2 Kings 2:-9-10, NIV
When they had crossed over, 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.”
How did Elisha receive the double portion of the blessing? The answer was he was totally committed to receiving it. The requirement was he had to stick with Elijah to the very end of the journey and see him go, or he wouldn`t receive what he`d asked for. Elisha knew it was the day when Elijah was to be taken into heaven.
They started off at Gilgal, which is the place of new beginnings. It was here that the Israelites first celebrated the Passover in the promised land. And it was here that all the males born in the wilderness were circumcised and the covenant was renewed (Joshua 5). Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.’ But of course, Elisha refused to be left behind. Bethel was the place where Jacob had met with God and dreamed of angels descending and ascending into heaven. So we could call that the place of dreams.
These were pleasant places and opportunities for Elisha to settle down but NO, he insisted on going on with Elijah to the end of the journey. Then Elijah said `stay here please for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho`. But Elisha again refused. Jericho is the place of past victories. Israel had its first victory here in the promised land.
And then Elijah went on to Jordan, and again entreated Elisha to stay behind. Jordan is known as the place of death and the Jordan River represents the boundary for the promised land. To cross it meant to enter into death. But Elijah and Elisha crossed through the Jordan, and it was here that he was taken up in a chariot of fire into eternal life. This represents that we have to die to self in our personal Jordan before we can truly live for God and be led by the Spirit of God.
I was wondering if we often find ourselves in these places on our journey in our Christian life. It seems to me many believers spend their entire Christian life in Gilgal. They never grow and never leave the place of new beginnings. Some go as far as Bethel. They catch the vision of God’s great work. They see the needs, they feel the tug but they never get past the place of dreaming of what they might do one day. They never take the next step of making the dream or the vision a reality.
Still others hold on to their personal Jerichos. They are always talking about the victory of yesterday and what the Lord did for them back there, forgetting God wants to use and bless them just as powerfully today. Then some do finally arrive at the Jordan. And I see this as the barrier between dying to the carnal nature and starting to live the Spirit-led life. Few take that final step of faith and surrender completely to God and finish their race.
Elisha finally received the double portion of the spirit that was in Elijah, because he persevered and went the whole journey. If we want to receive all that God has to give us, we need to follow Elisha’s example.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to run the race that You`ve marked out for me. I long to see You move in greater power in my life. Help me to stay focussed and to be hungry and thirsty after all that You have for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.