May I receive a double portion
Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energizes you.” – 2 Kings 2:9
2 Kings 2:11-15
11 As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.
12 Elisha saw it and cried out, “My Father! My Father! I see the chariots and charioteers of Israel!” And as they disappeared from sight, Elisha tore his clothes in distress.
13 Elisha picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen when he was taken up. Then Elisha returned to the bank of the Jordan River.
14 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.
15 When the group of prophets from Jericho saw from a distance what happened, they exclaimed, “Elijah’s spirit rests upon Elisha!” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.
Shake off the cynical, skeptical scales of adulthood. Imagine being 10 years old again and having heroes. Daydream a bit. Who are your heroes and why? Do you aspire to be like them and why?
Heroes reflect our core values, yet they also inform our values and aspirations. Our core values influence our life choices and direction. Choosing a direction does not necessarily determine our final destination. We do not need to have our whole life figured out, but we do need to know what matters most to us. Everyone’s core values are different. Frequently, maturity has a way of improving them.
The ancient Greeks coined the term “hero.” For them, heroes were mere mortals who performed deeds far beyond the scope of normal human activity. Heroes were both normal and yet extraordinary. Heroes remind us of what is possible. They encourage us to become all we can be.
Heroes embody our ideals, yet they also play a major role in defining what our ideals are. Our ideals in many ways determine how we behave and what we aspire to.
Our choice of heroes becomes one of the most paramount decisions of our lives. But we also have the opportunity before us to improve our choices and select better heroes.
One mistake of modern society is to confuse celebrity with excellence. Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Taylor Swift, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jordan are real or make-believe “superheroes.” But celebrity does not equate to character and excellence.
We should reflect upon who our own heroes are and what they represent to us.
Separate the things that make our heroes noteworthy. Forgive their blemishes that reveal their imperfections. Human heroes are always imperfect. Their frailties make them more like us. Their triumphs over their own human weaknesses should inspire us not discourage us. They expand our vision of what is possible for mere fallen people.
The Father has chosen to tell us about His “superheroes.” The Scriptures are filled with their stories. Many were ordinary folk, simple people who did extraordinary things: Amos, Jeremiah, Peter, Esther. Others were extraordinary people that sadly made many poor choices: Moses, Solomon, Samson.
The Father’s heroes are often ignored. They are not rejected because their stories are well-known and dismissed. But rather because their stories are not well-known. The Father has given each of us the responsibility as His children to learn the stories. And then share the Father’s superheroes with others.
REFLECT & PRAY
Do you aspire to be a hero in your Father’s sight?
Father thank You for telling us who Your heroes are. The Scriptures are full of them. You even gave us a special list in Hebrews 11.
Being the Father’s children involves high aspirations and subtle thoughts. It is being free from being stuck in a rut and conforming to the norms of society. It involves learning to love Him, His Word and His values. It involves deliberately choosing to live according to His dictates and not your own.
So here is the story of Elijah and Elisha. Elijah was Elisha’s hero. He was awed and enthralled by the supernatural spiritual energy and blessing the Father manifested in and through Elijah. Elisha aspired to be just like Elijah, and more.
This was the Father’s design. Elijah became Elisha’s mentor. Elijah prepared Elisha to take over when the time came. Elijah was working himself out of a job. It was a pretty tall task for anyone. The requirements of such an awesome responsibility was far beyond the limited capabilities that Elisha possessed. No doubt Elisha wandered, “How can I ever do it?” It would require power, immense spiritual power. The answer soon came.
2 Kings 2:9 Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energizes you.”
Elisha didn’t want fame, or material possessions or wealth. He wanted spiritual power. He wanted the same raw spiritual energy that Elijah possessed, but more. He was well aware of his own limitations and deficiencies. Elisha would need a double portion. And that is what he asked Elijah for.
But the Father’s power is His alone to bestow. Mere mortals cannot command or manipulate the Father. That goes without saying. But the point here is that Elisha had the boldness and confidence in the Father to ask.
As it was, this was the Father’s plan from the beginning. It was His doing to bring Elisha and Elijah together. It was no mistake that Elijah became his personal trainer, not only in wielding the power of God, but having the character and integrity to undergird the responsibility. Elisha’s request was granted. Elijah was taken home to be with the Father, in a whirlwind, in a chariot of fire steered by an angelic charioteer.
Elijah’s cloak fell to the ground near Elisha’s feet. It was a symbol of the fact that the Father had granted Elisha’s prayer. Elisha picked up the cloak and returned to the Jordan River. He struck the river with the cloak and cried out, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” Then the river divided, and Elisha went across (2 Kings 2:14).
2 Kings 2:15 15 When the group of prophets from Jericho saw from a distance what happened, they exclaimed, “Elijah’s spirit rests upon Elisha!”
“Elisha made a big request because he had come to know a big God. What ‘big things’ might God be pleased to do in your life if only you would ask Him?” (Stanley) Spend some time alone and list your five greatest heroes. Reflect on why they are your heroes. Is it time to change heroes? But more importantly, is it time to ask great things in faith from the Father?