As we reached the crest of the hill heading to Church in my wife’s Prius, the Sun was breaking through the clouds. The warmth of the peaceful moment made me think. (By now you know I have strange thoughts at strange times)
What would it have been like to be quietly walking along and talking to Elijah, when suddenly there appeared “a chariot of fire and horses of fire… and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind?” Better yet, what would it be like to have such a relationship with God that you simply are offered a spectacular ride in a custom made Chariot, into Heaven and the Divine’s presence?
Then I remembered that Elijah was not the only one to have a special relationship with God. I thought of Enoch that “walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
Elijah and Enoch both must have been totally sold out to God. They must have gone far beyond the norm in spending time with God. Why can’t I walk with God as they did? Why can’t I be sold out to God completely? Why can’t God be first and only in my life? There have been others that have been close to God and sold out but only two that had such a relationship with Him, that He just called them into His presence. Abraham, David and Paul, are three that were in deep with God but even they had to pass through the transformation of death to move from this life into eternal life, with Him.
Maybe it was not the closeness of the relationship that Enoch and Elijah had – maybe it was what they needed! Let me try to explain my thought. Abraham may have needed to grow old and see Isaac mature. David may have needed to struggle with the depth of his sinfulness and desire for a renewed strength. Paul may have needed to experience prison and even blindness to prepare him for seeing the Lord Jesus a second time. Maybe it is not all about how deep our relationship is or is not – but it may be more about God allowing each of us too experience specific things in different ways – so that when we are able to be in His presence – we will be fully developed into what we need to be.
Elijah and Enoch may not have needed the natural type of death experience, but instead they may have needed to see how His power works and provides in different and strange ways.
This week I may not walk into Heaven or ride a fiery Chariot, but I pray that He will help me to experience just what I need – so that I will see Him better and sense His presence more.
Gene Vincent is the Pastor of Beechland Baptist Church: 351 Beechland Road, Lewisburg, KY 42256