Manuary 13, 2016
If Elisha had been counting on his deathbed, he would have realized he hadn’t received the full measure of God’s power in his life. His last request to Elijah so many years before had been for a double portion of his teacher’s spirit. At the beginning of his ministry, at the end of his mentors he asked boldly for something greater than he could know. Eight miracles had been performed through Elijah. Elisha was asking for 16. Let’s go back to that story. To what the Bible says.
“When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.
Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.” – 2 Kings 2:9-14
With illness ready to take his life, I wonder if he thought about his count. That only 14 miracles had been performed through him so far. I wonder if he expected to die falling short of his promise, or if he expected a knock on his door. I have no idea, what Elisha could have been thinking in that moment. But then a knock rattled his door. The king came in. The Bible says, “Now when Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash king of Israel went down to him and wept before him, crying, ‘My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’” – 2 Kings 13:14 (ESV) “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” I wonder if Elisha’s hair stood up on the back of his neck when he heard that statement from the king? I wonder if he remembered exclaiming the same phrase as Elijah was being taken away? Was this king asking for the power of God in his life?
And so a miracle was in the making. A miracle because a king wanted God in his life. A king with the power to take lives. A king with the power to command anyone he saw. All powerful, humanly speaking, but lacking with God. This man before him came to him for a blessing. One last miracle.
And that miracle can happen today as well. It’s the miracle of asking God into our lives. The miracle of coming to Him for help, letting go of our own powers. I don’t know how to say it better than the Apostle Paul, so I’ll let him talk from here on out.
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that One has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who of their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way, by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left, through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.” – 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:13
God Bless You,