Elijah, the great prophet who had prayed for no rain and it did not rain for three and a half years (James 5:17), the one who calls fire down from heaven on Mount Carmel (1 Kgs 18:38) the one who causes the false prophets to be slain (1 Kgs 18:40), is about to be taken into heaven. Elijah has already commissioned Elisha to minister in His place (1 Kings 19:16-21).
Elisha, the servant of Elijah, has requested a double portion of the Spirit which is upon Elijah (2 Kings 2:9). Many others have sensed that Elijah will be departing (2 Kings 2:3,5), these others watch from a distance, yet Elisha will not leave his master, Elijah. The transition, i.e. of being one who plows with oxen to being a prophet, is about to take place. Elijah is take into heaven in a whirlwind, Elisha calls out in excitement when he sees the heavenly chariot and the horsemen (2 Kings 2:12) and then Elijah is gone.
Elijah had given no instructions to Elisha on how to obtain the office of a prophet or on how receive the double portion of the Holy Spirit. Elijah did not say, as Jesus did, “wait here till you receive power from on high” (Luke 24:49), nor did Elijah reveal the source of his power say something like, “the secret to my power is hidden in my cloak”, if you remember Samson said that the secret to his power was in his long hair (Judges 16:17). 2 Kings 2:12, 13 says that Elisha, “took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him”. Knowing the calling that was upon him, (1 Kings 19:16-21), Elisha moves and speaks with confidence. He strikes the river Jordan, the water parts, and others realize that the Spirit of Elijah rested upon Elisha (2 Kgs 2:15). Elisha is about to do twice as many miracles as Elijah did.
This is a quick review of some parts of Elijah’s life and the transfer of his ministry to Elisha, but all of this was to say that at some point in the transition between Elijah and Elisha, Elisha had to embrace the calling that was upon him. Elisha had to recognize that God had a purpose for his life. He needed to rise up and be whom God wanted Him to be.
Each of us are called to minister the life of Christ to those around us. We are exhorted to be His followers and to touch those who God brings before us. Will we embrace the calling that we all have? Will we see that we have been chosen to minister to all? Teaching, preaching and reaching them in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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