Mr. Double Down, part two

Today I want to continue looking at the story from 2 Kings as Elijah is about to be taken to heaven and he asks Elisha what he wants from him. And Elisha wants double. I love this concept. Elisha stepped up with an audacious request. I know all the things God has done through you, the massive miracle working power He’s given you, and I want twice that. In the last post I talked about audacious requests, praying for big things from our big God. But I want to also look at what happened next in this story.

2 Kings 2:9-10 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.”

Isn’t that interesting? Elijah says “You have asked a hard thing.” I don’t think Elijah was prepared for what his successor was going to ask. It’s obviously not in his power to grant it, because he has to put a condition. If you see me being taken from you, then it shall be so. But it’s not guaranteed, is it? Elijah tells him that if he doesn’t see it happen, then he’s not getting the double portion.

Ultimately, God’s the one making the decision on this request, and I have to just wonder what God was thinking at this very moment. He must’ve known what a rascal he was dealing with in Elisha, I mean, He is God after all. Did the audacity of Elisha please Him? Was there even a moment where He considered not granting the double portion? Ultimately, God does grant the request, as we see in the next few verses.

2 Kings 2:11-12 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

I like when the Bible acknowledges the weirdness of miracles. Because something out of the ordinary just happened here, right? Elijah didn’t die and get buried. Chariots of fire, lead by horses of fire, come sweeping by, and then Elijah goes up in a whirlwind to heaven. WHAT!?!? Can you imagine how you’d freak if you saw something like that take place? And I just love how the Bible tells us what happens next. Because Elisha just saw the conditions fulfilled for his double portion, right? Elijah said, if you see me being taken, you get the double portion. And Elisha saw it. But look at what he does next, just to be sure things worked out like he thinks they did.

2 Kings 2:13-14 And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.

For some reason this just strikes me as so funny. It’s such a vivid picture in my mind of how this played out. Elisha sees this otherworldly event take place. A chariot of fire lead by horses of fire, and then Elijah gets lifted up to heaven in a whirlwind. That’s crazy, right? And so Elisha is left standing there and he’s thinking about this request he made, and he’s pretty certain it just came true. But he scoops up Elijah’s cloak anyways, and he carries it back to the river. And he hits the water with it and asks a question. “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” God answered with a miracle, but what God was saying through that miracle was “The Lord, the God of Elijah is here, within you.”

Do you think anyone else felt as cool as Elisha must’ve felt in that moment? Elijah, Mr. Double Down, making an audacious ask of God and getting what he asks for. Hitting that river and seeing it part had to be the most empowering and incredible moment for this man. Did he use this newfound power to amass riches? To win the favor of all the nations? No, he went and used it to do the will of God.

Make an audacious prayer to God this week. Let’s all be rascals like Elisha and see if we can’t pull off something great. Think big, pray big, and believe big. God’s not just big, He’s massive. Gargantuan. Humongous. Gigantic. His power shaped everything in existence. I do want his protection when I drive on the highway, I do want him to help me with the stresses of work, I could use a little money to pay some bills, but today I’m putting the audacious nature of Elisha into action in my life. God, I ask for a revival in my area. I want the move of God here to be so massive that people come from all over the country to be a part of it, that this area becomes a place of Godly power so vast that it gets covered by every news outlet in America. I pray that when people drive through the area they are healed, that your power crackle like electricity in the air. I pray that evil cannot stand in this place, that every single person who is here would accept you as their savior. And God, I want to play a part in it. I don’t just want to stand by and watch, I ask that you would work through me, give me a part to play. I ask all these things in Jesus name, amen.

I’ll close with this. In the last post I listed all of these amazing things that God did through Elijah. Raising the dead, raining down fire, prophecies, controlling the weather, the list is incredible. Now, Bible scholars sometimes disagree over how to define a miracle. But most things I looked at put Elijah’s total recorded miraculous doings at 14. Wanna guess how many Elisha did? 28. Mr. Double Down, the audacious prophet of God, performed exactly double the amount of miracles that Elijah did.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, today I thank you for your word.  Your word shows us what a person can accomplish when they go after you with their whole heart.  You do incredible things through people, and those who truly seek to serve you, who truly seek to do your will, you imbue them with such amazing power.  I can only imagine how good it must feel for you to give power to a man like Elisha, someone you know has your best interests in mind and will serve you faithfully. How many people like that do you see in the world today, God?  I can’t imagine there are many, which is sad.  God, today I ask that you build in us the heart of Elisha.  Make us a people who hunger after you, who are committed to carrying out your will, fill us with righteous ambition.  Make us desperate for more of your power so we can go out and use it to bring glory to you, to make the unseeing see, to make the hurting into the healed, and to spread the good news of your love to every place we step.  Today I ask for a double portion of your spirit, Lord, just like Elisha did.  And I ask for the boldness to put it into action.  We need a fresh wind, Lord, a fresh fire, we need to get fully committed to your cause.  I ask that on behalf of myself, my family, my church, just everyone I know.  Let this be the time that we all press in, that we all are fully committed.  Remind us how much you can do through a willing servant, and make us those willing servants today, God.  Thank you for how you love us.  Even in our vast imperfections, you love us so much.  I love you, Lord, and I thank you so much for the goodness that you pour into my life daily.  In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.

I love you guys.  I hope you enjoyed this look at Elisha, I know I really did.  God does amazing things through people.  I don’t know why he uses us, we’re so flawed and inconsistent, but He loves to work through His people.  Isn’t that cool?  God wants to show His power, wants to set people free, wants to heal people, and He wants to use you and me to do it.  Seize that today.  Get a bit of Elisha in your prayers today, ask God to use you for something incredible.

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