that God has led you to do something? How long since you’ve heard His still, small voice? Hey! Away with this stuff, “God told me.” I’ve never heard God speak audibly to me. I followed a preacher that, everything he wanted to do, he said, “God told me…” I promised the men of that church that I’d never use that phrase unless God had truly led me, and I knew it. I said, “There are a lot of things in ministry we need to do because it’s right and proper to do and I’ll tell you, ‘I don’t have any direct word of God to do this, but it is right.’ It would be a good thing to do it.” You know, in almost 25 years, they never backed down on one thing. Just be honest with them. Let them see God in your life. Elijah was a man that had personal contact with God. God spoke, and he obeyed. I’ve never heard God speak audibly, but oh, my soul, you know it when He speaks to your spirit. You know it when He leaves. You know it when He’s at work in your heart and life.
Then: Elijah was a man of God who lived by faith in the Word of God. He went to Ahab, and then went to the brook Cherith. What would you do if God said, “You go do this hard job and then, don’t worry. Go out there by the brook Cherith. You can drink out of the brook and I’ll send the ravens to feed you”? Huh? You’d better have a Word from God. You’d better learn to trust Him. He was a man of faith. God said it and that settled it. I don’t find, here, where he argued with God.
Then the brook dried up! The average preacher would say, “Well, God’s through with me.”
God didn’t say, “Elijah, I’m going to send you down to Zarephath, and I’ve got a millionaire that’s going to take care of you.” He said, “Elijah, I’m going to send you down to Zarephath.” By the way, that’s a pagan area, not where God’s people are. “I’m going to send you to a little widow woman that’s about to starve to death, and I’ve commanded her to feed you there.” Do you know what Elijah did? He obeyed God. You read the scripture. Elijah went down to Zarephath and the widow woman was there just like God said! He had already told her to feed him. Elijah was a man of faith.
How much of this Bible do you not believe? How much of this Word do you not practice? If you’re not believing and practicing the Word of God, why should God pour out His Spirit on you if you’re not loving, and obeying and believing His Book? Where are the Elijahs of the LORD God today?
He was a man of boldness, boldness. When God told him to do something, he did it! He went to Ahab and told him exactly what God told him to say. He faced the prophets of Baal and took care of them. He was a man of Holy Boldness. By the way, you don’t get boldness because you’re tough or because you’re big. Boldness comes from the Holy Spirit. It’s Holy Spirit boldness that’ll make you stand when you need to stand.
Elijah was not a perfect man. Old Ahab went whining and sobbing to his wife, Jezebel, and told her what Elijah had said. She said, “I’ll fix that guy.” She took after him. Do you know what Elijah did? He ran. Now, don’t belittle him. An angry woman gets after you, you’d better run! He ended up under a juniper tree, asking God to take his life. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he was God’s Elijah and God used him because he yielded to God.
He was a clean man. He was a clean man and powerful in prayer. What’s your prayer life like, preacher? Preacher boy, what’s your prayer life like? Elijah was powerful in prayer.
The widow woman’s son died. Elijah kneels beside him and prays. God put the breath back into that boy! He lived again. He was a man who was powerful in prayer. He faced the prophets of Baal with a sixty-three word prayer. God’s Elijah called fire down from Heaven to consume the sacrifices where the prophets of Baal couldn’t do anything.
He was a man who listened to God.
I ask you. Where is the LORD God of Elijah? And where are the Elijahs of the LORD God tonight?
Then, lastly: Are you willing to become an Elijah for the LORD God? Hey, if God called you, your calling is no different than Elisha’s or Elijah’s calling. God has chosen you out of the crowd for His plan and His purpose. Why settle for half a ministry? Why settle for a powerless ministry? Why don’t you yield yourself to the LORD God of Elijah and become an Elijah for the LORD God?
Men called by God should desire to become an Elijah for God. Every evangelist. Every missionary. Every young preacher ought not be satisfied until God’s power and anointing is evident upon your life. It’s not something you can make up or fake. We’re nothing without it. Then, God can take our nothingness when He puts His hand of anointing on us and turns us into something that God can use in a world that needs God desperately.
Elisha got it right when he cried out to God. He was saying, “Here am I! Use me!” Elisha was saying, “I surrender to Your will!” When he said, “Where’s the LORD God of Elijah?” He was saying, “Fill me and use me and prove to this wicked old world that there’s still a God in Heaven today!”
Some of you need to pick up that mantle tonight. You need to cry out, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” Prove to this world that God is still God, and that He’s still in business. If we don’t, the Christians will flock to the compromising crowd that’s got a big building or a big TV broadcast. Or, they’ll flock to somebody that makes wonderful DVDs and sends them out when they contain nothing but heresy.
Where is the LORD God of Elijah? He’s where He’s been all the time. He hasn’t diminished in power. He hasn’t diminished in His will to see the world evangelized. The question is, where are the Elijahs of the LORD God?
I don’t know how much time I have left. But I sure want to be one. I want to be one. I want God’s Hand on my life. If you’re a preacher with any grit, any salt, and any sincerity in your soul, you ought to be crying out, “Oh, God! I want to be an Elijah of the LORD God in these last days.”