When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours-otherwise, it will not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
We are so quick to waver in the face of difficult circumstances. In order to be a remnant leader, we need to have the same assurance in our calling and in the gospel that Elisha had. Before Elijah leaves his disciple Elisha, he asks him “Is there anything you need? Anything you ask for I will give.” What would you have asked for if you were asked that question? At this moment in time in the scripture reading, Israel is lost in idol worship, enslaved and put into captivity by other nations. Elisha doesn’t ask for anything else but one thing: a double portion of the Holy Spirit. Why did he ask for that?
1. Elisha knew the real problem
As we look at the world, what is the real problem? When we are born into difficult circumstances, we tend to blame other people but there is a more fundamental problem to which there is the fundamental answer of Jesus Christ. What we need more than anything else right now is the filling of the Holy Spirit. For Elisha, there was no other solution that he needed but that. With the Holy Spirit, we are able to face difficult circumstances and turn them into opportunities to hold on to God’s word.
Let’s ask ourselves: What is it that we most need right now? We feel like the gospel doesn’t align with our current situation but the gospel is connected with everything in our lives. We expect God to solve our problems when we pray about them but when we pray, God fills us with his Holy Spirit. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, God gives us the wisdom to navigate your situation. What do our families need? More than a vacation or a better home, our families need to be centered on the gospel, to be used for God’s greater plan of world evangelism? What do we need for our church? More than renovations, money or people, we need the few people we have to stand together as disciples. We need to set up a system to stand as a platform to save our future generations and people of all nations. What does our field need? Elisha realized what Israel needed most: to meet the true and living God. He realized they needed to cleanse themselves of their sin through Jesus Christ. His realization remains true for the world today. Let’s open our eyes to see the true problem and the reason why it really must be only Jesus Christ.
2. Elisha heard God’s heavenly calling
People misunderstand that God’s heavenly calling means literally hearing his voice. What does it mean to receive his calling? It means to come to the realization that the gospel, that Jesus Christ, is the only answer for ourselves and for the world. That must be our assurance. If not us, then who else can save our families and our fields? Elijah had fought against false prophets and won, but he runs away when he is threatened to be killed. In Mt. Horeb, God comes to him and says in a small whisper “Take heart, for there are 7,000 disciples who have yet to hear the gospel”. In that same way, God has hidden disciples all around you but we cannot do his will until we realize God’s calling. Let’s make Elisha’s prayer of the double portion of spirit our own.
We know so many messages but we haven’t yet made God’s word, his covenant our own. Take 5 minutes in a way that is most comfortable to have spiritual time, giving our complete focus on God’s word. Why do we come to church and hold on to God’s covenant and his mandate? Because that is where the true blessings are. We need to pray holding on to the Sunday pulpit message throughout the week, sharing forum with each other. It’s hard at first but with time, it starts to become our lives’ rhythm, and it gives us spiritual strength.
3. Elisha enjoyed the true blessing of God
In the gospel, our lives become clear, and our weaknesses and difficulties become platforms for God’s greater plan of world evangelism. When we come across problems, let’s make prayer the first step we take, asking God for his Holy Spirit. Satan tries to steal these blessings from us so let’s not be deceived.