Elijah, as most of you know, was an Old Testament prophet. And this guy had a boatload of the Holy Ghost. He called down fire from Heaven; enough fire to consume not only a sacrifice, but the solid stone alter under and the water in the trench around it too. That’s like a tiny nuclear explosion, right? Which is an oxymoron in itself – impossible. But so is calling down fire from Heaven, too, sooo…a miracle. Elijah stopped all rain in the land of Israel for three years, then started it back up again. He also struck the Jordan River with the cape he wore and divided it in two, just so he and his servant Elisha could walk through on dry land. He did lots of other miracles too – too many to mention here, but suffice it to say, this dude was anointed with Holy Ghost power.
But when the time came for him to go to Heaven, Elisha asked him for a special favor: He asked, Elijah, when you go, could you ask for a double portion of your anointing to come upon me? Elijah answered, stay close to me, and if you’re there when I go, it’ll happen.
Well, it happened. It was like a small tornado taking Elijah up to Heaven, and Elisha was there, and saw it all. And as the whirlwind passed by, Elisha saw Elijah’s cape, which had become a symbol of his anointing, fall to the ground, so he ran out and retrieved it.
Then Elisha took the man of God’s cape back to the Jordan River, and standing on its banks, called out, “Where is the God of Elijah?” Then he struck the river with the cape, and yep, it parted, because it was really God, and not the person He indwelt, who worked the wonders. So now the God of Elijah was in Elisha, so Elisha, through faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, went on to work twice the wonders Elijah had.
Flash forward 800 years, and we have Jesus, the first person ever to have as much Holy Ghost power as Elisha had. But this stands to reason, since he actually was the God of Elijah, and Elisha. So where was the God of Elijah now, in the first century? Right here, walking among us, in human flesh.
And miracles? Oh Yeah. He worked so many they couldn’t be numbered. Sometimes there would be literal multitudes of sick folks following Him, and He’d heal them all. He also raised the dead, and did lots of other things, but He made some interesting promises, too, one of them being that whoever believed in him would be able to work the works that he did. Yeah, He really said that, in John 14:12. Check it out, because that promise is for you.
Now Jesus said in Acts 1:8, after His death and resurrection, that His followers would receive power when the Holy Spirit had come upon them, and the Greek word used there means “the power to work miracles.” And that happened, the Spirit came upon them, in the 2nd Chapter of Acts, you know, where they all spoke in tongues. But Peter especially took Jesus’ promise to heart in chapter 3, when a lame, crippled beggar asked him for a gift. And Peter said, “Oh yeah, I’ve got a gift for you. Stand up on those lame legs and walk, because you’re healed.” Then Peter took him by the hand, helped him up, and voila, the man was made totally whole. Then the rest of the disciples went out and did the same kinds of things everywhere, and Christianity began spreading over all the Earth.
Now flash forward to present day: Remember what Jesus said? It wasn’t just, “My apostles will do the works I do” but, “Whoever believes in Me will be able to do the works I do.”
A few yearts back a guy named John Wimber, a new convert, went to church for the first time and liked it. But as the service neared its end, he asked the friend who’d brought him, “When do we do the stuff?”
His friend asked, “The stuff? What…stuff?
You know, the miracles and stuff, like they do in the Bible.”
And his friend answered, “Oh, that stuff. Well, the thing is, we read about the stuff a lot, and we talk about the stuff a lot, but we don’t really do the stuff that much.”
John was flabbergasted, because if you could do the stuff, why wouldn’t you? But you see, the operative word there, and here, and also in Jesus’ promise, is the verb “do.” Because when it comes down to it, if we want the healings and miracles, etc, that Elijah, Elisha, Jesus, and His disciples did, well, they’re not gonna happen by themselves. We’re gonna have to do them. Oh, we’ve got the anointing; the exact same Holy Spirit that the prophets of old and Jesus Himself had, but miracles are initiated by action. Elisha struck the water. Jesus laid hands on the sick. Peter took the cripple’s hand and lifted him. The list goes on and on.
No one ever got healed in many of my meetings until I laid hands on them or told them to do something they couldn’t. There are no miracles until we actually do something, because it’s the action itself, the act of faith, that releases God’s power.
You get what I’m saying, and I include myself in this: it’s time for us quit merely reading and talking about the stuff, and start doing it. Because the world needs this right now, a lot.
So where is the God of Elijah today? He’s in You, and He’s in me. Seriously, The God of Elijah, Elisha, Peter, and even Jesus Himself is in us, willing and able.
I mean, that is what Jesus said, right? “You shall receive miracle power, dunamis, when the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and you will be witnesses to me?” And He, the Holy Spirit, has not only come upon us, as He did with the prophets of old, He’s also now in us, as Jesus said when He promised, “He is with you, but He will be in you.
So yes, God is actually in us, and because of that, we can do anything He wants us to. And we know He wants us to, because He told us to, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons…and share the Gospel in all the world with signs following.
So let’s do that. Let’s build up our faith, crank up our courage, and actually do what Jesus said we can do. Let’s be conduits of God’s miracle power.
When somebody asks us to pray, let’s do it, right then and there. And not just perfunctorily.
In fact, Oral Roberts once told a story about that: Someone asked for prayer and he said prayed, but just kind of listlessly. Then as he was finishing, the Lord spoke to him and said, “Oral, give them something.” So he put his heart and faith into it, laid his hands back on the man and prayed for real. And they were instantly healed.
Let’s do that. When somebody asks for prayer, let’s really give them something. God has certainly given something to us, so let’s give it to others. Let’s go out and do the stuff.