A Double Portion
“When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’”
- 2 Kings 2:9-10
It was a normal day of working out in the fields for Elisha until Elijah came by and threw his cloak upon him (1 Kings 19:19). Immediately, Elisha understood that he was to leave his home and to follow this man. The passing of the cloak symbolized a passing of leadership. Elijah was the great prophet of his day. Surely after his great defeat of Baal and his prophets, Elijah’s name was known all throughout the land. Elijah was known to be the one who could call fire from the sky and then rain to fall upon the earth. Who could take over for a man like that? Elisha knew that receiving Elijah’s cloak was to receive Elijah’s call as a prophet. Instead of cowering in the fields, Elisha followed Elijah, learned from him, and prepared himself for what was to come.
Elijah also was preparing himself and Elisha for what was to come after he was gone. So Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him. Elijah wanted to see his prodigy faithfully carry on the work as a prophet for the nation of Israel. Without hesitation, Elisha asked for a double share of Elijah’s spirit. Knowing all that God had done through Elijah, this seems to be a very wise request, yet Elijah knew that it was a request he could not guarantee. God, alone, would determine what portion of his Spirit would be given to Elisha. Elijah’s ambiguity was clear in his response: “If you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.”
Instead of seeking to take measures into his own hands, Elijah again entrusted himself and his prodigy unto the Lord.
What an incredible model of ministry Elijah set for Elisha and all to come. Instead of trying to fit Elisha into his mold, Elijah wanted God to mold Elisha. In God’s generous nature, he granted Elisha the double portion, and the ministry of Elijah continued and expanded. What a wonderful reminder that God’s way surpass our ways; his plans are always much greater than our plans.
As the Lord has called us to invest in the next generation of Christian leaders, he wants us to love them, nurture them, and raise them up to know the Lord; however, the Lord would have us to entrust these men and women we are discipling to the Lord. He has the plan for them, and he will provide just what they need for that plan, just as he did for Elisha. May we faithfully do our part then trust the Lord to do his part in their lives! Reflection:
Who has discipled you into your calling? How did that person help you to discover your call and giftings? Now, how can you go and do that for someone else?