The Widow Ministry of Elijah
Everybody knows about the power demonstrated by the prophet Elijah. The Bible tells us that ‘Elijah’ is prophesied to return in the Last Days (Malachi 4:5). Jesus even told the Israelites in Matthew 11:14 ‘if you care to accept it this is Elijah which was to come’ speaking of John the Baptist. Many want the spirit of Elijah on them today.
Who doesn’t want to be used of God in a mighty way to see demons cast out, sick healed, creative miracles or to be used in signs and wonders? Jesus tells us in Mark 16 that these signs shall follow them that believe: ‘in My name they shall cast out devils, heal the sick, etc.’ In other words, all believers and disciples of Jesus are expected to be able to do all that is listed in Mark 16, since we have the same Holy Spirit as the early believers.
The Spirit of Elijah is a forerunner ministry, preparing the way for Christ’s return. It has a specific assignment for the end times. There will be end time prophets who will walk in power we have not seen nor the ear has not heard of yet! But I believe we overlook a lot of Elijah’s ministry. We tend to focus on the power at Mt. Carmel. We forget about the time spent by the ‘brook’ being fed by ravens and waiting on the Lord.
What did Jesus say about Elijah? In Luke 4:25-26 Jesus says, “ there were many widows in Israel, when the sky was shut up for 3 and a half years, yet Elijah was not sent to any of them but to a widow of Zarepath in Sidon.” This is what sticks out that Jesus didn’t say Elijah took on the false prophets or had a school of prophets, all of which are great, but rather He remembered him for going to a widow. Elijah was sent there, he didn’t go on his own. We think of a prophet as a great voice to a king or nation, which is true.
Before one can rise to the big stage, so to speak or speak to kings he must be willing to go to widows. Even after he stands before a king or has an international ministry he should always remain humble enough that if God says go to this widow or that widower to obey and go. James 1:27 says “pure and undefiled religion in the sight of the Father is this: to visit widows and orphans in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
Take time and think about that. Our steps are ordered by God. I believe God is pleased when we take the time and go help a widow or widower as I find myself doing. Before we can have all the stuff we think makes one great, we need to remember what God considers great. The story of Elijah and the widow of Zarepath is often talked about yet we forget that it was to just one widow he was sent. In that one house however we find the first person to be resurrected from the dead.
So you see before you write off ministering to one widow and see it as demeaning there might be an opportunity for you to be the right vessel for God to use in signs, wonders or miracles. Our reward is in serving the people He sends us to. So before we cry out that ‘we are a voice crying in the wilderness’, or whatever great exploits we may think we will do, take the time and be willing to go to one widow, perhaps your next door neighbor.
When I left Kansas City to move back to Georgia I spent 3 years taking care of my mother before she went home to Jesus. Yes she was my mother but after two years I spent the last year almost every day with her. Now I serve a widower and help with whatever is needed. That is one of my assignments in this season.
Be content with whatever assignment you have from God. Enjoy it and do it with excellence. Be ready when He wants to promote you or raise you up. Whatever cultural mountain you are called to you are a voice for God, and if you serve well in the seasons of seeming hiddenness, who knows where God will put you.