When we see or hear of a “great” person, we hardly know of the trials they had to overcome to achieve this “greatness.” Let’s face it, no “great” person made themselves. Their character and wisdom are gained through decades of hard lessons or being humble and teachable. As Christians, we are called to have wise and trusted counsel by ones who properly represent the Word of God and not by selfish or worldly motives. Moses was mentored by Jethro, his father-in-law, Samuel by Eli, and Jesus mentored His disciples.
So, if you were to choose one person in the Bible to be your mentor, who would it be? Well, of course you would say Jesus, right? Ok, so who would your second choice be? Although choosing Paul is extremely tempting, my choice would be Elijah, and here’s why. Not only did he have a personal relationship with God, but he relied on Him for everything. Seeing his faith in action makes me want to know how I can get there. Elijah was zealous for the will of God and Israel. His humble heart and suppressed pride showed us that Yahweh was the one in charge in his life.
Elijah’s devotion to God was as bold as his name, which is translated “my God is Yahweh.” I’m sure you remember reading that during this dark period in Israel’s history over eight hundred years before Christ, King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were murdering countless priests and prophets of Yahweh and replacing them with the prophets of Ba’al and Asherah. Nevertheless, Elijah’s strength was from the Lord and no matter how uncomfortable it made him, Elijah relied on God for ALL things and obediently acted upon His will and timing.
As an illustration, here are some of God’s works through Elijah: He confronted king Ahab of his evil doings and announced a consequential drought; retreated to the brook of Cherith relying on God to provide sustenance by ravens; lived with an extremely poor widow, again relying on God to feed them by the miraculous replenishment of oil and flour; brought back the son of the widow from death; confronted 450 prophets of Ba’al by himself on Mt. Carmel; poured water over the sacrifice, which was consumed by His Fire; made it rain to end the drought; was cared for and strengthened by an angel; met God face to face; parted waters; and to top it all, never experienced death because he was taken into heaven in a whirlwind.
We look at this list of miracles in awe of the power of God but the truth is, He could do this for every believer and not break a sweat. For me, the miracle is the obedience and faith of Elijah. He knew that if he correctly heard and was obedient to God, he had no reason to be anxious about anything. My favorite out of all the above miracles is when Elijah heard Yahweh in a gentle whisper while meeting with Him face to face. God didn’t show himself in the powerful wind that tore the mountain apart, not in the earthquake nor the fire, but in a gentle whisper.
Isn’t that what we want or expect most of the time? We expect this huge miracle with fanfare. We expect the voice of God to be louder than the distractions around us. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case. To have a fruitful relationship with the Holy Spirit, we need to have our senses in tune and in line with His prompting. It’s your responsibility and honor to humble yourself to serve the will of God, to quiet yourself from the distractions around you so you can have an open and honest relationship with Him. Oh, and although I would love to know how Elijah reached this level of relationship with Yahweh, I would selfishly love more for him to “show me” how to do it. To me, that is what a mentor is.
So, I have two questions for you. Who is YOUR mentor and who do YOU mentor? The first is one whom God has placed in your life to help guide you to have that personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is someone who will properly encourage you in reaching the destiny that God has in store for you: a life where He provides contentment and peace, regardless of the circumstances, and leads you to an honorable life with and for Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
By the same calling, we should actively seek to mentor others. This should start first in the home, as parents should be solid examples of how Christ expects you to live. Second, inside the church where new believers need guidance, growing deep in their knowledge of Word of God. Third, in the community, where we grow and encourage one another. Finally, in the world, as Jesus declares in the Great Commission to, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)