“Then it happened, as they continued on and talked,…”
they meaning Elijah and Elisha. Elijah was a leader, a role model, a guide to Elisha, and Elisha was a like- minded companion for Elijah. Do you remember the story?
“Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” 2 Kings 2:11.
The very next verse says it all of Elisha, “So he saw him no more.” 2 Kings 2:12.
Did you have an Elijah who was used mightily by the Lord as he walked in obedience to the Lord? You might have had an Elijah who was a guide and an example of faith and trust in God who ‘went up into heaven.’ And as Elisha, you can ‘see him no more’.
Well, what did Elisha do then? It says in 2 Kings 2:13, “Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the Jordan.”
The Jordan separated Elisha from the other side that he had come with Elijah. This is now a time of separation. But perhaps it is a time to take hold of that mantle of our Elijah and test all that we have learned. We will take hold of that mantle and as Elisha asked, you and I will ask as well, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 2 Kings 2:9.
But I need specifics. Are there words that describe this spirit of Elijah? I need something to hold on to.
God showed me, the words have already been written. They have been written by the Apostle Paul in Phil 1:20-26,NIV,
“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice…what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage,”…(Isn’t this what our Elijah had? A rejoicing heart, an expectation and hope in God and God alone, and sufficient courage!)”…so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
“If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I don’t know, I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith,…Phil. 1:22-25.”(and wasn’t their every breath used to help us progress in our own faith and joy in the Lord?)
But that is not all, as we take hold of the mantle of our Elijah, can you hear these words, “So that through my being with you…your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”Phil 1:26.
That’s it! Can my joy in Christ Jesus continue to overflow on account of that life lived out for God?
Perhaps it is a time of separation from our Elijah so that we can go back and stand on the truth that was so powerfully lived out in them, and begin to move forward on our own, determined to trust in God no matter what, and take hold of the mantle which simply reminds you and me,
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
So that ‘Christ might be exalted in our body, whether by life or by death’ and that we would continue on and ‘overflow’ with the joy of the Lord!
Yes, there is loss, but Jesus, thank you so much that you have blessed us with an example like Elijah simply pointing to You.