Elisha received a double portion of Elijah’s anointing because….
1) He asked for it. God had already appointed him (1 Kings 19:16) to be Elijah’s successor, but Elisha didn’t just want to be head of the prophets, he wanted to maximize his effectiveness.
2) He made it a top priority; he left his “farming” business (1 Kings 19:19)—killing the oxen and roasting them with the fire made from his plowing equipment. No turning back; no Plan B.
3) He followed Elijah everywhere he went (2 Kings 2:2-6) : to Bethel (a place of worship); to Jericho (a place of obedience); and to the Jordan River (a place of dying to self; a new beginning in the spirit). Yep. We gotta do all three—worship, obey, and die to our way of doing things.
4) He received his new anointing by faith. Elisha’s first miracle was to part the Jordan River… just as Elijah had done earlier: “Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen when he was taken up. Then Elisha returned to the bank of the Jordan River. He struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and cried out, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Then the river divided, and Elisha went across.” (2 Kings 2: 13-14 NLT).
While many of us ask today, “Where is the God of Elijah?”, God is surely asking, “Where are the Elijah’s and Elisha’s of yesteryear who will pay the price for my anointing?” I’m ready, how about you? Let’s put Him to the test.
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Elisha was plowing the field with a team of oxen when Elijah threw his mantle (cape) on him thus indicating he had been chosen to be his successor as the prophet in Israel and head of the school of prophets. Elisha made no provision for returning to his old job if things didn’t work out. He didn’t take a leave of absence; he didn’t sub-lease his equipment or animals to another farmer. In fact, he killed his oxen and boiled them using the fire he made by burning his plow. Talk about a commitment! Elisha became a renowned prophet and miracle-worker.
When God called me to leave a great job in 2006 to write and speak full time, I felt like I’d stepped out onto a ledge at the Empire State Building and locked the window behind me. It was a fly or die decision (financially and professionally speaking)! Well, it’s been seven years now and God has been faithful. He has done exceedingly, abundantly above all I could have asked or thought—and I know that the best is yet to come. What about you? Are you still “plowing” thru unfulfilling work rather than pursuing your destiny? What exactly do you feel God is calling you to do but the provisions don’t seem to be lined up just yet? Remember that He provides where He guides: Meditate on 1 Kings 19:19-21 (NKJV) and be inspired:
“So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.”
And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”
So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant. “
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Is your progress or success overwhelming your sense of peace? It may be time to:
1) re-evaluate–maybe even re-define– what progress or “success” really means to you
2) make some hard choices regarding eliminating the distracting (though well-meaning) people or situations in your life
3) go back to basics (simple, low cost activities)… even if doing so means less money and stuff
4) intentionally build more “margin” into your schedule (like deciding to be at least 15 min early for EVERYTHING!)–I NEED THIS ONE BIG TIME!
I’m constantly considering ALL of the above. Join me!
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I was standing behind a lady at the checkout counter today at one of my favorite discount variety stores when the clerk totaled her purchases. The customer didn’t have enough money to pay for all of her items so she began to select things to leave behind. “Oh no”, I said to the clerk. “Just put her items on my bill.” The clerk looked surprised; the lady was pleased—and grateful. (I knew that it was the least I could do for having been so abundantly blessed by the grace of God.)
As I finished checking out, I noticed that the lady had left one of the items I’d paid for on the counter. At that moment, I had TWO epiphanies about what Jesus did for us in dying on the Cross. No way could we pay our sin debt. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood… (Romans 3:23-25–NLT).
Yes, Jesus stepped forward and said, “Put it on my bill!” HE PAID IT ALL!
Now, here is what really blows me away. Some people walk away from what has already been paid for and never get the benefit of it. If you know somebody who has not embraced what Jesus has done, run after them and tell them that you too once had a debt that you couldn’t pay but you accepted the GIFT. Compel them to come… to RECEIVE the gift. That’s all that any of us can do when we are Spiritually Bankrupt! JUST ACCEPT THE GIFT! Feel free to share this blog.
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I had a serious aha moment today during my water aerobics class. The instructor had us doing an elbow to knee exercise for what seemed an eternity. Finally, unable to do another repetition, I asked him, “Are we ever going to switch to the left leg?” He replied, “Oh, we changed over a long time ago!”
Apparently I had gotten distracted (looking out the window, closing my eyes, thinking about my to-do list, etc.) and missed his cue. I think that we relate to God like this sometimes. We are going thru the motions of following Him, exhausting ourselves to no avail, only to discover that we are pursing a path, project, or relationship whose season has ended.
I’m going to make every effort to stay focused on Him, check in often to see if I’m still in step, and most of all, get back on track when I see that I’m not! What about you? Are you walking in sync with His plan for your life?
Too many of God’s children are plagued with insecurity and a sense of inadequacy. They have an “omniscience-complex” – they think they need to know EVERYTHING about a subject matter, an assignment, a potential job or promotion, a career move–before they start it.
We must learn to declare in advance what Daniel said (in Daniel 2:23 see below) after God revealed the king’s dream and the interpretation—when the king couldn’t even remember what it was he’d dreamed:
Take time to read this story. It’s my “go-to” passage when I need an answer or solution revealed. Note the number of times Daniel emphasizes “He” in Verses 21-22 when referring to God vs. man.
You don’t need more self-confidence; this is a worldly concept with limited effectiveness; we must always walk in Supreme Confidence knowing that GOD is just looking for somebody thru whom He can show Himself strong (2 Chronicles 16:9).
Here’s the key part of the story; it picks up where the king has ordered all the wise men to be destroyed because nobody can tell him what he dreamed:
Daniel 2:16-23 NKJV
16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
20 Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him.
23 “I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, And have now made known to me what we asked of You, For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”
Yup! This is my declaration:
“I THANK YOU AND PRAISE YOU, O GOD.. YOU HAVE GIVEN ME WISDOM AND MIGHT AND HAVE NOW MADE KNOWN TO ME WHAT I HAVE ASKED OF YOU!”
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