Day 112: Ask, and it shall be given (2 Kings 1-3)

Posted: July 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

When they had crossed, 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 not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart. 2 Kings 2:9-12

According to the Bible, Elijah is one of only two people recorded in Scripture to be raptured into Heaven without experiencing death (the other being Enoch, Gen. 5:21-24). What an amazing sight for Elisha to behold, a fiery set of horses and chariots, a mighty whirlwind, and WHOOSH! His mentor is gone.

It’s interesting to me how Elisha’s attitude was before he witnessed this miracle. He knew Elijah was leaving, and he asked his mentor for a “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit. On first reading this, one may interpret the request as an attempt to outdo or be more important than Elijah, in other words, “Grant me the power to be better at prophesying than you ever were.” But that’s not the attitude here. Elisha was merely asking to be Elijah’s official heir.

According to custom, the firstborn son receives a double portion of the father’s inheritance. Elisha was asking to be the successor to Elijah in God’s eyes. It was the desire of his heart to seek God, and continue Elijah’s work as a prophet of God. Elijah was unsure of how to answer his apprentice, and left the decision up to God. Obviously, He granted Elisha’s request, because his motives were pure.

It makes me ponder the ways we ask God of certain things. In prayer, I always ask for protection, provision, blessings, the usual “God stuff.” I wonder if any of that stuff is “the desire of my heart,” things that I truly long for to glorify God. Sometimes, sin gets in the way of our Godly desires and diverts our attention to worldly things, so that when we finally sift our way through the trash, we are so distracted that we barely mean what we are praying for. Elisha’s request was 100-percent genuine, and an awesome display of humility and love for the LORD.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

When we truly set our hearts to following Christ, the doors will open to things beyond our wildest dreams. But we choose to wear these weights of sin on our backs, carrying them around needlessly, making it impossible to find the doors God has planned for us to open. I suppose the start to approaching an Elisha-like request is cutting off the sin in our lives, re-focusing our lens, taking out the trash, and re-dedicating our lives to Godly living. Only then can our eyes, and most importantly, our hearts, be opened to receiving God’s blessings.

It’s amazing, I truly believed that Elijah’s ascending to heaven would be the focus of my thinking tonight, but I just couldn’t take my mind off of Elisha’s request. It was a supernatural occurence that Elijah experienced, but Elisha was living the supernatural life by fully opening his heart to God – a great example of what God can do in the lives of people who are committed to His ways.

So let’s shed the excess baggage of our sin, renew our spirits to God’s ways, and dedicate our lives to His service. Let the door opening begin!

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