Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“(She) that chooseth as (her) permanent abode the secret place of the Most High shall always be in touch with the Almightiness of God”
Psalm 91: 1
“Jesus was always conscious of His Father’s presence and the most natural thing was to speak to Him. They were always within speaking distance, and always on speaking terms.”
S. D. Gordon
Today’s Study Text:
“And when they had gone over, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.’ And Elisha said, ‘I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’ (Elijah) said, ‘You have asked a hard thing. However, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you – but if not, it shall not be so.’”
II Kings 2: 9, 10
“A Double Portion”
“My soul longeth, yea,even fainteth for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”
Psalm 84: 2
What is it in my life that I long for the most?
If I had been Elisha and Elijah had asked me what I wanted from him, how do I think I would have answered?
“If there is a man (or woman) anywhere who is hungering for God and is not filled, then the Word of God is broken. We are as full as we want to be.”
“I beg You to come into My heart, for by inspiring it to long for You, You make it ready to receive You.”
Augustine of Hippo
Their journey together was nearly over. They had crossed the Jordan River and now, as their footsteps slowed, Elijah turned to his companion, Elisha, this faithful young man whom God had chosen to be Elijah’s intern and successor, and asked what many Biblical scholars call, “a bold question.”
“Elisha,” the older prophet asked inquiringly, “Before I leave this earth, before I am taken away from you, please tell me my son, what special favor can I grant you? Is there something you would like for me to do for you?”
I really like the way Pastor and Author F. B. Meyer describes this scene for he, in my opinion, verbally captures the grandness of this moment in time:
“It was a very wide door flung open by the elder to his younger friend…at first, we are surprised to think that Elijah could offer to supply anything for which Elisha asked. Is not this rather the prerogative of God?...But we must remember that Elijah was intimately familiar with the mind and heart of his brother. It was not in vain that they had spent those years of ministry together…(Elijah) knew that faithful (Elisha) would ask nothing for which he could not exercise his mighty faith, or which God could not, and would not bestow.”
It’s been quite a while since I have used a Transformation Garden “STOP” sign. However, right here, I want to “STOP” for a moment before we proceed. There is a mighty lesson contained in the fact that Elijah asked such a question of the younger, Elisha. What we find is that through the years of daily ministry together, nearly thirteen years we are told, which if it was the case, would have been 4,745 days, these two individuals grew to know a great deal about each other. Imagine Elijah’s joy at seeing the capable way Elisha undertook the duties which he was assigned. All you and I need to do is look at the tenacity shown by Elisha as he stayed right by Elijah’s side to the very end. And it was with this background in sight and years of knowledge in his mind, that with confidence Elijah knew the younger Elisha wouldn’t ask for some frivolous, superficial need but instead, his desire came from a heart was filled with a longing for God. It is at this point I asked myself, “Dorothy, how would you respond this very day if God came and asked what He could bestow upon me?” Would I think of the things I want or happen to think I need, or would my first thought be that of Elisha who asked for a “Double Portion.” And before we think this was money Elisha wanted, I’d like to share how William J. Petersen describes Elisha’s request:
“Far from being grasping, Elisha’s request for a double portion shows his humility. It reveals his incapability of carrying on Elijah’s ministry in his own talent and strength.”
Elisha’s request was a reflection of the place he held in his heart for Elijah. In Deuteronomy 21: 17, we read from the words of Moses where the firstborn son received an inheritance, from the family which was a “double portion.” It is this specific request which signals the fact that in Elisha’s life, Elijah was his spiritual father. He wasn’t just a prophet or even a friend. Their hearts were united in a much deeper relationship and the foundation was built on their service for God.
Thus, as Pastor Meyer accurately expresses, “Elijah’s confidence (in Elisha) was not misplaced…(Elisha) sought neither wealth, nor position, nor worldly power; nor a share in those advantages on which he had turned his back forever when he said farewell to home, and friends, and worldly prospects.”
Instead, Elisha asked that a double portion of the Spirit which had resided with Elijah would come and dwell with him as well. I found it inspiring to read the words of W. Phillip Keller who describes Elisha’s request in this manner: “It was a profound petition. (Elisha) was requesting that the presence of God by His Spirit be with him in double measure.”
If I had been in Elisha’s place, as I scanned the history of not only Elijah’s work for God but his undivided heart toward God, I know I would have felt completely overwhelmed by the task in front of me. I’d have felt very small, indeed. But instead of throwing his hands up and declaring, “The job’s too much for me,” Elisha went to the same “Source” he had witnessed his father Elijah go to – over and over again. It is with this powerful thought in mind that I want to share Pastor Meyer’s words of encouragement to you and me when God asks us to undertake a special work for Him:
“Who needs to shrink from attempting Elijah’s work, if first we have received Elijah’s spirit? Instead of relinquishing a work for which you do not feel naturally qualified, wait in the fervency of entreaty and in the expectancy of faith until you are endued with power from on high.”
And then, Pastor Meyer ends with these power-filled words of truth that should encourage your heart and mind today. “There is no work to which God calls you for which He is not prepared to qualify you.” WOW! What a heavenly promise we have from our Father. May our prayer today be that of Elisha, “Oh, Father, as your daughter, as your son, bestow upon me, a ‘double portion’ of Your Spirit that I may be all You want me to be.”
“Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me!
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me!
Break me, melt me,
Mold me, fill me!
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me!”
“Spirit of God,
Grace of God,
Heart of God,
Hand of God,
Passion of God,
Mind of God,
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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