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What is the Spirit and Power of Elijah?

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.. (Luke 1:17 KJV)

The spirit and power of Elijah refers to the personality, character, and influence characteristic of Elijah in turning the hearts of the Israelites from idolatry back to their God. Before discussing what this spirit is, and why it is critical for us today, let us begin with what it is not.

Based on Malachi’s prophecy that God will send Elijah before the Messiah comes(Mal. 4:5-6), the Jews expected a reappearance or reincarnation of Elijah, who did not die. Though the “spirit and power of Elijah” is often referred to as Elijah(as in Malachi’s prophecy),  Jesus clarified this prophecy when He said John the Baptist was Elijah who was to come ( Matt. 11:14). In fact, when the Jews asked John if he was Elijah, he said, “I am not” ( John 1:21). 

Similarly, the spirit and power of Elijah is not the spirit or power for working miracles. Whereas Elijah is often remembered for the miracles he performed, God describes his spirit not based on his miracles but on what he did on Mount Carmel: Elijah boldly challenged the prophets of Baal and turned the hearts of the  Israelites from Baal worship to their God. This power to turn hearts—the personality, boldness, and ability—is the spirit and power of Elijah. 

Before the glorious move of the Holy Spirit takes full effect in these days, God would have to turn our hearts back to Him —away from all the different forms of “idolatry” that have crept into the Church, including legalism, money, materialism, carnality, intellectualism, church politics, power struggles, emptiness, popularity. 

Meditate

What are the two misinterpretations of the spirit and power of Elijah discussed above? 

Apply the Word

We need God’s power for miracles—I am a firm believer in the miraculous, and I pray it multiplies a hundredfold amongst us. However, miracles are not enough. We need ministers that will cause sweeping changes in God’s house and restore order, holiness, and the fear of the Lord— in the spirit and power of Elijah.

Pray

Ask for an outpouring of the spirit and power of Elijah upon God’s servants, including you,  in these days.

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