BLTC Press Titles

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Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

Elijah, and the secret of his power

by Frederick Brotherton Meyer


WE are studying the life of a man of like passions with ourselves—weak where we are weak, failing where we would fail; but who stood single-handed against his people, and stemmed the tide of idolatry and sin, and turned a nation back to God. And he did it by the use of resources which are within reach of us all. This is the fascination of the story. Prove to us that he acted by the spell of some secret which is hidden from us meaner men; convince us that he was cast in an heroic mold to which we can lay no claim—then we must lay aside the story; disappointment has overcast our interest: it is a model we cannot copy, an ideal we cannot realize; a'vision that mocks us as it fades into the azure of the past.

But this is not the case. This man, by whom God threshed the mountains, was only a worm at the best. This pillar in God's temple was, by nature, a reed shaken by the breath of the slightest zephyr. This Prophet of Fire, who shone like a torch, was originally but a piece of smoking flax. Faith made him all he became; and faith will do as much for us, if only we can exercise it as he did, to appropriate the might of the eternal God. All power is in God; and it hath pleased Him to store it all in the risen Savior, as in some vast reservoir; and those stores are brought into human hearts by the Holy Ghost; and the Holy Ghost is given according to the measure of our receptivity and faith. Oh for Elijah's receptiveness, that we might be as full of Divine power as he was, and as able, therefore, to do exploits for God and truth!

But, before this can happen, we must pass through the same education as he. You must go to Cherith and Zarephath before you can stand on Carmel. Even the faith you have must be pruned, and educated, and matured, that it may become strong enough to subdue kingdoms, work righteousness, and turn to flight armies of aliens.

Notice, then, the successive steps in God's education of His servants.

I. God's Servants Must Learn To Take One Step


This is an elementary lesson; but it is hard to learn. No doubt Elijah found it so. Before he left Thisbe for Samaria, to deliver the message that burdened his soul, he would naturally inquire what he should do when he had delivered it. How would he be received? What would be the outcome? Whither should he go to escape the vengeance of Jezebel, who had not shrunk from slaying with the sword prophets less dauntless than himself? If he had asked those questions of God, and waited for a reply before he left his highland home, he would never have gone at all. Our Father never treats His children so. He only shows us one step at a time—and that, the next; and He bids us take it ill faith. If we look up into His face and say: "But if I take this step, which is certain to involve me in difficulty, what shall I do next?" the heavens will be dumb, save with the one repeated message, "Take it, and trust Me."

But directly God's servant took the step to which he was led, and delivered the message, then "the word of the Lord came to him, saying: Get thee hence, hide thyself by the brook Cherith." So it was afterwards; it was only when the brook had dried up, and the stream had dwindled to pools, and the pools to drops, and the drops had died away in the sand—only then did the word of the Lord come to him, saying, "Arise, get thee to Zarephath."

I like that phrase, "the word of the Lord came to him." He did not need to go to search for it; it came to him. And so it will come to you. It may come through the Word of God, or through a distinct impression made on your heart by the Holy Ghost, or through circumstances; but it will find you out, and tell you what you are to do. "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do" (Acts ix. 6).

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