It was this time last year that I first discovered R.T. Kendall, and I’ve dove in since. This book, pulled from Kendall’s final sermons at Westminster Chapel more than a decade ago, isn’t as immediately compelling as last year’s Unashamed to Bear His Name or his wonderful (and comprehensive) commentary on The Sermon on the Mount, but it’s meeting me right where I’m at right now. And it might just do the same for you.
R.T. Kendall. These Are the Days of Elijah: How God Uses Ordinary People to Do Extraordinary Things. 192p., $14.99, Chosen Books.
Throughout this book, Kendall depicts a very human Elijah (who just happens to also be somewhat of a biblical superhero as well). We see a man who’s sometimes fearful, sometimes self-pitying, and often very concerned with his own reputation — sometimes to the point of trying to throw it in God’s face (referred to here as “the Elijah complex”) — but who nonetheless truly loves and wants to draw closer to God. Kind of like us, hopefully.
Thus, Kendall approaches Elijah from a variety of angles, and again it’s very likely you’ll identify with one or more of them.
In this season of my life, one of those was “the unsurprising disappointment” — i.e., when you see God withholding the rain in Israel for three years because of their sin, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise if you become starving and thirsty as well. Nonetheless, he adds, “When the brook dries up, we know it is time to move. God has something better in mind. Count on it.” For related reasons, the following chapter on risk and depending on God’s provision day by day also resonated quite a bit.
Elsewhere, Kendall deals with such issues as being misunderstood, especially in the context of doing God’s work; how to deal when God seems unfair; depression in ministry; and learning to follow the Spirit, and thus realize that God won’t always do the same things in the same way.
Ultimately, the message here is: You can have as much of God and of the Spirit as you want. So, how much do you want, and what are you willing to face in order to see Him face to face?